Are The Golden State Warriors Prepared For Life Without Nellie?
CBSSports.com recently reported that Golden State Warriors' coach Don Nelson's tenure will end either this season or the next, according to co-owner-to-be Joe Lacob.
In an interview with KNBR, Lacob said that whether it was this season or the next, Nelson is not in the Warriors' future plans. If you are a fan of the franchise you can view this announcement in two ways.
If the rumor is true, the Warriors' exciting style of play, which accounted for numerous points and few wins will be missed, but the opportunity to hire a coach who places an emphasis on defense fits the re-structuring theme of the team.
NBA history says Nelson has more wins than any other coach, but reality says that his recent time in Golden State has been a failure, and many Bay Area fans have lost faith in his talents as a coach.
Nelson has had his fair share of talented players, and this current version of the Warriors is no exception, but he has yet to figure out how his talent translates into a winning team.
The Warriors picked up David Lee in a trade with New York and acquired Dorrell Wright from the Miami Heat in the Warriors' latest effort to remodel their team.
Rookie Ekpe Udoh should provide additional help in the post, and with mainstays Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, and Andris Biedrins returning, the Warriors have the beginnings of a roster capable of competing for the postseason.
Brandan Wright looks healthy after a season lost to injury, and Reggie Williams is more than capable of picking up the slack from Anthony Morrow, who took his long distance shot to New Jersey.
Nelson may be the last piece to the Warriors' playoff puzzle, and even though he has expressed a desire to remain at the helm, it's hard to believe he will all of a sudden show a passion for defense.
The Phoenix Suns were the only team as bad as the Warriors defensively last season, but the conference runner-ups were buoyed by an all-star combination in Steve Nash and Amar'e Stoudemire, and a much better supporting cast.
At times, it was painful to watch the Warriors' brand of defense, which consisted mainly of retrieving the ball after an opponent's score, and sprinting to the other end of the court on offense.
But the possibility of a new coach brings hope for the Warriors on the defensive end, and whoever the candidates are, they need to have a strong background in motivational speaking.
The lax defensive attitude that has been a part of the Warriors' culture is likely ingrained, and it will take a strong coach with a strong personality to turn the ship around.
Lacob didn't mention any possibilities. But, someone who doesn't forget the offensive dynamic that made the Warriors special at times last season would be preferable.
I'm all for an improved Warriors' defense, but the team thrives in an up-tempo game, and Lee, Wright, and Biedrins have the athleticism to get up and down the floor.
Whoever assumes the reins must be careful to not upset the offensive balance, because although most teams love to pound the ball inside, the Warriors are much more efficient cutting to the basket.
Some fans may mourn the end of the Nelson era in the Bay Area, but the majority of them are probably excited about the potential of the Warriors with a new coach at the helm.
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