The Wrong Man: Mavericks 112 Warriors 106

This is a very good Dallas Mavericks team.  They are definitely a better team than last year’s squad, that got blown out on their home floor by a 6-man Warriors squad of rookies and D-leaguers playing all-out Nellieball. They might even be a better team than the 67 game-winning, #1 seed in the NBA that Don Nelson blew out in the playoffs, playing all-out Nellieball. The reason is Tyson Chandler. He gets up and down, and does a lot to erase the defensive deficiencies of Nowitzki, and Terry, and Monsieur Beaubois, and Senor Barea, and the ancient Jason Kidd…

Guess what?  Even with the helpful addition of Tyson Chandler, the Dallas Mavericks are not a very good defensive team. That’s not what they do. Not how they win. There are targets all over this Dallas team.

Nowitzki is an obvious target. But you wouldn’t know that from Keith Smart’s game plan, would you?

But the real target is their guards. Particularly their three guard lineup of Kidd, Terry and Beaubois (with Barea subbing) that the Mavs went with for most of last night’s game after their disastrous 1st quarter.  The lineup that they opened the third quarter with.

Again, you wouldn’t know that from Keith Smart’s game plan.  To Coach Smart, this looked like a game to be won with defense. This looked like a good spot for Acie Law.

The Mavs were a tired team last night. On a road back to back in the season’s dog days. And when the Warriors  broke out to that 17 point lead, the Mavs were ripe for the plucking. Ripe for the all-out Nellieball assault that would have blown them out of the water.  That was proven by Don Nelson to be their Achilles heel.

It never happened.

This Warriors team doesn’t know who they are.  And how could they, when their head coach doesn’t know who they are?

And when their GM, Joe Lacob, is busy changing who they are, while sending the strong message that who they were wasn’t worth a damn.

The Nellieball Answer: If ever there was a game that called for Lee at center, this was it.  Pull Tyson Chandler all the way out of the lane.

Guard Nowitzki with Wright and Vlad Rad. Being guarded by quicker players is the only thing that bothers Dirk. Stephen Jackson DESTROYED him. How could Keith Smart, who was sitting right at Don Nelson’s elbow when the We Believe Warriors held the Mavs 10 points below their scoring average, have forgotten this? Keith Smart fed David Lee 34 points he absolutely didn’t deserve to eat.  Lee should NEVER be guarding Nowitzki.

So, Chandler pulled out of the lane guarding Lee. Nowitzki out at the three point line guarding Wright and Vlad Rad.  Now how does that three guard lineup look, Rick Carlisle?  Good luck keeping Monta and Curry out of the lane. Good luck defending the pick and roll.

Run the damn ball.  The Warriors transition was pathetic in this game.  Much of it was a function of having the wrong lineup on the court. But a lot of it is Keith Smart’s obsession with taking care of the ball.  You could just see it whenever the Warriors rebounded. They squeezed the ball until every last Mav was out of sight, instead of looking upcourt and unleashing. And then walked the ball up the court. Pathetic.

Unleash Stephen Curry. There is no half-court defense for early threes at 45% conversion. None.

Do you want to play half-court basketball against Tyson Chandler on the offensive end, and Dirk Nowitzki on the defensive end? Is that your game plan for beating the Mavs?

Well then, Keith Smart and Joe Lacob are the guys for you.

Stephen Curry and the demise of Keith Smart: This is a very under-reported story, but the tension between Curry and Smart has exploded. Matt Steinmetz finally wrote something about it last night, but contined to downplay the friction angle.

There is friction, trust me.  It has been all over Curry’s body language, all season long. And it exploded last night. Exploded. You will likely never hear a word about it, because that’s not how Curry rolls. But as I watched the four quarter of this game, I was struck deaf and dumb by what I saw unfold.

Once again, Stephen Curry was a minimal part of the Warriors’ offensive game plan. And once again, Curry was forced to endure 6 1/2 fourth quarter minutes on the pine while Keith Smart inexplicably rode Acie Law. When he was finally brought back in, he wasn’t ready to play. For whatever reason. Anger. Frustration. Disinterest. Being cold. Loss of confidence. Loss of Swag.

Loss of role.

Curry turned the ball over twice, trying to initiate Smart’s absurd motion schemes. And then when Terry burned him on the defensive end, Smart boiled over, yanking Curry for Acie Law. Down 6 in crunch time, heading into an offensive possession, he yanked Curry for Acie Law.

This is beyond teaching, folks. It’s something else. And it certainly wasn’t an offense/defense substitution, as Keith Smart tried to sell to the press in his post-game presser.  Law was brought in on an offensive possession.

(I’ve kind of been waiting for this moment, this season.  The moment when Keith Smart faced the consequences of his bubbly effusive nothing-goes-unanswered camaraderie with his buddies in the press.

The moment when he looked his buddies right in the eye, and lied.)

Curry, by the way, was “excused” from making post-game comments.  I don’t think there is any denying now that this thing between Curry and Smart is personal.

Just as the thing between Smart and Reggie Williams is personal.  Did you happen to catch Smart yell “I’m the fucking coach!” on the sidelines a few games back?  It was directed at Reggie Williams. And we’ve all witnessed what’s happened to his minutes in the interim. (By the way, didn’t Marcus Thompson dedicate an entire story earlier this season to Keith Smart’s declaration that he doesn’t have a doghouse?  What are the odds that Thompson revisits that story?)

After months of religiously trying to pound Don Nelson’s gloriously talented roster into Joe Lacob’s square hole, Keith Smart has wound up losing his team.

I wonder, Joe Lacob, is this what you had in mind when you told us that Don Nelson was “the wrong man to coach this team”?

89 Responses to The Wrong Man: Mavericks 112 Warriors 106

  1. GovernorStephCurry aka @knc94

    This is your best piece of the season. Somehow Nellie was made out to be a monster for benching AR but Smart benches Reggie and Steph and we hear he’d doing a great job.

  2. Like I said from the very beginning of the season, Smart is the Curry-neutralizer. He’s got absolutely no idea how to use Curry and play to his strengths. Smart will be the reason Curry will leave once his rookie contract expires… Lacob, JESUS, fire this incompotent fool ASAP!!!!

  3. Thanks, Feltbot! You always voice what I only suspect.

    We can only guess what’s going on in the locker room, in player’s heads. The guys began the season with tremendous camaraderie and team spirit, a strong asset, and Smart has fractured this. (My clue is that Curry has been hanging out with Charlie Bell.)

    Is Smart even aware of Curry’s stats last season and this season, when he was allowed to play, especially fourth quarter?

    The thing that is distressing is that the game was still close, and Smart could be still be telling himself he almost beat a good Dallas team. I watched the entire 2nd. half in disbelief, watching the predictable unwind. It wasn’t a close game. It was a game in which they blew a big lead, and other than Minnesota, I can’t think of another game this season they coasted to a big win. There were many where they should have.

    But what on earth is Smart doing, if he’s thinking about next year? The playoffs are out. It’s time to see what he can establish now that will pay off later. Instead he’s alienating his players and putting Monta in a flattering but untenable position. (Is he going to ask Lacob to keep Law and trade Curry?) Smart is being tragically, obsessively blind.

    Defense. . . .

    About those strawberries. . . .

  4. felt: This piece of analysis from you is as good as it gets.
    I was at the game last night–managed to get a 9th row center court seat from a friend with connections. By the end of the game, Curry was furious, and who could blame him? Happy to say that Lacob looked very unhappy by game’s end, too and I was close enough to tell.

