7

Not Buying It, Nellie

Don’t be all shocked about Nellie’s “I may not come back” proclamation yesterday. I fully expect him to be back next year. You know why? Because the Warriors are going to make sure of it.
If you ask me, this isn’t about fatigue, or mental anguish, as much as it is about bread. Nellie wants more money.
Know how I know? For starters, that’s his M.O. Nellie is all about the dough. He’s sued one owner, and in the process of suing another. He imposes fines on his players and pockets the cash. His introduction song is Diddy’s “It’s All About the Benjamins.” Kidding about the last part.
Second reason, Nellie practically said so. When asked what date was he looking at to make a decision, he said July 1. Is it a coincidence that he’s targeting the first day of the fiscal NBA year?
Nellie’s only getting a few million next season. To his credit, he’s worth much more than that. He just did the job of an $5-8 million a year coach. I doubt the Warriors give him Phil Jackson money, but he will likely get a raise. A couple million is the perfect cure for mental fatigue.
Or maybe I’m just hoping that’s the reason, because that is perfectly treatable. If it is mental fatigue, physical breakdown — we are talking about a 67-year-old cancer survivor — then he just may not be back. And who’s willing to give that any real consideration. This team is not as good without his system. And it’s certainly not as good if the players get a coach they aren’t willing to jump through a wall for, as they are with Nellie.
Here’s to hoping Nellie is just being greedy.

5

Blog Question

“if you are kg and minny decides to let you go, finally, which team would you choose? Dallas, Lakers (get a chance to play with the best player in this era), or the Warriors? Lakers is probably the most logical choice because with him, the Kobe-KG combo can be pretty devastating and win a championship. What do you think? Btw, do you the w’s can get ray allen now that seattle is in flux?” — manhattanproj

If I’m KG, I would want to go to the Warriors. They are the better team now, and he would have much more help. KG-Kobe tandem is appealing, but who else woluld they have, considering they would have to give up anything good they have to get KG. Because the Warriors have young talent and depth, they won’t have to sacrifice the farm to get KG. So when he gets here, there will be plenty help. Plus, playing with Kobe and all it might appear, if you want your shots, anyway.
Scatch that, Dallas first if they can keep Nowitzki, and then the Warriors — though I’m not sure if two passive stars will do the trick.
With that said, I think he would go to LA if he had his druthers. He’s been stuck in a small market so long, he probably wants to feel the warmth of the national spotlight.
And, Ray Allen was on the market. Apparently, the Knicks are going to go hard after him. The Warriors could get him if they really wanted him. They have the pieces. Can you imagine him in this offense? That would be nice.

4

Happy Warriors

Believe it or not, the Warriors were pretty upbeat after folding down the stretch. And they should’ve been. It was a heck of a ride. They rose from nowhere, against all odds, to become a pretty good team. They were fun to watch, they were competitive, and they were compelling. A lot of good things happened to the Warriors franchise this season. And losing the way they did might hurt just enough to prevent them from being satisfied.
Here’s what they had to say after the game:

Don Nelson
“Like I said, there will be no teary eyes in our locker room. We had a fantastic year and I’m real proud of that team. We competed hard tonight, as hard as we could …”

“Over the hump? I think we are over the hump. The hump was not making the playoffs for the last 12 years, are you kidding me. I don’t know what over the hump is. If we didn’t get over the hump this year something’s wrong.”

Jason Richardson
“We definitely had a great season. Just three months ago, we were being counted out of the playoffs and we made it to the second round wih a short roster, guys being hurt, and dealing with the trade. I mean we had a lot to be proud of this season.”

Stephen Jackson
“Utah was the better team this series. You know, we’ve got to give them credit point blank. They beat us up inside. They did what they needed to do to win this series. They were the better team and they showed it. Point blank. No need for us to be bitter, we had a great year. A lot of y’all said we wouldn’t be here right now. We are here. We had a great year, everybody’s still upbeat. Everybody’s happy with the way our season went and at the same time we give credit to Utah, because they played a great game.”

“I think everybody’s going to use this as ammunition. We’re going to come back next year ready. Everybody’s going to get healthy and we’re going to try to do the same thing next year, just have a longer season. But you know I love all my teammates. I’m happy with the energy we brought. Everything we’ve done in the short season I’ve been here three months. We’re definitely happy. We’re not satisfied. We’re definitely going to be ready next year.”

