Five Questions About the Golden State Warriors: Will We Believe Again?
After a 29-53 season, general manager Chris Mullin's contract was not renewed but head coach Don Nelson signed a new deal with Golden State.
It looks pretty obvious that Nellie now has the power over basketball decisions because Mullin's replacement—Larry Riley—is an unknown in the NBA.
Now the Warriors move on with Nelson and Riley with the same porous defense and run and gun offense that doesn't seem to develop young players (e.g. Biedrins, Belinelli, Wright, Randolph, Williams, Azubuike, etc etc).
The following slides bring up the five biggest questions of the offseason for the Golden State Warriors.
Which Players will be Shown the Door this Off-season?
1. Which players will be shown the door this offseason?
The Warriors are trying to figure out whether to make their last cut Anthony Morrow, Rob Kurz or point guard Marcus Williams.
Nelson can barely contain his dislike for Williams—a player Mullin brought in from New Jersey in a deal for a conditional pick—and cutting him would cost a big time penalty for the Warriors.
Brandan Wright might also be on the hot seat because he has not been productive when he gets in the game and he hasn't shown anything to indicate that the Jason Richardson deal was anything more than a contract dump.
Anthony Randolph moved up in front of Wright on the depth chart too.
Also, is Monta Ellis still in the Golden State Warriors' future plans?
The past offseason season did not get off to a good start for Ellis when he signed a long-term deal last summer and injured his ankle in an ATV accident but instead of telling the truth, the point guard told Warriors' brass that he hurt it playing basketball.
After a two-month suspension Ellis returned to action in January but character issues are now circling his reputation. Who knows if he will be back.
If the Warriors draft a point guard in the first round like Patrick Mills from the Saint Mary's College Gaels, Ellis could eventually become trade bait.
What are the Golden State Warriors' Biggest Strengths as a Team?
2. What are the Golden State Warriors' biggest strengths as a team?
Scoring inside and defensive turnovers are the Warriors' greatest strengths, but this is somewhat of a misnomer.
The 2008-2009 Golden State Warriors averaged 42.6 points inside per game, 1st in the NBA. However, most of these points came unassisted.
The Warrior guards were proficient at getting into the lane on their own, without having to be set up by the point guard.
The Warriors' inflated forced turnover numbers are because of their fast pace, but they ranked a lowly fourth in the league in opponents' turnover percentage.
On defense, the Warriors tip passes, force opponents into mistakes and even block shots.
What are the Golden State Warriors' Biggest Weaknesses as a Team?
3. What are the Golden State Warriors' biggest weaknesses as a team?
Lack of an effective half court defense, a clear game plan that fits the talent on the roster and inexperience.
Besides Stephen Jackson, Jamal Crawford and Corey Maggette, the rest of the roster has an average of 1.3 years experience in the NBA .
The Warriors lack the kind of superstar that can draw attention away from the inexperienced players (Jason Richardson), a playmaking point guard that can assist the rest of the team (Baron Davis) and a head coach who doesn't mind playing the younger players.
What Moves Should the Golden State Warriors Make During the Offseason?
4. What moves should the Golden State Warriors make during the offseason?
The Warriors need physically stronger interior scorers (Andris Biedrins or Brandan Wright could develop), a player or two that can effectively play half-court defense and a reliable point guard (Monta Ellis could be that guy if he proves himself).
What are the Goals for this Team to make the Playoffs in 2010?
5. What are the Goals for this Team to make the Playoffs in 2010?
Find out what they have in their young players like Anthony Randolph, Brandan Wright and Marco Belinelli.
There's a lot of young talent and loads of potential on the roster but Don Nelson needs to better utilize these guys.
He needs to decide where these players fit into his system.