    From watching Monta be the starting point guard and Smart relegating Curry to the corner three-point line most of the night, to the benching of Curry and Lee in the late third and fourth quarters in favor of Law etc. while the Mavs continued to go small, I was stunned at how thoroughly Smart mismanaged the game. He’s the worst coach in the NBA and his abuse of Curry (this now goes way beyond mismanagement) threatens to undermine this team’s future.

  5. Curry removed for no discernable reason?? Acie picked up the temp that had slowed with Curry to the point of playing right into Dallas’ deliberate game. Give Dirk the time to set and it’s all over. Acie made 6 assists to 1 turnover and made 2 steals to boot, plus drove all the way to a successful finishing drive whereas Curry, coming off of a 1 assist to two turnovers game, had 5 and 4 last night, and 0-1 at the free throw line, while amassing 10 pts on 4 for 10 shooting in 32 minutes on the floor. Acie got 15, on 5-7, got to the line 6 times in only 22 mins of play. Gee can’t understand that dumb Smart for not using Curry more. Getting tired of the Curry excuses game after game. First people bitched he was playing too many minutes and would wear out, as we had no real backup, now we get the backup and Curry’s minutes drop to just under 34, and you bitch. Last night on a clearly stinky game for him, and the best game of the season for Acie, Curry played just 2 mins under his season’s average. Let’s fire Smart. First it was Nellie, now Smart, how about Curry himself? His turnovers haven’t improved one whit with another year under his belt. Perhaps our shooting wiz simply isn’t an elite NBA PG. Ever try that one on for size? Slower than most pgs, no power drive at all, doesn’t get to the line, too few drives and kickouts, hell Monta, the shooting guard had 11 assists in the game. How could that be?

  6. Why does every minute of playing time or sitting have to reflect a doghouse or hating a player? Amundson didn’t play last night, anyone here worrying about Smart “hating” Lou? There are matchups. People both want Thornton to have more minutes and Williams as well. Then there is Lin. Or was Lin he’s been correctly sent back down to the D League.

    With young players there is such a thing as coaching tough love. They practice hard, show they can do a better job than the other guys and they play. They make mistakes and are corrected. They keep making them and they sit. Smart almost NEVER says a bad word about a player in public and players all over the league bitch about wanting more minutes. And I haven’t heard Curry bitch about it. Maybe if he did better than he has in his assist to turnover ratio, and upped the tempo a bit, even playing a little defense, something that is his worst area of all, especially against speedy point guards, he’d get those extra 2 minutes, on nights where his bu pg wasn’t having a Warrior Career Game!

  7. All I heard last couple of years was Nellie was why AR didn’t play enough minutes, why BW didn’t play enough minutes. Well now after two more coaches and the performance we saw here last game you’ll understand that Nellie gave AR the most minutes any coach would have conceived of for him. BW was another Coaches Decision DNP tonight.

    After Nellie it was Smart. Before them Monty’s fault. Why the scapegoating. Monta played well when Nellie gave him his chance and he continued to play well. You think Coaches like to lose? Won’t play their best line-up matches? Well P.O.B. didn’t get many minutes with us and continued to stink elsewhere. Diogu as well. Ellis and Biedrins played well in games and continued. Now Biedrins is getting worse and he’ll likely go. If any coach had a reason to “hate” a player it was Nellie and AR after his blowing off practices and the bush move of having his family come up and blast the coach for not giving mama’s boy more minutes. Yet he used him 22 minutes a game, more time than he’s seen since with two coaches now and more NBA time under his belt. Grow up people! A PG makes 1 assist to 2 turnovers and you look for excuses, even as others on the same team ARE making more assists and a better assist to turnover ratio? And some of those weren’t even pgs. It must be hard to say you were wrong. Curry’s had HUGE minutes in his first two years in the League. His turnovers are his own not any coach’s.

  8. Meir,

    A week ago, Curry had 12 assists and Ellis 11 against a major team, Orlando:

    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AlefejqLmFZeO4_XNgb7YaekvLYF?gid=2011031109

    And they scored, combined, 61 points in the win.

    The reason the Curry/Ellis debates have resurfaced is because Smart is not running a system often enough, as he did that night, that shows what they both can do together. So the team loses, and we fall to fighting among ourselves about who is better, who should run the show, who should be traded. The problem is not Curry or Ellis, but Smart, who is not developing their unique and different potentials.

    Curry, even when in the Dallas game, had a limited role and his talents are not being used. He was hot, but was only given 7-8 shots until the very end, when he got two more. He seldom got a chance to move a running offense, where he excels. Monta had a good game–and a very bad one. Three turnovers in a row, which helped kill their big lead. He also forced shots and made drives into a crowd that were ill advised, again at key moments. But I don’t fault Ellis at all, but Smart. Smart has put this load on Ellis. Smart is not giving Ellis support from Curry and the other players. Smart is not running an offense that will give either to show us what they can do.

    And more often or not, the mistakes Curry makes are because he’s put in a bad position by Smart. He’s given a sluggish offense where it is hard to find openings, so he forces, trying to get something going. Or he is encouraged to penetrate and dish–when there’s no offense on the floor (Amundson, Biedrins, and Law, whom I respect, but can’t shoot).

  9. Check out the Dallas Morning Star’s story on last night’s game. Near the end mention is made of Don Nelson being in attendance at the Oracle. You gotta believe that a BB-lifer like Nelli is starting to get the itch again. Would love to see him take over as GM but Lacob’s ego is too big to make it happen here. Hopefully he’s back in the NBA somewhere soon. I just can’t see him spending the rest of his life playing cards on Maui.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/dallas-mavericks/headlines/20110316-late-show-mavericks-listless-early-but-rally-past-golden-state-112-106.ece

  10. Steve, I’m very curious to see what Nellie will say re the use of Curry this year on Monday night. I’m sure Papa will ask him that question if he does the interview. Nellie won’t want to undercut Smart but he might just give us a good hint of his view.

  11. Meir,

    The fact is that ast/to ratio is a terrible metric for measuring a players ability and his impact on the game. For example Monta is somewhat worse than Steph so does this make him a liability to this squad?

    Filtered by PG position stats have the following players ranked 30 to 37 in ast/to ratio :

    Wall/Rose/Blake/Westbrook/Terry/Billups/Collison/Curry

    Jose Calderon is 2nd in the league for ast/to ratio? Maybe he is the answer?

    Feel free to rebut.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/nba/sortableStats?league=NBA&table=assists&stat=assistsPerTurnover&dir=descending&low=1&high=50&showPlayers=min&position=PG&seasonState=regular

  12. Haven’t quite got it figured out yet, but this Smart-Curry thing might have something to do with Nellie?

    I mean one of Nellie’s strenghts was developing PG’s. He had Curry on the fast track to becoming very good. He was lavish in his praise of Steph’s B-Ball acumen & how easy he was to coach…almost like having a coach on the floor.

    So what does that mean? Is Smart trying to be his own man, breaking away from Nellie’s methods? Is he trying to break Curry down so he can build him back up to get the credit? Like I said can’t quite nail it down, but why has Smart turned 180 degrees from the success Nellie was having with Steph’s PG development??

  13. Not to be political, but Keith Smart is the Barack Obama of the NBA.
    1) High expectations in a desperate situation
    2) Talks about team chemistry
    3) Sits on the bench with a genius Hall of Famer Coach who outfoxes most of the NBA with players who over achieve for him

    Great expectations, but what do we get?
    A coach who did’nt learn a dang thing
    Messes up with arguably the 2nd most popular player with the fans
    Underachieves with the team, but claims he over achieved what with all the bad players they have
    Doesn;t use what is right at his GD finger tips!
    Lets hope Lacob doesnt hire Jeff Van Gundy or worse, PJ Carlisimo god forbid (why did I throw him under the bus, he is a nice man!)