17

Paul Millsap Went No. 47!!!

This dude is a beast. The Jazz are outrebounding the Warriors 21-4, and Millsap has seven rebounds, to go with his eight points.
Guess who went No. 38 in the draft — Kosta Perovic.
How much better would the Warriors be with Millsap? He would give them the toughness and rebounding they need. They could work in his post game. I guess its unreasonable to expect them to come up with a second-round bombshell every year, huh?

5

Blog Question

“What do you think about playing Foyle some more to contain Boozer? Can’t hurt to try it, right?” — itsagreattimeout

I don’t think it would hurt to try, but it would hurt to try for too long. Putting Foyle in slows the game down, which plays right into Utah’s hands. Plus, it gives you one less offensive option on the floor, and his presence clogs the paint. The Warriors need space, and an empty key, to take advantage of their athleticism and skill advantage.
However, if the game is already slow, as it was in Game 4, it won’t hurt to go with Foyle for the purpose of buying time and getting a fresh look to energize things. A couple of blocks and a hustle play by Foyle have been known to give the Warriors added energy, which they needed badly. So, while the Warriors were dragging, Foyle could’ve given them a spark, especially at home. Give him a few minutes to make something happen. If he doesn’t sit him back down.
It was certainly a better option than chucking 3-pointers and hoping they fall. Certainly, on offense, Adonal turns the Warriors into halfcourt team. But maybe he helps execute better. Maybe he sets better screens. Maybe he can block out Boozer better and open up offensive rebound opportunities for someone else.
It was worth a couple minutes, at least.

7

I Guess I’m Not an Idiot

In the latest Hoop Junki flip-flop, I just thought I’d drop an “I told you so” line. I let your passion for the Warriors, my desire for this run to continue, and that amazing Game 3 performance, trick me into thinking I was wrong initially. I knew better, but I let my heart get in the way.
Four in a row wasn’t going to happen. No way. Utah is too good, and they’re getting better. The Warriors are going to have to play near perfect, which just can’t happen four consecutive games.
They may not be able to do it for three straight games. That’s why, I’m saying the series will go seven, but I am holding my prediction as to who will win seven. The Warriors have not put three consecutive games together yet. As a matter of fact, they haven’t put back-to-back complete games together yet. They were thorough in Game 1 at Dallas, then fell a part in Game 2. They were clicking again in Game 3, and nearly blew Game 4. Games 5 and 6 were close to being two complete games, as was Games 1 and 2 in the Utah series. But both were tainted by terrible finishes.
If the pattern continues, the Warriors, following that stinker on Sunday, should play well (they haven’t played consecutive bad games yet, either). If they win, I can see them winning Game 6 at home.
But will they have enough left for Game 7?

11

Warriors Drunk After Lots of Boozer

They didn’t have a chance to stop Carlos Boozer. That was flat-out embarrassing. They are going to have to run a trap at him like Dallas did to Baron in Game 5. They have to get the ball out of his hands, and fast. Because his first move is quick, and his strength is just overwhelming. Plus, he gets a way with a lot of pushing.
If he plays like that Tuesday, it’s a wrap. They have to shut him down, make Kirilenko and Okur beat you. From the way Nellie was talking after Game 4, it doesn’t sound as if the Warriors can.
“We could not handle Boozer,” Nellie said. “He’s a major star. I don’t think people really know how good Boozer is. He’s a major, major star. We can’t handle him. … When he’s healthy, he’s as good as any body out there.”
Boozer’s dominance in Utah’s three wins, whether on the scoreboard or on the glass, underscores the Warriors dire need for a true power forward. You can get away without a center in this league, especially in the West. But the Warriors need a beast of a power forward, and they need him fast. They could really make some noise if they get a proven four who can rebound regularly and defend aggressive, especially one who can post up and stick the outside shot, someone who plays with nonstop energy and tenacity.
No, I won’t say his name.
Anyway, they have to address that in the offseason. Even if it means parting with Andris Biedrins or Monta Ellis. Put a power forward on this team, especially that guy you’re thinking, and the Warriors are competing with San Antonio and Phoenix for a spot in the Western Conference Finals.
Certainly, they’ll have a better chance against Boozer.