Uptempo: Warriors 119 Jazz 101

If I squinted my eyes really hard, I thought I could see some remnants of Don Nelson basketball in this Warriors win over the Jazz….  

I’m not going to make too much out of this win. The Jazz were on the road on a back-to-back, and their three top backcourt players were out of action. And even when the Jazz are at full strength, they’re a team I think the Warriors should run out of the gym virtually every time they play.

The Warriors are way too quick and way too skilled for the Jazz, when they actually play Don Nelson, errr… Warriors basketball.  Pushing the tempo, spreading the floor. Pick and roll, with three of the most gifted offensive basketball players on the planet.  Creating.

This was a great game to watch not because it was a great win, but simply because it was one of the rare games in the last two years when the Warriors were actually allowed to play the way Don Nelson, errr… Larry Riley designed them to play.

Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry:  Can we stop with the carping about these two players?  I mean seriously, sometimes it seems as if Warriors fans have no memory.  They have no memory of Monta Ellis shooting 60% in a month for Don Nelson.  No memory of him carrying 6 man Warriors teams for three months.  No memory of his spectacular assist games. No memory of him checking Durant and Roy, turning over Kobe Bryant 7 times, or absolutely devouring Derrick Rose.

No memory of Stephen Curry averaging 21 – 7 – 5 in the second half of his rookie season, while shooting 46-43-88.  Numbers that only a handful of NBA players in history have achieved.  Put up in his rookie year, playing with a D-league front line.

Are these guys really only as good as their last game?  Only as good as they appear to be while playing in the WRONG system, for rookie coaches, at a drastically slowed pace?

Nonsense.  Complete and utter nonsense.  Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry, when healthy, when allowed to play in the system for which God created them, and when given the proper support, are two of the very best players

In. The. League.

Period.

David Lee:  Did you notice the difference between Lee’s 2-12 first half and his 7-11 second half?

Obviously, Lee was cold in the first half.  But he was also being played in the WRONG SYSTEM.  The Warriors walked the ball up the court, and posted Lee up.  WRONG.

In the second half, Mark Jackson got it right, finally, when Biedrins left the court.  Pick and roll after pick and roll.  That is what David Lee is designed for.  That, and beating his man down court, which he did as well.

There is a current meme among Warriors fans that David Lee is “soft.” That he only gets easy rebounds, never “clutch” rebounds. This is one of the most absurd things I’ve ever heard.  There is simply no such thing as a soft player averaging 12 rebounds a game at the center position, as Lee did for the Knicks, nor averaging 10 while playing out of position at power forward, as he has for the Warriors. No such thing.

And isn’t David Lee the guy who almost single-handledly beat the good Knicks team (pre-Melo), in Madison Square Garden, with a filthy Wilson Chandler fang lodged in his elbow?

Any memory of that, Warriors fans?

Soft?

Beans: Dre is kryptonite for Al Jefferson.  Has been his entire career.  Not just too long and quick for him, but too smart.  Never goes for any of his multiple pump fakes.  Positions himself perfectly, challenges the shot without jumping, and beats him to the rebound.

A huge contrast to the two mentally-challenged jumping beans on the overrated Clippers front line, whom Jefferson absolutely tortured yesterday.  I watched the game.

The Nightmare:  Did you see that 20 footer?  Udoh is now shooting the shot that Nellie would have had him shooting since day one. Why? Because win, lose or draw, that is the shot that opens the floor for David Lee in the pick and roll. As we saw.

And we also saw that Udoh can hit that shot. Repeatedly.

7 points on 3-5, 4 rb, 1 assist, 1 stl, 3 BS.  Not quite a winning fantasy basketball line.  But very, very close.

Can we get him, say, 28 minutes instead of 18?

The Injury Miracle that ended the Kwame Brown Era just may turn out to be the key to this Warriors season.  If The Nightmare keeps coming.

Jeremy Tyler:  Although I can see what attracted Joe Lacob to Tyler — he’s a heck of an athlete for his size — I have several problems with playing him in an NBA basketball game.

Because he’s not even close to being an NBA basketball player.  He literally has no idea what’s going on on the court.  This kid belongs in the D-league, along with Anthony Randolph.

I’m sure the rationale for playing Tyler is that the Warriors need to develop him now, because they’re going to need him later in the season.  And also, Joe Lacob needs to demonstrate to the assembled media that he didn’t leave the Warriors bare-assed naked at center.  For the second straight year.

These rationales are bad.  First of all, because no matter how many second quarter minutes Jackson spoonfeeds Tyler this season, he will never be ready for first quarter or third quarter minutes, let alone fourth quarter minutes.  This is a multi-year project, at best.

And second, because he is killing the Warriors’ second-quarter unit.  Since the second injury miracle that brought Nate Robinson to the team, the Warriors actually have a very deep small ball bench. And that is exactly how the bench has been lighting up opposing teams.  By running.  With small ball.

But since Tyler has been added to the second quarter unit, this running has turned to a crawl.  This needs to end, if the Warriors want to compete with good teams.

To win against big front lines, the Warriors shouldn’t be trying to match up big.  They should be running these teams off the court.

You know, the way George Karl did to the Kings a couple of nights ago. (That’s how you get 90 points in the paint, Bob Fitzgerald.) Or the way George Karl did to the Clippers tonight, 112-91, in Staples Center.

Or the way Mark Jackson did to the Jazz in the second half tonight, mirabile dictu.

Mark Jackson:  Beyond the second half adjustment to running and pick and roll, one other major adjustment caught my eye:

At the end of the second half and again at the end of the third quarter, it was Curry who had the ball in his hands, not Monta Ellis.  Curry hit a clever 12 foot leaner to close the half.  To close the third Q, Curry ran pick and roll with Lee.  Lee’s pass was disrupted, but on the ensuing inbounds, Curry set up Monta for a three with a beautiful behind the back pass.