  14. Meir, ever wonder why, no matter which blog you go to, you’re the only one (or one of two posters) who criticize so many things about Curry? Posters who respected Nellie as coach disagree with your views on Curry. Posters who disrespected Nellie as coach disagree with your views on Curry. Posters who like and hate smallball all disagree with your views on Curry.

    Do you really think we’re all just fooling ourselves about Curry? What do you think the odds are that this many intelligent people would be wrong about something like this and you and one or two others would be right? If you’re trying to win hearts and minds, you’ve long since lost. This was always an unwinnable battle for you because you’re wrong.

  15. How to play Dallas 11/24/09 with 6 men

    Note Rad on Nowitzki. Note how the offense spreads the floor, what it allows Curry and Ellis to do. Note how they run when they get a chance. Note the comment 1:25 in, “What did I say about Curry being the best passer on the floor?” Note Curry’s 9 points in crunch time.

    Box score:
    http://sports.yahoo.com/nba/boxscore;_ylt=AoQmCISky8yTm0No2XAf1pmkvLYF?gid=2009112406

    Ellis had 11 turnovers.
    So what.

    The last six minutes:

  16. scotch: Interesting question but I just don’t think Smart’s smart enough to figure it out. I say this because it’s not just his treatment of Curry that is often illogical–his entire strategic decision-making is flawed. He constantly goes big when he should go small and vice versa. His matchups often bear little semblance to a rational plan. He slows the game when he should speed it up. He shifts from playing certain players heavily to sitting them for long periods of time–sometimes games on end (cf, RWilliams, RIP). He really believes that the way he’s playing Curry gives the Warriors’ the best chance to succeed and is best for Curry’s development. It’s delusional thinking, I know…that’s why feltbot keeps believing that Lacob must be interfering somehow. But I think this really is Keith Smart believing this is how you build a winning team in the NBA.

  17. And Meir, Curry hardly played point guard last night. Monta and Law played point guard about 90% of the time. I was at the game and this was clear from the start. The tempo didn’t rise when Law was in there; he drove to the basket a few times in the half-court offense. That’s different than the Warriors’ fast break or getting early offense. Feltbot is correct–there were very few fast breaks by the Warriors last night. The slow tempo was Smart’s doing. You blaming it on Curry when he hardly even played point guard last night just reflects your own prejudices.

  18. Ha! I forgot that Smart coached that Dallas game, filling in for Nelson.

    Look, too, at Curry’s expression, his energy.

  19. Meir, I gotta give you respect. At your age, you are absolutely tireless in your anti-Curry crusade. I’m not so tireless in refuting you, but I will offer a few quick points:

    1) In his career game, Acie Law put up a -6.

    2) Maybe, just maybe, the Warriors need three point shooting to beat Dallas.

    3) Last year, after the all star break, Curry averaged 22 points, 8 assists (against 4 TOs), 5.5 rebounds, and 2 steals, while shooting 47% from the field, 44% from three and 91% from the line. Those are historic numbers, not just for a rookie, but for an NBA player. Curry was one of the best players in the entire league, in his rookie season.

    Any coach who believes that Acie Law, on his career night, is a more efficient and productive basketball player than Stephen Curry, is deeply insane on some level.

    4) Any coach who thinks the way to teach an NBA player of Stephen Curry’s caliber is to yank him for mistakes in crunch time of close games, is deeply insane on some level. Benchings are for role players who don’t get it. That is not Stephen Curry.

    5) Any coach — let alone a rookie coach, who played all of 2 games in the league — who gets into a war of wills with a player of Stephen Curry’s quality, intelligence and character, that culminates in repeated punitive benchings, is committing career suicide. Just ask Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan.

    And thus unworthy of any respect from his players, who know a dead man walking when they see one.

  20. “Ellis had 11 turnovers.
    So what”

    Well said rgg

  21. Watching that Dallas video last year makes me sick. Think what might have happened this year. And while we’re watching videos:

  22. Your comparison of Smart to Captain Queeg is extraordinarily apt, rgg. Smart has come completely unraveled.

  23. Bravo feltbot. Bravo rgg. Strawberries, indeed.

  24. Smart has demonstrated himself to be so inept at strategic decision-making this year, it raises the question–how good might the Warriors have been the last several years before this if Nellie had a more able lead assistant running the defense and helping with game planning?

  25. Couldn’t agree more with the criticism of Smart for his mismanagement of Curry. I reiterate a point I made weeks ago. Smart’s first mentor was his Indiana coach, Bobby Knight, famous for his ‘tough love’ approach to handling players. I’m reminded of this similarity on the numerous occasions we’ve see Smart bench Curry after a turnover. Smart seems to believe the Knight approach can work on a guy with Curry’s personality and motivation. While I’d rather not go so far as to call this deeply insane, it is evidence of gross incompetence in my book. The proof is in the pudding. When Curry returns to the game after a punitive benching, he often commits his worst turnovers. How’s that working out for you, Keith?

  26. When I read this in SI.com’s “NBA Mailbag” piece I immediately thought of the way the local media portrayed Nelli during his final two years here in the Bay Area. Uninterested, spiteful, disloyal, coaching only for the wins-record and the money, etc etc. Do Morrow and Watson get their contracts with the Nets and Bulls if they hadn’t played in Nelli’s system? Looking forward to that interview on Monday.

    ———————————————

    The Knicks have Amar’e and Carmelo and still can’t win. In fact, because of their now-atrocious defense, they seem worse off than before the trade. Time for Mike D’Antoni to go?
    – Aaron, Brooklyn, N.Y.

    The Anthony trade was terrific for the Knicks over the long-term, but no one should think they’ve got a roster that can win now. Their three stars play to a variety of styles — Stoudemire loves to run, while Chauncey Billups is more comfortable executing in the half-court and Anthony is at his best one-on-one. So the next step is complementing them over the next couple of summers while deciding on a style that’s best for all of them.

    How can anyone in New York have a problem with D’Antoni after he raised the value of his players to such a high level as to enable the trade for Anthony? There wasn’t much regard for his players before this year.

  27. Nice piece Felty. I am the last one to think I know better than an NBA coach who played college ball for one of the greats, but damn, Smart made some serious errors in that game against Dallas.

    First and foremost, at the end of the first quarter it was CLEAR Monta was tired. He gave Curry a blow with about 5 left in the first and brought in Law, but Monta was still the main ball handler. He got frustrated and had a series in which he had three turnovers in a row. IN A ROW. And not good turnovers either, but bad ones, where he tried to make something out of nothing and got himself stuck. Monta should have been pulled, given some rest for the last two minutes of the quarter, and the time in between quarters, and be put back out there to start the 2nd quarter fresh. This would have also allowed him to bring Curry back without sitting him for so long and given him some more run. Instead, Monta stayed in, turned the ball over, gave Dallas some momentum and their big lead all of a sudden became manageable. Stupid.

    These are the little things that bother me. It was clear to any observer of the game that Monta was not right, he was tired, he was creating for everyone (7 assists in the quarter) give the kid a blow. You aren’t going to blow that whole lead with him out the last two minutes of the first and, instead, you would probably get a couple buckets out of Curry coming back off the bench. Win win.

