Category Archives: Keith Smart

Smart is Out

Lacob’s axe has fallen on Keith Smart.  No surprise there, of course.  He never had a chance.  Lacob didn’t want him, and made absolutely sure that he couldn’t succeed by gutting his bench.

It will be interesting to see whether Lacob begins his coaching search before the NBA lockout.  Other teams, such as Houston, seem to be moving forward regardless.

It is difficult to overstate how important Lacob’s choice of coach will be for this Warriors team.  The wrong coach, like the frequently mentioned (and completely execrable) Mike Brown, would be disastrous.  The right coach, like Mike D’Antoni, could have added 10 wins to this season’s team, and would have next year’s team in contention, provided the Warriors pick up a difference-maker at center.

2010-11 Golden State Warriors Final Grades

Monta Ellis: A+

A great scorer, yes, but this year he became so much more.  A great distributor, a great clutch closer, a great teammate. A team leader.  A superstar in the making.

A couple of years ago, I wrote that I believed that Monta had the makings of a supreme point guard, because his passes had laser-like accuracy: they always seemed to hit his man in the hands.  This opinion was scoffed at.  Well, in last night’s broadcast, we learned that Monta leads the entire NBA in shooting % by recipients of his passes.  Hmmm.         Continue reading

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…

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No Style for Young Men: Nets 94 Warriors 90

You’re exactly right, dear reader, there is simply no way that this Nets team, featuring the Lopezasaurus, Sasha Vujacic and Anthony Morrow should have been able to hold the Warriors to 90 points. Don Nelson would have put up 120 points against this slow as molasses and completely out-classed lineup with his eyes half shut.                                                                           Continue reading

F is for Fail: Celtics 107 Warriors 103 + Al Thornton + Grading Joe Lacob

Once again, I did not expect the Warriors to walk into Boston Garden and come out with a win.  But once again, I am beside myself with HOW they lost.  Tell me something, Joe Lacob.  How did the Celtics win this game pulling down a measly 28 rebounds, to the Warriors 39?  Can you answer that?  How about you, Keith Smart?

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Loss and Betrayal: TWolves 126 Warriors 123

This Minnesota loss was as bad as it gets.  There is no greater example this year of Keith Smart accepting the game as dictated from the opposing bench.  There is simply no way that any NBA team, nor even a D-league team, as Don Nelson proved conclusively last year, should ever come close to losing to a team on which Kevin Love is the best player.

To see the second half gameflow is to understand this game in full: The Warriors starting lineup, following THE TWOLVES GAMEPLAN, was -15 to start the half. The Warriors BEST lineup, with Vlad Rad at power forward, was +16 to close the game.  With the Warriors small lineup on the floor the entire time, these were Kevin Love’s 4th Q stats: 3 points on 0-1 shooting. 3 rebounds.

The Warriors should have FORCED the TWolves small, which is a trivial exercise against the slowest frontline in the league, and then set about DESTROYING Kevin Love every trip down the court.  Counting free throws, David Lee got 16 opportunities in this game, Kevin Love got 24.  That is a joke.

And Love never got in foul trouble, because Smart NEVER MADE HIM DEFEND.

The rebounding differential, which Bob Fitzgerald and Matt Steinmetz fell all over themselves complaining about, was not the reason the Warriors lost this game. The reason was the gameplan. Period.

As bad as it gets.  If Don Nelson watched this game, he puked all over himself.

And then, of course, there is the end of the game. Once again, Smart let Ellis run the clock down, which is 100% the WRONG thing to do when down one. You need to get as quick a good shot as possible, and extend the game. Ellis bailed him out in the previous game.  In this game, Smart was deservedly left holding the bag.

Did you notice how easy it is to read Keith Smart’s mail?  Monta’s isolation was guarded by 6-7″ Wesley Johnson, the TWolves ONLY defender. (Shouldn’t that create an exception to the no-high-pick rule?) Johnson, who followed the scouting report, forced Monta RIGHT, then when the help forced Monta to pull up, effortlessly blocked the shot.

The Warriors’ last inbound play, intended for Stephen Curry, was guarded by… guess who? Once again, 6-7″ Wesley Johnson.  The TWolves only defender. Kurt Rambis, never the most intellectual of coaches, performed a full CAT scan of Smart’s brain.

Just an idea, but given that the Warriors needed a three pointer to tie, wouldn’t it have been a good idea to get Reggie Williams on the court instead of David Lee, so that the TWolves couldn’t have swarmed Curry? Couldn’t have read Smart’s mail? Couldn’t have prevented a wide-open 40% shot?

This loss put the final nail in the coffin of this Warriors season.  And as far as I’m concerned, it put the final nail in Keith Smart’s coffin as well.

The previous nails were pounded in by Joe Lacob.

That Losing Mentality: Celtics 115 Warriors 93

I had this game penciled in as a loss, so the fact that the Warriors lost at home against the Celtics did not come as a surprise to me. But that doesn’t mean I have to like the way the Warriors lost this game.  I’m not referring to the shooting struggles of Monta Ellis, David Lee or the Warriors’ bench.  I’m referring to the fact that in this game, as in several other games this season against better teams, the Warriors under Coach Keith Smart did not try to win.

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The Running of the Bulls: Warriors 101 Bulls 90

“There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.” —  Ernest Hemingway

Keith Smart is driving me crazy.  The guy has done everything possible to torture me this season.  Which includes his frequent habit of coming up with extraordinary coaching performances immediately after abysmal coaching performances.  I was in despair of Keith Smart after the last game, not for the first time this season. Now, I’m confused again. But confused in a good way.

This convincing 101-90 Warriors victory over the powerhouse Chicago Bulls was easily the best of the season. And it began and ended with the coach.

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Cat Hell: Warriors 100 Bucks 94

Another lucky win, in a game that should have been a blowout.  Why does it feel like the Warriors are stealing games when they win at home?  Because they are stealing them.  Stripped of the strictures of their coach by the desperation of the situation, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry are stealing wins for the Warriors in crunch time.

And they just may be saving the skin of their coach every time they do it.

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Buzz-Saw: Hornets 112 Warriors 103

Once again the Warriors were dismembered by a veteran team currently playing great basketball.  No need to freak when they lose to a team like the Hornets, who are currently on a 10-0 run.

But there were a couple things to be disturbed about.  Beginning with Biedrins, of course.  This loss began with him.  It is clear that he will never again be the player he was, whether it’s because of chronic injury problems, as I suspect, or something mental. Whichever it is, the Warriors again found themselves playing 4 on 5 for most of the game.             Continue reading