I really, really like this adjustment.

And I really, really liked the sarcasm that Jackson unleashed in the post-game presser, in response to a question about the great play of Ellis and Curry:

Too small, can’t handle the rock, can’t play together….

If Jackson gets the right lineups on the floor and gets the Warriors out and running and gets Udoh out firing on the wing and gets David Lee at center in the pick and roll… then we’ll just see about that, Matt Steinmetz.

124 Responses to Uptempo: Warriors 119 Jazz 101

  1. Good Review Feltie,

    But Biedrins did not school Jefferson though. Utah did not go to Al Jeff Enough. He scored at will when posted on the right side of the block. In the 3rd, the Jazz finally started going to him every time. AB bit on ball fake after ball fake. When Udoh came in (+15), as you say he was a Nightmare for Al Jeff.

    AB did get 9 rebounds mostly in the first half, but had zero points. In short, Jefferson is losing sleep tonight because of an injured foot, not because AB is a nightmare. We all know who the Nightmare is.

  2. Felt, good game to watch, I agree. Of course, the Warriors winning made it that much more enjoyable. Besides, it was a needed respite (for me) from “Lob City” and all the over-the-top hype surrounding that group. Sorry, but NBA players dunking the basketball has never made my Top 10 list on why I enjoy watching pro hoops.

    I liked seeing Curry with the ball more often than not in this game. He really made some great passes tonight. And for a change I enjoyed MJ’s postgame chatter (linked below), as you alluded. Overall a two thumbs up night of BB.

    http://www.csnbayarea.com/pages/video?PID=cYNxY7hjxkJoxy1dgqlSPVusGb6hA7O7

    • Curry passes were special tonight! On the break, in traffic, behind the back, those two lobs to Ellis/Lee – and even the ones the W’s didn’t convert…

  3. For all those sorry fans of LAC and Cal who missed a good game at The Oracle……………. :)

    • Finally caught up with the Ws game by recording the 2 a.m. Comcast replay and watching it later. Sorry, but the Cal-AZ game was by far the best game of the night. Tremendous intensity for 40 minutes, college kids leaving it all on the floor in a tight contest. Wonderful to see, and something we don’t get in a full NBA game until the regular season is over.

      The Ws game was fun starting with 2:15 left in the 3rd quarter, when it was tied at 75 and the Ws then went on a 44-26 run. Some spectacular plays earlier, but a boring first half and none of the overall intensity of the Cal game.

      The Clips game was entertaining, though the Clips ran out of gas while playing their fourth game in five nights (absurd scheduling that is partly responsible for robbing NBA games of their intensity). The game was most notable for the retribution imposed on Blake Griffin by Timofey Mozgov, who absolutely flattened Griffin on a dunk attempt in the third quarter. Payback can be satisfying.

  4. 33-33

  5. ‘mentally challenged jumping beans’ thank you, again, feltmeister for the recap and for giving me the small comfort that i’m not the sole n.b.a. observer who doesn’t care for Griffin’s game.

    seeing more of this kind of game might depend heavily on how Curry’s ankle, and overall energy related to the accompanying aches and inflammation, inhibit his mobility and full engagement. Udoh needs to show this level of play every game to suppress the noise about how many years the team was set back when Riley didn’t take Monroe. 4 boards per 18 min. is on the low end of an acceptable rate for his position, and tolerable in the context of how he stiffens the team’s d.

  6. Thanks Feltbot!
    I too enjoyed watching this game – even a win at home with this W’s team and that Jazz team – is not automatic. I’m not looking too much into it because the Jazz were on the end of the back-to-back and were without their three top guards.

    Monta Ellis schooling Gordon Haywood and Stephen Curry schooling Jamal Tinsley – not a big deal in the NBA – I actually EXPECT it. Gordon is still learning the game and I didn’t know Tinsley was even still in the Association.

    Yes, Udoh canning those three perimeter shots – he’ll be in the Association a very long time if he can hit those with any consistency. Udoh really changes the game defensively that don’t show up in box scores – he made Al Jefferson pass the ball into the stands, makes opponents change their shots, blocks shots – resulting in fast breaks. Udoh needs more minutes… And not be so nice.

    RE: Tyler – you’re right about big development – it does take a couple of seasons at least to bring up a good young big. He’s got potential. I hope we can acquire another young big prospect – in the offseason. DeAndre Jordan dropped huge in the draft and took many years just to be where he is today. D. Blair dropped as well – every team can use a cheap big man – but you can’t get one unless you actually draft and develop one once in a while!

  7. OT: “Love me, hate me, just don’t ignore me.”

    Can you really feel sorry for this guy? I’m trying. I don’t think I’m gonna make it but I’m trying.

    http://www.gq.com/sports/profiles/201202/terrell-owens-nfl-football-wide-receiver

  8. Adam Lauridsen’s contentious interview of Joe Lacob:

    http://blogs.mercurynews.com/warriors/2012/02/03/fast-break-interview-with-warriors-owner-joe-lacob/

    It reveals as much about Lauridsen’s prejudices — he has hated David Lee from day one — as it does about Lacob’s. Lacob quite clearly believes, for example, that lowering the number of points you allow in a game equates with better defense. This is the kind of confusion that accounts for the NBA careers of Mike Brown, Mike Malone, Mike Fratello and several other defensive geniuses.

    One line at the end of the interview hit me like a spear to the gut:

    “Larry tells me, who knows, maybe we’ll end up with another first round pick.”

    What does this mean, Warriors fans? To me it means one of two things. Either Lacob is content with tanking, in the hopes that the Top-8 protected pick in Utah’s pocket kicks in, or the Warriors are currently in trade talks to gut the team. Or both, I guess.

    Any other possibility?

    • Feltbot,

      How do you feel about the trade Don Nelson made for Marcus Williams that could cost the Warriors their 1st Round pick this year?