    Then, at the end, you simply CANNOT allow a 15-0 run in the 4th. I am sorry, thats just bad coaching. Call one timeout, call three! Just put an end to the run. Between the stupidity shown my smart at the end of the first and fourth quarters, he turned a sure win into a sure loss.

    I really don’t care any more, we are in basketball purgatory….again. I just hope Lacob sees that Smart has got to go and be replaced with a coach with offensive vision. One who can use Curry and Monta appropriately. At least Andris went down with injury and we get to see more Udoh and hopefully some Adrien.

    Ahhh to be a Dubs fan.

  28. Frank Epstein

    I think it’s open to debate whether last year’s seven smalls of Curry, Ellis, Watson R.Williams, Maggette, Tolliver and Morrow are better then this year’s Curry, Ellis, D.Wright, Radman, D.Lee, Thornton and Law.

    I would prefer that the Warriors play Udoh over Radman, you prefer Radman over Udoh. I think that Udoh is better defensively both inside and on the perimeter over Radman. Radman making unnecessary fouls and his defense overall is not good.

    I agree that Curry should have played the end of the game, but I also agree with Meir, that Law did have an excellent game and his minus 6 rating and Dallas scoring 6 more points when he was on the court, was not due to his poor shooting nor poor defense, as he shot 5-7 from the floor.

    I think it was inconscionable for Smart to play Ellis 44 minutes, which allowed him to dog it during the game and probably contributed to his committing 5 turnovers. He should have played R.Williams some of those minutes. NOr should D Wright played 40 minutes which probably contributed to his shooting 5-12 from the f ield. And I would rather see R.Williams replacing both Ellis and D.Wright.

  29. our team, from Nelson’s direct statements he has respect and affection for Smart as a person, but stays clear from giving opinions about his coaching. when nelson had smart working under him, he did the responsible thing most supervisors would with a senior (smart was hired by musselman) subordinate who always showed diligence, dedication, and loyalty, but that is not the same thing as considering him the kind of coach nelson would choose as his successor ; a matter of fair treatment, rather than endorsement in other words.

    there were two assistants hired by nelson who looked like they could be successors under better circumstances, moncrief or roth. the former’s credentials as a player or coach (biedrins actually improved his shooting in moncrief’s brief tenure) don’t have to be re-hashed, but roth also had a more substantial playing resume than smart, and as much or more experience being a head coach. he set up offensive sets on the bench during time outs, not smart. from last season my conclusion was that nelson didn’t care for smart’s substitutions (their disagreement over moore vs. hunter) or the way he ran the offense, and delegated the defense to him rather than push him beyond the level of his incompetence.

  30. Acie Law –

    I can’t find it now, but I saw a news piece where Law said how grateful he was for the chance Smart has given him. He has worked hard to prove himself and has shown maturity and skill in running the team. I wish him well in a league that can ignore or ruin talent.

    But he’s still the backup pg, one who can’t shoot well. By playing him so much, Smart is using someone he feels safe with in his scheme of things. Smart should be playing Reggie/Curry/Ellis combinations more to exploit their potential–and give Ellis more rest.

    I’d be curious to hear more about this Smart/Reggie rift.

  31. Moto: good points.

    Btw, have we had a good fast break the past two games? We’re back to slow ball.

  32. Thanks Feltbot!
    Some interesting thoughts popped into my head as I was reading everyone’s comments:

    Has Coach Keith Smart been purposefully trying to do things that former Coach Don Nelson was adamantly against… in part to separate himself from the Nelson? To “curry” favor with Lacob – who may not appreciate Nellie’s system or perhaps even directed by Lacob? Draw your own conclusions here… Here are some differences in how Nellie and Smart have differed from last season under Nellie to this season under Smart.

    Nellie didn’t want Law from the get-go – and wasn’t ever going to play him – eventually, let Law go. Larry Riley/Keith Smart re-acquire Law and Smart plays him and applauds his play – giving him valuable minutes as his veteran 3rd guard.

    Don Nelson loved Reggie Williams and his game, and played him at the 2 and 3 – Reggie was a key Nellie find and major contributor. In Smart’s tenure, Keith had Reggie playing backup pg, and as an off-the-bench scorer. By the end of the season, stick a fork in Reggie – he’s done! Smart says Reggie needs to learn how to play defense – and is in Smart’s “Doghouse.”

    Don Nelson was completely frustrated with Andris Biedrins in his last season with the team – consistently belittled Andris’ game, and is blamed by many for ruining poor Andris’ brittle confidence. Somehow, Keith Smart has given Andris the entire season to work through his problems – even tried to force-feed him the ball at the beginning of the Sacramento game and has given him opportunities to show his non-existent back to the basket game. Smart “starts” Andris even when he plays 15 mins per game and he clearly has lost his We Believe mojo!

    Nellie gives Curry undeniable free reign of the team last season – Curry could do no wrong in Nellie’s eyes – as Nellie annointed Curry as his next Steve Nash! Smart has chose to be continually critical of the young player’s game, harps on Curry’s every mistake/turnover, takes Curry out at key points in the game, and makes Curry slow the game down.

    RE: ELLIS – Nellie – by giving Stephen Curry the reigns of the team and proclaiming him Steve Nash-like – has Monta Ellis sulking, with a questionable attitude (me-first), treating Curry poorly, and Ellis goes on record stating that the pair of small, offensively-minded combo guards can’t ever win in the NBA. Under Keith Smart, Monta Ellis is handed the reigns of the team – and Ellis has been more unselfish as a teammate, tries to play nicely with Curry (with Curry cringing), and has gone on record stating that the guard pair CAN actually win together.

    Like Feltbot said – if only Nellie could have been given the opportunity to coach this team!!! Smart has actually taken many aspects of this team in another direction as Nellie. And Smart will soon be looking for another Assistant Head Coaching position soon!!!

  33. Petey: There were definitely a number of key things and key players that Nellie did/liked that, it now turns out, Smart didn’t agree with. You point out several key ones. And how about slowing down the offense and micromanaging every possession? What a negative difference that has been. I think we’re seeing Bobby Knight’s influence on Keith Smart emerge as the dominant coaching influence but unfortunately Keith is incapable of taking the best facets of Knight’s and Nellie’s teachings and utilizing them in a positive way.

    Did Nellie really dislike Law? I can’t recall one way or the other. I was under the impression that Nellie had been very high on Law out of the draft.

  34. Not going to recap this game, as you guys could probably write it for me in your sleep by now. Two main points:

    1) Would Don Nelson have allowed Grant Hill to guard Monta Ellis, or would he have spread the floor and shoved that matchup right down Alvin Gentry’s throat?

    Anyone who thinks Hill can guard Ellis without a 7 footer clogging the lane is out of their mind.

    2) Do you remember how Nellie DESTROYED Marcin Gortat with Anthony Randolph? If you don’t, here’s a reminder:

    http://feltbot.com/2009/12/06/two-kids-and-a-coach-magic-126-warriors-118/

    Nellie did it by getting Randolph the ball in ISOLATION, floor spread, and allowing him to face up and drive around Gortat. There is no doubt in my mind that Lee could have done the same thing: he did it repeatedly to Kevin Garnett a few games back.

    I don’t have the same degree of confidence that Udoh could have done it, because Smart never puts the ball in his hands that way. But that beautiful Curry Udoh pick and roll at 5:04 3rd Q indicates he could. And I am 100% confident that Nellie would have tried using Udoh that way.

    Because I am 100% confident that Nellie would not have rested until he found a way to get Lopez and Gortat off the floor. He would have found a way to BEAT them.

    Simply trying to hold those two guys off, with Lou Amundson, is conceding the game before it even begins.

