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.