      • It’s funny that one with your handle wouldn’t know the facts of that trade. It was made by Chris Mullin over Nellie’s fierce objections. And Nellie never gave Williams a minute, over Mullie’s fierce objections.

        Since you’re probably unwilling to work on your knowledge, how about simply changing your handle?

        • Yes, as a ticket holder when Nellie was here, If his looks at Marcus Williams could kill, Marcus wouldnt still be living in Nashville. Nellie only put him in begrudgingly (injuries no backup). Williams had no shooting ability whatsoever. Why would Nellie want him?

          Nellie haters should at least speak the truth.

        • The Truth is Don Nelson has ZERO NBA Titles as a head coach. If he is so great how is this possible?????

    • I read the interview–oooooof on both counts, interviewer and interviewee. What both seem to have in common, however, is that neither has much confidence in the potential of the major players as a whole.

      Trading Rush for Amundsen, Lacob says, was “clever”–ooof again. I hate to think where the team would be if the FO didn’t get lucky with this trade and they were still stuck with Lou this year. Lacob got bailed out on a really bad decision.

      Shame you can’t have a shot at Lacob, FB. I think we can pretty much guess what questions you would ask.

    • Why torture yourself by reading the asinine AL blog? And why spend time reacting to the asinine posts therein, when one already knows they’ll be asinine? In case I haven’t made my point clearly: Asinine – Failing to exercise intelligence or judgment; ridiculously below average rationality. Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of donkeys.

      Just look up Lauridsen or Kawakami on Wiktionary, and you’ll find that definition.

  9. Great writeup. I still wonder what Biedrins added, all told. Jefferson still got his points (I haven’t checked against which lineup). I also wonder if we learned anything about him that will be useful and relevant in the next games.

    But I look very closely. I didn’t see a single “remnant from the past,” certainly not in the last half of the third qtr.

  10. Felty: Thanks for reminding us of the outstanding history of both Curry and Ellis.

    With regard to Udoh, your article would have been more informative if you pointed out that when Udoh was on the court in toward the end of third quarter and in the fourth quarter, that Utah’s low field goal shooting was only 27% (6-22) ,and that he had two blocks shots resulting in lay-ups.

    When the Warriors run the court their field goal % increases, and they get to the foul line.

    Biedrins did not play Jefferson well in the third quarter, as Jefferson went 5-5 against Biedrins.

    Do you consider a frontline of Udoh, D. Lee, and D.Wright, playing smallball?

    • Yes, Biedrins obviously weakened in the third Q, as he has all season long. Not to mention the last several years. But you neglect to mention a couple of things yourself: He held Jefferson to 1-6 in the first Q. And he outrebounded him 8-6 for both quarters.

      I don’t believe its either/or with Beans and Udoh, Frank, just as I don’t believe it with Curry and Ellis. Beans is extraordinarily useful in certain situations against certain post players. And Udoh clearly has problems playing big minutes, especially against big frontlines that outweigh him.

      Which is not to say I don’t love what Udoh does defensively. I think that should be clear from earlier posts. I would like to see a lot more of Udoh/Lee lineups in the fourth quarter, particularly if Udoh can hit that 20 footer. It’s not really small ball, is it? Although everyone in the world but me — and particularly Joe Lacob — would call it that.

      It’s Nellieball.

  11. Clips sign Kenyon Martin. It’s over in the Western Conference. Clips vs. Heat in the NBA Finals. Should be interesting.

  12. Felty: I think that Jefferson just missed shots, not that Biedrins affected his shots. The fact remains that Jefferson did nothing against Udoh, not only missing shots, but being forced to pass the ball.Last year, Jefferson shot quite well playing against Biedrins.

    Yes, Biedrins plays good post defense, but what good does that do, when he does not provide help defense to slashers and big man who score at will at the rim when he is on the court? Anyhow, Udoh was the best in the NBA last year in isolation defense. If you wqant the Warriors to continue to run in the fourth quarter, Udoh is your man.

    Jefferson can be considered a big. He didn’t push Udoh around. Yes, bigs, like Howard can push him around. But Howard plays quite well against everyone in the league, and as you have correctly pointed out, Jackson should have helped Udoh out, by double-teaming Howard.

    Actually, I never want to see Biedrins in the fourth quarter. I think you have said the same. And if the Warriors have the lead, I really want to see what a Udoh, McQuire, D. Lee frontcourt, can do.

    You have advocated playing Lee at center in the fourth quarter. That simply does not work. Especially when teams, as we have seen seen, attack the rim and not settled for three’s when Lee is playing center.

    • Agreed. Jefferson missed shots that were there. And Utah did not get blown out until after Biedrins left the game. Finally, we all know when Biedrins is in the offense (so to speak). His MAN DOES NOT GUARD HIM. As you yourself have mentioned, its 4 Warriors against 5 OPPONENTS. Note in the replay, how fast AB gets rid of the ball whenever he has it. Even dunks only occur in an instant. He does not even look at the rim, or attempt to do anything else except get rid of the ball. He can never dominate AlJeff or anyone until he is a real threat offensivelt. Must say Feltie, you sound like Lacob or Mjack when you defend the Latvian Louse.

    • You guys should know that I agree with virtually everything you say re Biedrins. Nevertheless, the Warriors need someone to take punishing minutes in the first and third quarters against the bigger centers. Right now there’s no one but Beans.

  13. Three part interview of Joe Lacob on KNBR (2-3-12).

    Part 1: http://www.knbr.com/portals/3/podcasts/razormrt/020312lacob1.mp3

  14. Warriors practice interviews (2-3-12).

  15. Big game for Anthony Morrow tonight vs. Minn.! 20 shots, 42 points.

  16. Getting back to the Lauridsen-Lacob interview for a second, I was disappointed that AL didn’t ask why Lacob fired Nelson. Lacob said Smart still represented the Nelson culture, but he wanted to wait a whole season to make big changes. So if both coaches represented the “bad old Warriors culture,” why not keep the better coach?