  35. Phoenix –

    OK, what was that? Did Smart really think his starters–and scorers–could make a comeback with less than 5 minutes to go? I really felt like I watched a game that Smart conceded early in the fourth quarter.

    Lacob said somewhere at least the team has won more games than they did last year. I’m too lazy and not clever enough to do this, but I bet if you compared both seasons, total points plus point differentials, and made some kind of allowance for the horrible injuries last year–no kind of center at all many games, no bona fide power forward, often no real subs at all of any sort–you’d find last year was a much more successful season, maybe vastly so, given the team’s potential.

    PB and OT — your analysis is the only one the explains Smart’s behavior. It doesn’t look it’s a matter of putting the best team on the floor.

  36. I am praying that K. Smart gets fired. It is plain to see that he has a bias against Curry. I have watched every game this season, and things are getting worst. I almost can’t stand to watch the games anymore.

  37. What on earth do we have to look forward to the rest of the season? The script has already been written, and FB will have nothing to do but repeat himself.

  38. What a great write-up, FB. It ends thus:

    “The Warriors lost this game. But I took away from it an immense enjoyment, and the growing conviction that the Warriors now have all of the pieces, and the coach, to become a very special basketball team in the near future. There is an art to watching an immensely talented but immature basketball team suffer growing pains against the best teams in the league. An art very similar to the art of living well.

    “You have to be able to enjoy a hard-fought, but ultimately losing battle. And never lose hope in the future.”

    I am very, very depressed.

  39. On that list Steve, the best guy by far is Rick Adelman. He’s a terrific coach who would know exactly what to do with this roster. But would he come back to GS?

    I also think Westphal would be good. A very underrated coach, and a guy who knows how to coach offense.

    There’s one guy I find increasingly intriguing, who’s not on that list. Mike D’Antoni. He was rumored to be against making the Melo trade, and there is already friction between him and Melo. Billups and Melo simply don’t fit his system. If he were able, I think he would look at Curry, Monta and Lee and leave in a heartbeat. Could the Knicks be persuaded to let him go?

    Unfortunately, we’re far more likely to get Jeff van Gundy or Mike Fratello from Lacob. They really know how to walk the ball up the court.

  40. It would be a dream to have Mike D’Antoni Coach the GSW’s. Curry’s has some of Nash’s gifts for the game. I don’t know that Lacob would appreciate him, but I don’t see D’Antoni coaching the Knicks very long if the Knicks GM is not renewed and Isiah Thomas has the owner’s ear.

    Regarding D’Antoni’s love for David Lee’s game – here’s a link to take with a grain of salt…

    http://www.nypost.com/p/sports/knicks/antoni_takes_digs_at_lee_nuIB0TQaL9TIBrRCsZNzSP

  41. Thanks for the link PB. D’Antoni’s comments are certainly valid. I think Lee either needs to be paired with an athletic shot-blocking 7 footer, or played at center in a small-ball running unit, with a four who can spread the floor.

    If the Warriors wind up with Nene (wet dream), or someone like Dalembert, who is a free agent, I think D’Antoni would look very favorably on our roster. There is no faster nor better shooting team in the league, in the hands of the right coach.

  42. FB, taking a shot at reading tea leaves regarding what coaches Lacob would consider:

    Of the three coaches you like I see only Adelman as possible. I certainly don’t know Lacob, but, based on public comments he’s made, he seems to be someone who will not think outside the box. Public perception seems to be extremely important to him. This as much as anything may have played a large role in his decision regarding Don Nelson. I will be surprised if he tries to hire anyone lacking a very positive reputation with the fans and media. Because of his success in both Sacto and Portland, Adelman appears to retain a strong rep with the NBA media. And it seems to be a common perception that, if not for some bad breaks, he could have had even more success in those towns as well as others he has coached in. Westphal (and I don’t share this view) seems to be acquiring a rep as a losing coach.

    I would be shocked – SHOCKED! – if Lacob were to make a play for D’Antoni. Lacob seems to have bought the common wisdom that D’Antoni’s style cannot win championships in the NBA lock, stock, and barrel. Nevermind that the salvation of the greatest team sport in the world will come when a championship finally IS won with such a style. You have actually had (undisclosed) conversation with JL. If you know somthing we don’t that would suggest he might be interested in Mike D, more power to both of you. But your last paragraph from a few comments up suggests otherwise. Fratello and Van Grumpy are well respected with the media. They seem much more Lacob’s speed.

  43. Could it be any more obvious that the team is quitting on Keith Smart? The lack of effort and focus in recent games. The stark inconsistency from quarter to quarter. The glazed looks in the eyes of Ellis and Curry. And after tonight’s Dallas game, there was a Smart interview in which he said something (in his rambling fashion) about how his guys would never quit.

    The Captain Queeg analogy is too close for comfort. A pity this is happening to a nice man, but I’ve seen this behavior before when a guy was promoted one step above his level of competence. He’s a good assistant coach. He should go back to doing that.

  44. Well, at least you won’t have to write this one up, FB — we already have it above. And the results were utterly predictable. I went into the game knowing exactly what to expect, and I got it. I even predicted the score.

    But all of these guys would play their hearts out, if they were given a chance to play. They did it last year. This really is pathetic.

  45. The team is quitting on Smart. I don’t want to keep pouncing on the man. I think he’s a good guy and a great loyal follower. He’s just not a leader. He maybe the worst head coach in the NBA for the reasons discussed on this post and on previous posts. I have no doubt he will be fired at the end of the season. Hopefully Lacob make the right decision with his next coach.

  46. So now we’re at the stage where we decide What’s Wrong With The Team.

    What did we learn from this season? Adam’s last post is dismaying — apparently nothing. Instead, he keeps raising the mantras of defense and rebounding and focuses on the most visible players–Lee, Curry, Ellis–and ignores the underlying problems. I hate to think what Lacob will conclude. I suspect the worst mistake is that under Smart’s coaching we didn’t discover the full potential of the strengths these players have, their potential. And with this team, the strength is offense. Scoring is what wins games, what motivates players, what releases their talents and energies–and sets the tone for defense. Not realizing Ellis/Curry’s potential to me is the greatest failure, and it will push doubts into the next season.

    Yes, let’s trade one of our little guards and have another dismal season.

    In spite of all, the collapse after the All Star break is curious, and I wonder what has happened. Smart and the team had a very good month going in. We didn’t get a player come trade time–was that what tipped the scale? Or did Lacob give Smart some kind of message then that he has fallen short? There are other possibilities, and I’m tired of guessing.

    I’m trying to remember why the crew mutinied in The Caine Mutiny. There was a heavy storm at sea. Queeg froze at the helm or did he refuse to come about and kept heading into the squall? I’ve forgotten.

  47. I remember one thing from last night’s win. Ellis made a cut before the Dallas defense was set, got a perfect feed from Curry, and made the layup. Ellis is impossible to read, but I remember his look back to Curry, one of genuine appreciation. As we think about the team, let’s start there.

  48. rgg,

    I’ve held in their all season until now wanting to keep Curry and Monta in tact in the backcourt, but recently I’ve come to the conclusion that the chemistry won’t ever be right between those two. Curry needs the ball in his hands to be effective, and when he gets it he and the team are very effective with early offense and ball movement. Give him another year with the right coach and Lacob’s right–he’ll probably be an All-Star. However, Monta needs the ball in his hands to be effective, too. On offense, they both end up vying for the ball. And the reality is that, although Monta’s an effective one-on-one scorer, the offense bogs down into more of a one-on-one game tempo when he’s in there. This past week, Smart completed his transition to Monta as point guard the first Dallas game, running Curry down to the corner on O. It was ok for a quarter but then Dallas adjusted, double-teaming Monta, and it was a disaster. The Warriors’ offense slowed to a snail’s crawl and Smart finally had to change back to Curry at point in the second-half of the Phoenix game.

