At this point, most Golden State fans have realized what the head coach hasn't. Small ball doesn't work.
Everybody from the ESPN analysts (who I grant are sometimes incomprehensible) to bloggers to my friend's six-year old son ("daddy, why is that basketball player short?") have realized this. Or rather, it works for a short time, not as the crux of your game strategy.
But if you're Don Nelson, you do it backwards. Geoff Lepper of 48minutes.net did an excellent +/- analysis by-the-minutes, and found that GSW gets consistently outscored when they go small, and outscore their opponents when they go big. And in a big way when Biedrins and Turiaf are both on the floor.
But this we know. The burning question is: What is Nellie doing? If he were just tanking, why would he sit our most promising young bigs—B. Wright and Randolph?
If he were trying to win, why give free rein to our highest volume shooters when they're shooting poorly (Jax and Maggette, I'm looking at you)? And again, not play the young bigs?
Taking this tidbits, the erratic substitution patterns, and the fact that he just named Keith Smart, his pre-ordained successor, as the "defensive coordinator," all points to one thing:
Nellie wants to get fired.
Yup, that's the only logical conclusion I can come up with. I'm pretty sure he's getting too old for this, he's obviously frustrated and has lost the ear of his young team. So he's putting in his notice early and letting K. Smart take over.
And why shouldn't he? He just got a fat contract extension so he gets paid whether he works or not. Now he just dreams of the new lawn furniture he can buy while chilling on the bench.
Speaking of bad contracts, I just heard the greatest new nickname for Corey Maggette (courtesy of Basketbawful): BAD PORN. Because there's penetration and scoring, but it's not fun to watch.
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