    Lacob was paying Nelson anyway, AND he had to give Smart a raise, and his team would have won more under Nelson, improving ticket sales, etc. By firing Nelson and replacing him with a lesser coach, Lacob arranged to have a lost season. I don’t get it. I wish someone would ask Lacob about that sometime.

    • during the summer of ownership transition, Lacob made several public statements about ‘unprofessional’ behaviour from personnel, disputes carried out in the media und so weiter, and they weren’t even thinly disguised critiques aimed at Nelson. He never asked Nelson to meet with him in person after his bid for the team succeeded, so his intent was pretty clear.

      we should recall with fondness how the league had to send a memo to all teams about their disapproval of Nelson’s practice of bringing a beer up with him to the post game media appearances, and how big a fuss the bloggers and fans made about his bored or disgusted expression when watching the games from the bench. he wasn’t exactly a nice suit or blazer and tie kind of guy in his final seasons, either. as far as hoops, Lacob has directly criticized what he described as the team’s style of running and gunning while disregarding defense.

      • moto,

        I missed all the reaction to the beer. Do you know if Stern got involved in this? But if the league sends a memo, he had to be involved. The NBA cares a great deal about impressions–cf. players having to wear headbands with the NBA logo, the reaction to Rondo’s wearing his headband upside down–and not without cause in some cases. The beer had to go. Other cases, however, I wonder.

        If the league reaction was strong, what I’m wondering is if Lacob decided he had to get rid of Nelson to improve his status there, even create some leverage with Stern (wow, we got a good schedule in the shortened season).

        You, of course, haven’t sided with Lacob. A few more thoughts:

        Nelson didn’t like the post game appearances or dealing with the press in general, hardly surprising given what he endured for decades. I must confess I rather miss those laconic displays, especially compared with what we endure now. If he looked bored on the bench, his players didn’t look bored on the court. Many players were quite enthusiastic about Nelson, though their comments didn’t receive much press.

        Lacob’s rejection of Nelson strategy looks to be largely an impression as well. I haven’t heard any specific analysis of what Nelson did, what was right, what was wrong, or why, and of course Lacob never asked him.

        Impressions scare me.

        • Lacob is public image obsessed (has a brand to promote), so we might never hear him share in public what he thought of Nelson–‘if one can’t say anything nice about a person, don’t say….’, other than bland platitudes. Hoops-wise, Lacob knows he’s a midget in every sense next to Nelson, and gaining a championship is his only means to come close. if he didn’t give a token share of the team to the Logo, every person on the hoops side of his corporation would owe their position in the league completely to him.

          we can only hope that Jackson and Malone can educate their owner in real hoops, when he avoided hiring someone with established independence and success. they’ll need to find a way to win within a couple of seasons and let the owner think it was his acumen responsible.[who replaces Riley will be a major determinant]. failure could make things even uglier.

          • Lacob is also obsessed with the impression of winning. Klay Thompson, he said, will be the rookie of the year, the team will win another championship in four or five years. It’s a surefire formula to ruin a rookie and doom the team to mediocrity. Mediocre teams are made from good teams torn apart to make them great.

            Jackson may well end up with a record close to Smart’s last year. His job will be not to learn or experiment or develop but make sure he satisfies Lacob’s impressions of what he should be doing.

            One impression I hope he has been disillusioned of is that he can charm top players to come here. Perhaps that should have been foreseen at the outset of the trades this year, given previous experience years past. Instead of considering alternatives, the team has had to take bad compromises, at center for example. I fear, however, the trend will continue.

    • bloodsweatndonuts

      You can’t be the Alpha Dog if Don Nelson is in the organization and your name isn’t Don Nelson.

      So, Lacob’s ridiculous ego plus the need to pander to the idiot fringe, Flat-Earth contingency of loud-yet-uninformed Warrior fans and media made his decision for him: Fire Don Nelson, win some brownie points with the angry mob and start swinging your well-polished johnson around Warriors HQ, cuz you da man now Joe.

      Winning is secondary when you love you some you as much as Lacob does.

      • I think all the above may be closer to the truth than Lacob would ever admit, but it’s obviously not what Lacob would SAY.

        I was wondering what words Lacob would use. Firing Nelson when he did cost Lacob’s investors MILLIONS in extra expenses and lost revenue, but Lacob himself said it didn’t accomplish the culture change he felt was necessary. Jackson didn’t arrive until more than a year after Nelson was fired.

        • bloodsweatndonuts

          If you follow most of the criticism thrown at Nelson during his last year with GSW, you’ll notice a conspicuous lack of cause-and-effect analysis, proof and recognition of the fact that he was coaching 6-8 healthy bodies every night, several of which were rookies.

          The common themes were:

          He doesn’t care. He’s drunk. He’s crazy. Small Ball is not winning basketball. He doesn’t coach practice. The players hate him. He’s fat.

          With the table being set with a veritable smorgasbord of hyperbole, Lacob needed only to declare Nelson D.O.A. and the media vultures would feed on the stale mound of festering lies of their choice.

          When you only win 26 games, you don’t need to provide a logical reason for firing the coach, especially if he is unconventional and widely reviled by those who are deeply suspicious of original thinkers.

          I’m guessing he didn’t get a lot of push-back from investors for doing what was widely considered a “no brainer” of a move. Unfortunately for fan of fun, innovative, common-sense, match-up-based basketball, they were not subscribing to the slightly more literal translation of “no brainer”.

          • “stale mound of festering lies!” Love it!

            Still, while there’s no doubt that Lacob could and did get away with replacing Nelson with a not-ready-for-the-big-chair kind of guy, in retrospect it didn’t accomplish his stated goal, cost his backers big-time dollars, and forced his team to start over again from scratch twice instead of once.