    Although I primarily blame Smart for the offensive debacle of the past several weeks (and the whole season, really), certainly some of the problem is that Curry and Monta are incompatible from a chemistry perspective. It’s just not working as well as it could with both of them out there at the same time. It’s like a tug-of-war on Offense, and then Monta doesn’t try on D and sometimes Curry’s not quick enough even if he does try. Curry’s defense seems to be improving slowly and it’s clear to me that he’s aware of the deficiency and trying to improve. Monta is not even trying to play fundamental defense on his man and I see no indication that this will ever be enough of a priority with him.

    Then you have the problem of Curry demurring to the more experienced Monta on the court. This needs to be Curry’s (and Lee’s) team. Curry’s and Lee’s games are very compatible. Both have high bball IQ’s and move the ball very efficiently and quickly on O. Match them with an tall, athletic center who can defend and hit a free throw, and they will develop nicely. Despite his speed, Monta bogs the offense down and does not play intelligent ball.

    I’ve lost hope that a good coach can fix the Curry and Monta backcourt. Certainly, they can be better than the mess Smart created this season, but their games don’t have the chemistry that is necessary to gell together going forward.

    IMO, if we can get a decent talent return, we need to move Monta this offseason.

  49. OT,

    I’m clever enough to figure it out, but this is why you hire a good coach who is not committed to simplistic thinking. Curry has too much potential and Ellis offers too much to let either go now. Neither is a consummate point guard, but combined they offer so much. Look at their combined numbers this year the games Smart has been effective. Both play off the ball very well, especially Curry — if the team sets this up. I don’t see that many screens for Curry at all.

    Curry has to be a center of attention to be effective. But he isn’t selfish. He thrives on team play, and he is the kind of inspirational player whose enthusiasm can influence others, given the chance, given a team that plays to his talents. He’s done this in college and here.

    If it looks like Ellis is hogging the ball and hurling shots, I’m sure it’s because he’s doing what he’s told. Maybe it feeds his ego, but he can’t carry the whole team the whole season and he shouldn’t be put in a position, as Smart has done, that he think it’s his role. I don’t even know this is what he wants. We’ve all misread Monta and I’ve never heard him complain about not getting the ball enough. It’s hard to believe, too, that he wouldn’t be a lot happier with a winning team and not feeling he’s carrying the team on his back, as he must now. And really, Monta is probably the best choice for whatever this motion (?) offense is, dribbling around in a crowd, but that’s not saying anything because it is a bad offense.

    Together, they can outrun any team in the NBA, if someone lets them run.

    What we don’t know is how well they’d play with a decent center and the other pieces the team is missing. Think how many assists both would have now if they had a center to feed. Think about the fast breaks they could run if Lee had some help with rebounding — and we had a coach committed to running. Think about what they both might do if the offense spread the court and gave them room.

    On defense, again they would play better with more help up front. But also I think their quickness is underestimated. Start with their steals, the turnovers they bring.

    And both need a spell during the game to last an entire season, both can run a team by himself. And if one goes down for a few weeks, they’re still in great shape.

    Fix the other problems first, starting with the coach. Great teams have depth and flexibility. Curry and Ellis offer this.

    Fix the other problems first.

  50. OT:

    If you want to see what Curry and Ellis can do together, watch the YouTube clip of the last 6 minutes of the Dallas game last year, above. Remember Curry and Ellis played the entire game and that Ellis has already scored 30+ points.

    Ellis can learn to play defense better — I see several mistakes in the clip — as can Curry. Monta might play better if he’s not playing so much and carrying such a heavy load. And the Warriors can help themselves in defense if they set the tempo, instead of the other way around. Running against other teams can put them out of rhythm, offense and defense. We’ve seen it, we’ve seen it, we’ve seen it.

  51. rgg,

    I know what they CAN do, and on a few occasions they’ve done it. I’ve spent the entire season preaching patience, that with a new coach who has the right approach with them, this could be an awesome duo. But the post-All-Star Break shenanigans, I can’t only fault Smart–Monta completely taking over the offense and Curry mostly being scuttled off to the corner. Monta is also behind this in some fashion, mark my words.

    Monta is the dominant personality on this team and he clearly has Smart’s ear. The two of them have marginalized Curry all year, and now RWilliams, and the team is falling apart at the seams.

  52. Loved the Nellie interview. Didn’t expect him to say anything about this year’s Warriors, and he didn’t. Very informative for those unfamiliar with his career, and even confirmed a few things for me that I didn’t know until my friend and Warriorsologist gswfan30 shared them with me recently. Nellie had the opportunity to coach the Bird Celtics and the Duncan Spurs. Wow. Is there any other coach in history of whom you could say “what might have been…” so many times?

    Very interestingly he left the door open as to whether he would return to coaching. And said he’s already had a couple of feelers… Which to me means only one thing:

    THE MIAMI HEAT. That is the only team that I believe could bring Nellie out of retirement. Lebron at point power forward. All-out Nellieball.

    What might be!

  53. When Nelson said he got fired because he tried to get Biedrins to shoot free throws underhand, I’m sure he meant he was fired because of the impression that he couldn’t get along with his players, and the Biedrins interview didn’t help. He’s probably guessing with the rest of us, since Lacob never made his reasons clear to him or to us. I hope there’s more to it–look how Biedrins turned out.

    I hadn’t heard the story about Weber refusing to run a lap after missing a layup. If it was Ellis Nelson couldn’t get along with, Nelson was dead right, and Ellis should be grateful. He did have to develop into a point guard.

    Nelson was quite clear that the team couldn’t go far with two small guards. He was also quite brief about Curry, and, of course, said nothing about Smart or the team’s future.

    Maybe so, OT. The evidence doesn’t contradict you. One thing is clear, though, that the two guards won’t work out if a coach doesn’t put them on the same page, as Smart has not.

    Acie Law probably plays better than Curry in Smart’s offense, which isn’t saying anything at all since Curry has been hobbled and the offense doesn’t work. 8 shots last night, and 20 minutes (those foul calls!).

    So what has this season accomplished? Nothing has been developed, nothing resolved. If Smart gets fired, they’re back to square one with all the uncertainties remaining. Will trading Ellis or Curry come back again? Who stays? It looks like if Smart had his way, he’d let Curry go, but is anybody listening to him?

    Or is Smart, in fact, following the intent of his FO, and is setting up a Curry trade?

  54. Lacob said he’d wait until the end of the season to evaluate Smart. He has put Smart in an impossible position, really since the first week after the All Star break. Even though the odds of impressing Lacob with the “unexpected” are slim to none, Smart has to play each game to win–or win the way he thinks he can win, in the event he might yet impress Lacob, which may account for his relying on what he thinks is a sure thing and his best shot, turning the team over to Monta. Or he keeps trying to show Lacob the kind of coaching he thinks Lacob wants, with the hopes he can make it work. (Or has the FO dictated the style of play? Or–I still think this–is Smart doing what he wants to do?)

    Smart keeps talking about the future, but does he have one? If the above is right, he isn’t allowed to experiment or try to bring other players along in what clearly now is a lost season.

    Lacob’s wait and see attitude–or indecision–is hurting the team.