            Unless Nelson was having sex with underage aardvarks, I don’t see how Lacob could look at the Nelson firing today and say it was good for the team. I’d love to hear how he rationalizes it.

    • The other impression propagated about Nelson was that he didn’t get along with his players, a lot of it based on one, who got a lot of attention in a personal interview with the rags, who complained about his treatment. . . . . . . . . .

      Biedrins.

      It was a gross exaggeration, but in his Comcast interview after all was said and done, Nelson said Biedrins got him fired.

  17. Steinmetz on Chronicle Live (before last night’s game).

  18. “Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry: Can we stop with the carping about these two players? I mean seriously, sometimes it seems as if Warriors fans have no memory.”

    Can’t let this one pass, Felty. For the three games before Utah, Ellis and Curry stank up the house (you know the stats). Now, on the basis of one game against a team missing its top three guards and playing on a back-t0-back with a flight from Salt Lake City, you praise them to the skies. Well, they should have performed, given the circumstances.

    Let’s see how they do against much tougher, quicker back courts in their next three games against Sacto, OKC and Denver. Even then, it’s a small sample. A lot remains to be proved.

    • I’m going to paraphrase Good Will Hunting to you:

      “It’s not their fault… It’s not their fault….”

      • I see signs that MJackson is loosening up on the reins, and as a result the offense is flowing better, in spurts. I appreciate your enthusiasm, but my point was that the Utah game was not one on which to base superlatives. Let’s see how they, and their coach, do against stiffer competition in the next three games.

      • It’s not Don Nelsons fault that he has ZERO Titles as a coach.

        • The first NBA championship was awarded in 1948, 64 years ago. Since then, roughly 500 different coaches have led NBA teams (early records are sketchy), but only 29 different coaches have ever won a title. That’s less than 6% of all the coaches in the history of the NBA.

          http://www.nbauniverse.com/championships/coches_with_titles.htm

          If winning the championship is the only measure of a good coach, that’s a pretty harsh judgment on the other 94%.

          It’s also unrealistic. Mediocre coaches have won NBA titles – think Rudy Tomjanovitch, riding Hakeem Olajuwon to two championships. Some very good coaches have won just one – Lenny Wilkens, for example. And a fair number of truly excellent coaches never had the world’s best team, with an Olajuwon or Chamberlain or Jordan, to go all the way. That doesn’t make them bad coaches. Sometimes their teams were simply out-spent. For example, anyone who has looked at the Lakers payroll over the last 15 years would have to agree that they did their best to buy championships. Why not? They could afford it. And in the end, players play, coaches don’t.

          As a longtime Warriors fan, suffering through the Cohan years was tough. Watching Nelson patch together rosters from smart draft picks, bargain-basement league rejects and D-leaguers was almost-but-not-quite an annual exercise in grief-to-acceptance (you know, denial, anger, etc.). But given the resources he had, Nelson did amazingly well. Championship teams, no. But always dangerous to play, for any opponent, on any given night. Not many coaches could have pulled it off. Nelson did. He was a good coach.

          • I don’t know if “TheTruth” can handle all this fact-based argument.

          • Chris Webber drafted #1 in the 1993 NBA Draft was traded away after just one season with the Warriors averaging 17.5 points and 9.1 rebounds per game and winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Chris Webber was traded away because of his constant disputes with head coach Don Nelson. Chris Webber ended up becoming one of the best power fowards in the game and future hall of famer with the Sacramento Kings.

            THANK YOU DON NELSON

          • Let’s assume Nelson made a poor decision with Webber. That’s like trying to say Albert Pujols is a bad hitter because he went 0-4 in a big game. Not especially relevant to the bigger picture.

          • Chris Webber didnt want to play center for the Warriors. Funny how the truth never explains that Since DN did’nt keep Chris, it makes him a bad coach responsible for the last 30 years of Warrior Doldrums. Never does he say the ONLY playoff runs in fourty years were with Don Nelson coaching the Warriors. I guess he would rather have Gary St Jean or Dave Cowens coaching the Dubs. Do you think the Truth might be AL or TK’s Uncle?

          • Hey Truth, I’ll give you this much: Nelson was cantankerous sometimes, and it was a real drawback. The Webber fiasco was only one example, though an especially egregious one since it damaged the Warriors for years afterward. Others: his (very brief) tenure with the Knicks; his departure from Dallas complete with public sniping and lawsuits; the Jackson and Harrington debacles; the stink surrounding his handling of Jamal Crawford. And others, of course.

            No excuses – that was the way he was. Sometimes it did hurt his teams. Sometimes the fallout hurt his own career. He didn’t work for awhile after getting booted out of NY.

            But over his whole career the teams he put on the floor usually outplayed their talent level, and they stole a lot of games they “shouldn’t” have won.

            No one here thinks Nelson was perfect, and even Feltbot wouldn’t attempt to defend some of Nelson’s crazy shit. But as Warriors fans, we’d be happy to see whoever’s coaching our team bring some of Nelson’s better tricks to bear.

          • And how many titles did Chris Webber win?

        • Yes,

          Don should have coached the Lakers, or accepted the offer with the Celtics! It is his fault!

  19. Not going to recap this Sacto game. It was a morbidly fascinating game to watch, if not to listen to — I unplugged Fitz’s mike mid-3rd quarter, and just may leave it off for the rest of the season. I’ve heard enough (bad) coaching from this play-by-play man to last a lifetime.

    If I were to recap, I can guarantee that my story lines would not resemble at all the story lines coming out of Fitz’s mouth, Mark Jackson’s mouth, nor out of the mainstream media.

    I’ll just make two quick points in lieu of a recap:

    1) In his last 7 games, Marcus Camby has had four 16+ rebound games, including three 20+ rebound games. In Sacramento two nights ago he got 4 rebounds.

    To beat Sacramento, maybe you should try a different game plan than matching up big and trying to beat them on the boards. No?

    That’s THEIR game plan.

    2) Jeremy Lin had a big game for the Knicks, 25 and 7. If you get a chance to check out the highlights, you may notice something. Virtually every trip down the court, Lin was running what Curry and Lee were never allowed to run in this game.

    Pick and Roll.

    Have at it. And have a great Superbowl Sunday.

    • I second the motion about Fitzgerald. The insufferably whining talk-show motor mouth once again reappeared in place of a play-by-play announcer. This man is in his mid-40s. Will he ever grow up?

    • Saw the Knicks game. Most of Lins makes were not Pick and Rolls. Simple drives to the right side of the basket, not one going to his left. Nets should show this game film to Deron Williams when negotiating next contract, or show it to the rest of the league. May fit the narrative, but not accurate.

  20. Lin Lifts Knicks Past Nets
    Jeremy Lin scores a career-high 25 and the Knicks snap two-game skid with 99-92 win over Nets.

    http://es.pn/y0R5Ce

    • Lin’s a nice kid and I’m happy for him, but we have a better version of Lin. His name is Nate Robinson.

      • Just about salts my opinion that Deron Williams is extremely over rated. Who cares if he gets Dwight Howard to come to the Nets.
        Two bad teams with Superstars in the Tri State Area.

        Totally outplayed by a fringe player.
        “The Carmelo Anthony” of the Nets, is slower than J Lin and still doesn’t know Jeremy is a one handed right hand player.
        I must say Avery Johnson although a Don Nelson disciple has not shown very good coaching skills since Nelson left.

  21. a poorly coached game on the preacher’s part, with no excuses having recently faced Sac (predictably better w. Thornton) and the opportunity to prepare with some off days at home.

  22. Sac:

    Praise to Thompson and Robinson, certainly.

    But same question, and I will defer to better minds. Why is Jackson sticking with this first unit/second unit substitution?

    Did Biedrins do anything last night? Having him with the first unit only exposes their weaknesses on both ends of the court. On defense, Curry/Ellis will be challenged by a larger, physical team like Sac. When an opponent gets by them, there won’t much inside to stop them. Lee isn’t getting much help. They would benefit from a stronger, more aggressive presence inside–Udoh, McGuire, anyone. On offense, Biedrins doesn’t do anything–no offensive boards, doesn’t draw defenders, doesn’t offer a fifth option for scoring–which results in tightening up the court for the other four. And there is no one on the unit other than Lee with size who might drive and at least draw a foul. Barnett said it was easy to score inside on Sac.

    • Absolutely Right on about Biedrins, he is done Son. Put a fork in him and switch him out with Udoh. Only contrarian view is that if you bring in AB with 2nd unit, it may doom them to failure as well.

      Last night as is frequently the case, AB did little if anything. He didn’t stop Cousins that’s for sure.

      Put him on the bench or buy the guy out like Cohan did with Adonal (is he available at this point?).

  23. And I have this question:

    Turnovers have been a problem. Anyone can see them, point them out, and bemoan them (Fitz, for example, ad nauseum). I don’t think anything is accomplished by telling the team to stop turning the ball over. I am fairly certain they do not want to turn it over. I also believe most are capable of passing the ball.

    So my question is WHY do they turn it over so much? Again, I will defer to better minds.

    My best guess is that if they don’t bring the ball up aggressively, and have alternatives against a physical, aggressive defense, they’re setting themselves up for turnovers. But also turnovers are a somewhat moot point–the successful pass is meaningless if the offense is ineffective anyway.

  24. Frankie @23 Virtually every highlight of Lin (on the ball) in the halfcourt begins with a simple high pick. His drives were all the result of choosing to go away from the pick, except for the one where he split the defenders. Whether you accept the pick or not, the offensive set is pick and roll.

    The Warriors have three of the best pick and roll players in the league. And never run it.

    • Yes Feltie, I agree totally with you regarding the effectiveness on the pick and roll and how it would work wonders if the Warriors would run their offense with it more frequently.

      Also, On your Knick highlights, Lin whether he passes or shoots on the PR is on the right side of the mid line, most frequently down at the right block. Every time. Every time. Every time(!) Jeez, you could figure that out at the YMCA.

      The Nets should have won this game (they led most of the way), you would have a field day critiquing Johnson as a coach.

      Now, if you are Deron Williams, the primary defender, the Coach Avery Johnson, or even a 3rd individual, the mythical Nets help defender, say if Epke Udoh actually helped?
      Point being, I thank Deron Williams for saving Jeremy from the guaranteed contract cut scheduled this week, which he has now been saved from. I thank Avery Johnson, for the “We Believe Season”, thank G0d we played against his coaching and not the fired coach Don Nelson(!). And to TheTruth, lets agree to never sign or trade for Deron Williams, or have Avery Johnson as a Warriors Coach.

  25. After the Utah game, Monta said “that was Warriors basketball.” I wonder whose game they were playing last night. Regardless, the dubs should have won the game even with the strategy they were using. A couple fewer turnovers and stupid fouls, getting back faster on defense, and less walk-it-up offense – any one of those would have made the difference.

    The Warriors also got completely demolished on the boards, 36 to Sacto’s 55, but I think the solution to that is a long-term project, not a single-game strategic issue.

    Very disappointing game last night. But Sacramento is not a bad team, and Smart has them playing better. He also has some pretty intimate knowledge of the Warriors weaknesses, and his guys took full advantage last night. Smart won the coaching battle against Jackson in that game.

  26. @ #25:

    “When Dominick McGuire can tie for our leading rebounder in 15 minutes…” Why didn’t Jackson play McGuire more then?