  55. hey where is the nellie interview?????

  56. Chronicle Live — same channel as Warriors. Not sure if they’ll replay it.

  57. Thw two current players Nellie had the biggest issues with were Monta and Biedrins. Nellie says Monta wasn’t and isn’t prepared to take on all of the responsiblities of being a point guard. I totally agree with him. Now, we have Smart handing over the keys of the offense to Monta even though Monta is not equipped to handle them. Monta is the strongest personality on this team and he’s run roughshod over a weak rookie coach. The two of them together have not only hi-jacked the team this season, but they’ve derailed the development of Curry, RWilliams and even Udoh. Udoh only really gets a chance after Biedrins goes down and now this will be an embarrassment for Smart as Udoh shows he can, indeed, produce 5 times better than Biedrins when given some playing time.
    Nellie said Curry’s development this year had taken a step backward. I was disappointed that Pappa did not ask follow-up questions about this. I’d love to hear from Nellie what he really thinks about the way Smart is handling Curry and Ellis. He must be very disappointed with Keith Smart.

  58. Nelson was also quite strong in his praise of Mitch Richmond. If I heard correctly, he made it clear that it was his decision to trade him for Billy Owens–and that the trade was a mistake. His argument was that they needed Owens’ size to go to the next level and take on the top teams, which is probably right, but it was a gamble with unknowns and of course it didn’t work out.

    It was also the decision that made me question Nelson (I was only a casual observer). My humble opinion is that you keep the strengths you have, making whatever adjustments needed, and build from there. Also shooting for the top tier teams is a tremendous gamble with too many risks, unless you have the bucks and a pool of talent you can lure to correct your mistakes. Look at the Lakers.

    But shooting for the top seems to be Lacob’s mindset, my concern.

  59. rgg,
    No risk; no reward.
    After hearing Nellie’s comments last night, I’m more concerned than ever about the team’s chemistry if we keep Monta. I just don’t see Curry and Monta in the same backcourt working going forward, even with a new coach. As Nellie said last night, Curry is the team’s “most valuable player”.
    Nellie said he still watches all of the Warriors’ games. You have to think that he still talks to Riley about the team and players occasionally. It is pretty clear that if they could get a good taller 2 guard for Monta, Nellie thinks that is the way to go. Is that player available? It will be interesting to see what Lacob and Riley do.

  60. OT:

    If you listen to the way Lacob talks about the team (defense/rebounding/controlled offense) and look at the way Smart is coaching, Curry would be the one to go. And if you only looked at Curry the last few weeks without seeing him before, you would think he is expendable.

    I’m against risks based on abstract speculations and narrow ways of thinking.

  61. The other problem with Ellis, assuming trading him is considered, is that we may not be able to get what we need in exchange. It’s fairly clear trading him has been considered several times the last two seasons. Will this summer be different?

    Remember the Ellis for Mayo and Thabeet? Houston just sent Thabeet back to the D league.

  62. rgg,
    I haven’t heard Lacob talk about controlled offense. I’ve heard him say that a team can be good defensively and still run on offense, and that’s what he wants to do. I agree with that approach.

    And recall that at the beginning of the year, Lacob didn’t even list Monta as one of the two key building blocks of the team–he listed Curry and Lee. In terms of trading Ellis, his value this summer ought to be as high as it’s ever going to be. His offensive stats are higher than ever. He’s learned to create for others a bit so could spell someone at the pg position, in addition to playing pg. His attitude seems much better. If you can’t trade him for someone very good now, that tells us something about his true value. If so, it doesn’t make sense to keep him and watch his value diminish even further. In a couple of more years, his athleticism is going to start declining, too.

    We’ll see but I think Lacob now gets what’s going wrong.

  63. How’d you like to have $165k in your checking account? LOL

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6245931&categoryid=2378529

  64. Loved the Nellie interview. Only problem was it wasn’t long enough. My money says he’ll eventually coach again, and I’ll be rooting like hell for him when and wherever.

    Here’s the link to the interview. CSN breaks it into 6 parts.

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/pages/warriorsvideo

  65. Thanks Steve for the link. I will enjoy this interview with Nellie. I am sitting pondering why this blog is so good and why there is a group that still longs for Nellie. The first thing that popped into my mind is Bill Walsh. I grew up watching the NFL on tv and moved to the bay area in 1980 – the first year of Walsh. I was captivated by watching a team that went against the code of the NFL, run run pass. It was a totally different game plan and I was hooked. A huge Walsh fan I followed the 49ers closely and particularly watched during training camp to see how Walsh constructed the roster. I will never forget the most enjoyment I think I have ever had watching a sporting event was after The Catch when the 9ers stopped Dallas and needed a good offensive series to ice the game. I was expecting to continue to see short passes and instead Walsh repeatedly runs a journeyman, Lenvil Elliot, into the vaunted Dallas defense and totally catches them off guard. Game Won – GENIUS.. I guess I fell for Nellie during the TMC days where as a season ticket holder I loved watching the unusual style of play and rooted for pizza at what was it – 120 points??? GENIUS. I used to go to the chalk talks for season ticket holders and Nellie was masterful. Working his Aw Shucks Iowa farm boy shtick to dish on all the players – “Clyde Drexler is an asshole and a cancer to a team” and “Lawrence Frank’s problem is he cannot think about anything but sex longer than 20 seconds.”. And there were free hot dogs.

    GOD am I pissed that Nellie didn’t coach this team. Smart has been a HUGE disappointment. Only Lacob knows where this thing is trying to be headed towards as it is currently headed nowhere. And perhaps, as I lost a little faith in Feltbot when he fell under the spell of cocktail franks, but now I have a whole new appreciation for FB’s line that he believes Lacob will do big things with this team. The big things are big failures as in the pursuit of Melo… I was depressed when Walsh left the niners and Siefert took over as I totally knew it would never be the same. And never be the same has turned out to be worse than I ever imagined. And so my depression at this Warrior season bodes a dark future I fear.

  66. I can’t imagine someone on National TV boasting that he has $165K in his checking account. Especially with so many folks suffering in this economy. Money can’t buy you class, Mark Cuban. Unbelievable.

  67. Warriors Fan

    A few thoughts about how Smart should play this out these last games of the season:

    1. Smart needs to focus on player development and changing things up instead of on WINNING games. What does attempting to win games do for us in the end? Lower our draft position in the end and not test the waters with our less-played players such as Jeff Adrien and Jeremy Lin. Honestly, Vlad and Law are both free agents in the summer, and haven’t we seen pretty much seen what both bring to the table in terms of their game? Honestly I would like to see Adrien take a few of Vlad’s minutes and Lin take some of Law’s minutes just to see what they can do. This is why it is confusing to me that Lin is back in the D-league again at a time when we could be trying him out in what is a sunk season when it comes to focusing on winning.

    2. I would also like for Smart to lower Monta’s minutes for a few games to the 30 ish range. It’s becoming quickly evident that the extensive minutes he has played this season is catching up on him both defensively and offensively. Instead, I think that he needs to play Curry 30 minutes a night, even if he gets in foul trouble or turns the ball over occasionally. He needs to learn how to not reach in or get ticky tack fouls which do us no good, and being on the bench for WAY too long (which Smart tends to do) is not the answer to this problem. It only makes Curry more likely to be out of rhythm when he comes back into the game. Only playing twenty minutes, like at San Antonio two days ago, makes NO SENSE to me whatsoever and accomplishes nothing when you give those minutes to Law instead.

  68. Let’s not forget that Keith Smart is on trial. Lacob is watching and evaluating. I don’t see how Smart helps himself by developing bench players and options for next year, because that increases the likelihood of losses, which doesn’t look good on the performance evaluation. On the other hand, three of his starters — Ellis, Curry and Wright — have been inconsistent on offense and desultory on defense. Smart has been forced to go to his bench a lot, which puts him in a bind.

    The play of that trio is explainable by one key fact — they hold the future of Keith Smart in their hands. If they’re not keen on wanting him back, why would they be motivated to give 100%? Why would they want his evaluation to look good? From they way they’ve been playing, they clearly are not that motivated. From that, I conclude they do not want him back; they want a better coach who’ll know how to take advantage of their skills. Everything else in the way of season-ending strategy pales against this overarching cloud, which will clear only when Smart is given his final handshake.

  69. My son showed me this:
    http://msn.foxsports.com/video/NBA?vid=f4633831-a541-4e5a-80b5-281418d06b9e

    Nice report on Melo and the Knicks, for those regretting the trade. Also it was speculated that either the system or the coach needs to change. Think anybody here would be interested?

    Ellison and the SJ Hornets?

  70. Our Team, thanks for your perspective on Lacob’s probable options for his next coach. the owner will probably ask his candidates what they want to do with the starting back court, if they’re both still around at that point and he is still publicly supporting the notion of keeping both. and that is where it is essential that he gets a coach with sufficient stature and authority to make significant changes in ellis’ game on both ends. unfortunately, ellis’ excesses have been empowered by smart, possibly beyond the point of reform.

    we can only hope that lacob and riley don’t set some prohibitive value if they do choose to market ellis — they have to understand that his absence in itself opens many possibilities to improve the team and that he should not be ‘replaced’ by an equivalent 2 guard at all. the requisites for a better 2-guard [better, i.e. one that would boost the team's chances to win more consistently] are pretty basic : perimeter d, passing, rebounding at least at an acceptable level, versatility on offense without needing to score big or assume a high volume of shot attempts. if ellis broke his leg slipping on one of his kid’s toys over the summer, his ‘value’ would be moot and they’d open the job search to draft picks or free agents from the d-league or international ball.

    ellis’ ‘value’ is whatever another team would place on it ; the objective of a trade isn’t to meet some notion of how valuable he is, but to improve the team’s possibilities.

  71. Not recapping this mess, everyone’s had enough of my rage in the last few weeks. It should be clear to all that the Warriors are now in full tank mode, both as directed from above, and now with the dejected cooperation of Ellis and Curry.

    Before I post again, I want to get a look at how they play the next two games, which may be their only winnable games for the rest of the season. Toronto and Washington at home. Well, maybe they’ll manage a win on the last game of the season at home against Portland’s second unit. Maybe.

    Is it possible the Warriors go 0-16 to close the season? I think Joe Lacob would be secretly delighted.

  72. The games this last week and probably the weeks to come will feed every suspicion and bias Warriors fans have, the Curry skeptics, the Ellis haters, the defense-firsters, the Smart haters, the Lee haters, the we-need-behemoths-in-the-front-court believers, etc. And they have all the evidence they need to tear this team apart any number of ways. Thanks, Joe. Somebody is going to need to interpret this mess aright, even if it means repeating himself.

    But I’m going to let Lt. Greenwald (Jose Ferre) defend Captain Queeg — he makes his entry about 40 seconds in:

  73. Great game last night between SA and Denver. The Spurs big shot makers wore down in the second half, but great effort by both teams all game long.

    And kudos to the Nuggets front office for not only rescuing their franchise from what could have been a “Melo-disaster” and instead emerging as a far better team, both short and long term. Easily now a top-5 NBA team in terms of pure excitement and entertainment. And the Knicks? LOL

    NBA Power Rankings from SI.com. Warriors at #22 and falling rapidly into the lottery abyss.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/britt_robson/03/22/nba.power.rankings/index.html?eref=sihp

  74. I’m going to quote myself from last September:

    “If they’re only looking for an interim coach and aren’t serious about Smart, they would have kept Nelson simply because of continuity and his experience. If Smart is seen as an interim coach, he’s going to be in a tough — impossible? — spot. Also, how can they start a season with so many new players, with such high expectations, using a coach they intend to replace? This doesn’t speak to stability or wins next year or the future.

    “But if they are serious about Smart — and I’ve heard multi-year contract mentioned — they have to give him a shot. Couldn’t he have waited a year, or perhaps picked up the reins more as the season went along? And if Smart is serious about taking over, I hope he is calling his shots and demanding terms (or is this what happened?). A new head coach will have to have that confidence in himself and have terms that will give him a chance to prove himself and room and time to develop.

    “If they’re not serious about Smart, but are just looking for a stopgap solution, I really wonder what they’re doing. And if they don’t put full confidence in him, even if for just one year, but try to direct from above, I’m really worried.

    http://feltbot.wordpress.com/2010/09/18/crazy-nellie-don-nelson-the-gm/

    The reason I’m quoting myself is that I’m not that clever. Lacob should have seen this coming from the start. I suspect we’ve seen enough of Smart to realize he’s not the man, but his job terms were a setup for failure.

  75. Warriors Assistant GM Larry Riley speaks! (and defends Curry/Ellis backcourt) : http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=19218

  76. ANTHONY RANDOLPH GOES FOR 31/11

    Anthony Randolph(notes) had a career-high 31 points with 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who’ve lost their last five games and are without injured All-Star forward Kevin Love(notes).

    Randolph made his first start of the season in place of Love. Randolph, acquired from the Knicks in a three-team trade on Feb. 22, had a 23-point first half, 17 in the second quarter.

    “We’re missing a huge part of our team without Kevin being here,” said Randolph. “I think if he was here, we definitely would have won the game.”

    Steve, any link to the highlights?

  77. I saw one 4th Q highlight on ESPN: Randolph got steamrolled on the defensive boards, getting knocked off the court by Tyson Chandler for the easy offensive rebound and jam.

    That’s about all I need to know. He was going against Nowitzki most of the game.

  78. Yeah but…31/11 is good in your drvieway!

  79. Won’t have time to watch tonight’s game for a couple days, so this thread will remain open.

    I definitely plan to post something after the next game. Apologies for the extended vacation, just swamped with stuff right now.

  80. Brytex, here’s the package for that game vs Dallas. Not much love for AR in these highlights given his numbers for the game. One steal for a breakaway dunk on offense, and getting pushed around by Chandler under the boards on defense.

    Kept getting a domain page error message the last few days for this page, asking me to log in to get back. Log in? Finally typed feltbot into google and found my way back. Weird. I know, it must be Robert Rowell’s fault. LOL

  81. Kawakami jumps on the bandwagon and predicts the release of Keith Smart in an even-handed column lacking his usual malevolence:
    http://www.insidebayarea.com/columns/ci_17686617

  82. MWLX, what are you doing reading Kawakami? Shame!

    Break up the Dubs!! :)

  83. Steve: Agreed, but I don’t read his online excrement, just the Tribune, where I carefully avoid looking at 90% of his crapola.

  84. OK, apparently we are now self-hosted on feltbot.com. Sorry for the extended interruption.

    I now need to add back the widgets and stuff that were formerly on the site. If any0ne notices any disruptions to how they were using the site, such as subscription services, or whatever, please let me know.

  85. Felty, at least start a new open thread. Just a thought…

  86. Four more wins for the Warriors this season? No way. Final record of 34-48. Go Giants!

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/warriors/2011/03/29/plan-c-for-warriors-36-wins/#more-2226