    “Lack of effort…they outworked us.” Yadayada, etc. The purpose of a good game plan is to make it possible for the team you have to win without superhuman effort. Didn’t Jackson know that the Warriors couldn’t match Sacto’s muscle? Why not? Sacto has muscle, we have speed and skill. Hit ‘em where they ain’t, dumbass.

    “My guys did the best they could with the game plan I gave them. I was completely outcoached by Keith Smart tonight. My bad.” OK, Jackson didn’t say that. But he should have.

  27. Felt, ready to appreciate Klay Thompson’s multifaceted game and that Jeremy Lin is an NBA caliber point guard (albeit good back-up)?

    • Let’s look at the evidence:

      Klay Thompson has played 21 NBA games as a 2 guard and has averaged 7 points in 17 minutes per game. His offense has shown variety and efficiency. He’s 27-60 on threes (45%), and 30-69 on twos (43%). For a rookie, he’s been good defensively. Looks like a keeper.

      Jeremy Lin has played 39 NBA games and has averaged 3.4 points in 9.6 minutes per game. His offense has lacked variety, and he can’t shoot the three. He’s 1-10 on threes (10%), and 45-101 on twos (45%). He’s been very good defensively. His assist per minute ratio is high, and his assist to turnover ratio is 2.44, which is quite good. Is he a good backup PG? Well, he has two big deficits — 3-point shooting and his ability to go to his left. But he has a big heart and works hard. If he keeps improving, there’s a place for him in the NBA, IMO.

    • OT, some things I couldn’t tell from the highlights: Whether Lin can now shoot from outside (believe he was 0-4 from three), and whether Lin has now developed a left hand. Unless those 2 things occurred, and I doubt they have, then no, Lin is not a player I want. Clearly, he hadn’t been scouted by NJ. He is an extremely easy player to defend — force him to use the pick, go under it and let him shoot — and I think we’ll see that going forward.

      As for Klay Thompson, not sure what you mean by a multi-faceted player. We all knew he could shoot. Is he a better shooter and ball-handler than Reggie Williams? No he’s not. Is he a rebounder? NO. Can he play defense? Not where the Warriors have been forced to play him, at guard. The Warriors are playing a lot of zone with him on the court.

      • Felty,
        The best thing Mark Jackson has done in his young coaching career is to develop a semblance of a bench.

        For years, Nellie ran his starters into the ground during the regular season which meant that by the later rounds of the playoffs their gas tanks were empty. Thus, his teams lack of championships.

        However, Jackson’s substitution patterns have been worse than Smart’s, even. If the Warriors had brought their starters in for the final 3 minutes of the Kings game and pushed the ball up the court, they would have run the Kings right out of their own building. Instead, he allowed the reserves (Klay, Nate, Udoh and Rush) to finish the game – including three or four sloppy crunch time possessions that led to overtime.

        The problem is that the bench needs to provide a spurt, but does not need to be counted on to win or lose games at the end. It was a magnificent Nellieball comeback, but the bench should have handed the ball to Lee and Ellis to finish the game. Jackson needs to learn this before the Warriors are going to be consistent.

      • “As for Klay Thompson, not sure what you mean by a multi-faceted player. We all knew he could shoot. Is he a better shooter and ball-handler than Reggie Williams? No he’s not.”

        Well, here we go again with Reggie Williams. LOL I’ve seen more than enough of Williams, and though only 21 games to judge Klay Thompson for me personally my answer to that same question would an unequivocal yes, he is (better than RW), although I’m not sure just how excited I should be as a Warriors fan having said that (“Just think, a lottery pick who’s actually BETTER than the great RW! WooooHoooo!!”). As I’ve said recently, I think Thompson is going to be pretty good, if not better.

  28. A great read from Bill Simmons the day after “his” Patriots lost the Super Bowl.

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7547184/searching-silver-linings-indianapolis

  29. I watched Lin and the Knicks beat the Jazz tonight. Lin put up 28 and 8 (and 8 TOs) in 44 minutes.

    I think in the post-game interview he summed up what’s happening better than I ever could:

    “That’s the beauty of Mike D’Antoni’s system… there’s so much space, so much creativity… you just be aggressive, you just attack.”

    Starting with a pick and roll.

    • the preacher’s belief system won’t let him tell lies, so he’s getting by with concealment. he isn’t ready to break up his ‘varsity’ lineup and can’t openly admit they’re less suited to his preferences than the reserves. and he’s not able or willing to change his game to suit the players on the ‘varsity’.

      he tries too hard to defy convention. in the third quarter vs. Sac, Thornton led the surge that put them ahead by six when Curry left with his injury. by normal coaching practice, that was the time to insert one or two of his wing defenders, either instead of Robinson or along with him. whatever the preacher hopes were with a backcourt of Ellis and Robinson, Thornton went on to get 17 that quarter and his team had an eleven point edge entering the fourth.

      by convention, he’d put in another rebounder for Salmons’ free throws, game tied, 16 seconds left in the fourth. they missed a chance to be down just a point with those 16 seconds, and bowing to convention (or Malone’s urging) Lee went in for Evans’ foul shots which were both converted of course.

      does he really think the ‘varsity’ will learn from watching the reserve unit ? he’s fooling himself, not his audience, if he does.

  30. @36

    Glad to see someone else asking my question:

    Steinmetz: Is it possible to get more integration between the first team and second team. In other words, is it possible not to go with either all the starters or all the subs at the end of games?

    Jackson: Not really.

    He explains why–and I don’t get what he’s saying at all.

    • It was pretty incoherent.

      • Wow, this is why you don’t hire a rookie coach. His reserves forced him to play them? He refuses to look at match-ups? He refuses to mix the first and second units? I don’t get this guy at all.

    • If Jackson isn’t experimenting with his lineups and different strategies but instead is trying to get as many wins as he can and/or trying to satisfy he fits Lacob’s image of what he is supposed to be doing, this season will be a complete wash as last season was.

      • More than any conventional coaching techniques or strategies, what Jackson is really trying to do with this team is teach them mental toughness. As a complete unit/team, the Warriors are sorely lacking in the mental toughness it takes to win consistently at home and on the road, and unfortunately the only solution could very well be a major trade that completely changes the face and inner-workings of this team.

        While the jury will be out for quite some time in regards to the head coaching acumen of Mark Jackson, his “tough talk” is right now the only thing “tough” about the Warriors. Forget about any X’s and O’s of the game, if GSW doesn’t play harder (and smarter) than their opponents they are not going to win many games.

        I said it after the Warriors played OKC a few weeks ago, that game wasn’t just about the talent of the two teams, it was also about effort, or what Jackson called OKC’s “motor” compared to the Warriors. The Thunder simply played harder, for 48 minutes, than the Warriors did.

        Unless that blue collar mindset, or “toughness”, that’s lately been on display with the second unit, spreads throughout the team in the near future, Jackson will most likely be dealing with a reshaped roster before much longer.

  31. Steve,

    “Toughness” and “try harder” are nice concepts, but the Warriors starters average 20 pounds less per player than Sacramento’s. In boxing that’s multiple weight classes.

    With Jeremy Tyler, the dubs’ B team is bigger than their A team by 10 lb. per player. The B team also plays half as many minutes, mostly against other B teams – and no one game-plans against B teams.

    If Jackson wants to win, he’s going to have to work with what is. Simple math says his ballerinas are not going to be successful as vikings. They should be doing Swan Lake, not cage matches. Why give teams like Sacramento the advantage? That’s precisely what he did with both Sacto games so far.

    I’ve griped a lot about Jackson’s simple-minded “try harder” crap because a) I think it’s just an excuse for Jackson not to come up with schemes that take advantage of the Warriors’ strengths, and b) it’s stupid, and a loser. But whether he’s right or wrong about his team’s effort level (he’s wrong – slackers don’t get to be NBA starters), Jackson needs to quit channeling Mike Singletary and start coming up with answers that fit his team, not the other way around.

    Stephen Curry 185
    Monta Ellis 185
    Dorell Wright 205
    Andris Biedrins 240
    David Lee 240
    Avg. weight: 211

    DeMarcus Cousins 270
    Tyreke Evans 220
    John Salmons 207
    Jason Thompson 250
    Marcus Thornton 205
    Avg. weight: 230.4

    Nate Robinson 180
    Klay Thompson 205
    Brandon Rush 225
    Dominic McGuire 235
    Jeremy Tyler 260
    Avg. weight: 221

    • white hat, I’m sorry, but when someone starts using “height” and/or “weight” in their arguments for winning or losing, succeeding or failing in the NBA, I get off the bus at the next stop.

      The Warriors have more than enough players, both in height and weight, to do one of the things that best exemplifies a team’s toughness, and that’s rebounding.

      Rebounding is a mindset, not a height or weight issue. Sure, Nate Robinson ain’t outrebounding Dwight Howard in any game soon, but outside of those obvious exceptions rebounding is about wanting it more than your opponent, working harder than the other guy. That’s an example of the toughness issue that this team has, and precisely what Jackson has been trying to change.

      I watched Ed Davis play the other day for Toronto vs the Heat. Davis is 6’10 and 215, yet plays bigger and tougher than anyone currently on the Warriors. One of the toughest players and rebounders to ever play for the Warriors (so tough his nickname was “Mr. Mean”) was Larry Smith. Smith was 6’8 and 215. We all know what a great rebounder/tough guy Dennis Rodman was. Rodman was 6’6 and 220.

      The Warriors roster is full of guys between 6’6 and at least 6’10 (Biedrins, Tyler, Udoh, Rush, Thompson, McGuire, Lee, Chris Wright, Dorell Wright), with everyone except DWright and Thompson weighing in at 220 or more. The reason this group has been embarrassed in so many games by their lack of rebounding vs their opponent? Height and weight?? LOL They simply have been outworked, outhustled, and in the end outplayed. Ridiculous and unacceptable.

      MJ is 21 games into his head coaching career. Could he be better at certain things? By all means. And eventually he may even prove a failure. But first things first. And that’s where he has my backing in regards to his first priority as coach of the Warriors, and that’s changing the comfort level and mindset of these players.

      There are few excuses to be made with this group, and certainly not when it comes to their height and weight vs other teams. The Warriors need to learn what toughness in the NBA actually means and start showing it in games or this team as presently constituted will soon change, and deservedly so.

      • “white hat, I’m sorry, but when someone starts using “height” and/or “weight” in their arguments for winning or losing, succeeding or failing in the NBA, I get off the bus at the next stop.”

        Steve, I didn’t say that at all. My point is that playing “big and tough” against teams that are bigger and tougher is a losing strategy for any team in any sport. If you’re faster, outrun your opponent. If you’re smaller but more skilled, break their ankles with a crossover dribble, don’t try to post them up. And if a team is built for speed, for god’s sake don’t play walk-it-up ball against teams designed just for that kind of game.

        As a coach you run what you brung and make the best use of it to win. Or you lose. Check Jackson’s record.

        Re mental toughness, gosh, I don’t know. David Lee crushes people on his way to the hoop. Curry is a babyfaced killer. And pound-for-pound I don’t think anyone is tougher than Monta.

        • “Steve, I didn’t say that at all. My point is that playing “big and tough” against teams that are bigger and tougher is a losing strategy for any team in any sport.”

          white hat, in your very own words you intimated that Sacramento is “tougher” than the Warriors. Interesting. And exactly to the point of my recent posts.

  32. Sac:

    Actually, where we lost out with Sacramento was groin kicks and head shots. A couple of those on our part would have tipped the scales.

    Good thing Curry’s wife is pregnant.

  33. Marc Stein’s latest Power Rankings.

    http://espn.go.com/nba/powerrankings