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Post-game Tidbits (at Miami)

This is rant night. Bare with me.

* Down six, 29.8 seconds left, the other team’s missed 11 of 25 free throws. What do you do? Most would foul. The NBA is notorious for extending the game with intentional fouls, if for nothing other than to keep up appearances.
But tonight, Nellie was in total whatever mode. He chose not to foul, letting Wade dribble away the Warriors’ remote chance at victory. Good move? Bad move? What do you think?
Part of me feels him. It’s the end of a long road trip, Christmas eve is on the horizon (and two days off), and you know Wade is going to pull it out for Miami. He’s right, too. They weren’t going to win. Why mess around with appearances?
But while I get his logic, it’s still a bad move, IMHO. It’s such the wrong message to send to the youngsters you’re trying to teach. How are you going to tell them to close out hard on a shooter when you won’t do everything you can to win? How does it help their confidence when the coach is saying “no use, we’re going to lose anyway” (figuratively and literally). A veteran team, OK. I get you. They understand how the game goes. But a group of youngsters scrapping hard out there trying not to get embarrased, giving it all they got, and you throw in the towel for them? Ain’t there some Yogi Berra cliche you’re supposed to throw at them? Some slogan from one of those cheesy posters at the gym you’re supposed to spot.
It wouldn’t be so bad, but it’s an recurring theme. He said playoffs are out. He’s always talking about how they’re not going to win games. He pulls the starters faster than any coach in the league (and I’ve talked to players in the locker room about how soon he’s willing to throw in the towel, and they’re amazed). He just forked over part of his duties to the assistants. Now he’s giving up hope prematurely.
This gives credence to those who say he’s not the right coach for such a young team.

* Andris played like he was jealous that all the other veterans got to sit out and he had to play. I felt bad for him. That should’ve been Wright or Randolph out there instead of him, though he did have five steals.

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* I know, I know. I’m crazy. But how does Marcus Williams not play this game??? The dude is a point guard who can score and pass, he can make plays on offense. I don’t care if he can’t play defense. When you’re shooting below 40 percent and have more turnovers than assists, you need a playmaker on offense. Run him out there, let him get comfortable, get his confidence up. I would much rather him with the ball in his hands trying to make something happen than Azubuike or Nelson or Morrow. It just befuddles me. OK, he doesn’t defend. What, are the Warriors suddenly the Spurs? Hello! Opponents are shooting 50 percent every night.
I’m not saying he should be starting or should be the back-up or anything like that. I’m just saying it is unreasonable to think you can’t use him. You can use Rob Kurz in certain situations. You can use DeMarcus Nelson in certain situations. Ditto for Williams. Tonight was one of those situations.

* One player the new drive-and-kick offense is hurting is Kelenna Azubuike. It is forcing him away from his strength. He is handling the ball a lot, but not in the spots/situations he’s used to. He flourishes in transition, in the post, and isolations with space. Now, the Warriors are playing half-court, motion offense. He hardly ever has room to operate. He doesn’t get to post up at all. And the Warriors’ fast break is flat-lined, so that part of his game goes unused. The result is turnovers, tough shots and a lack of a rhythm. Tonight he was 6-for-19 with 4 TOs. It’s because he’s not a playmaker yet. He’s a scorer. But, especially with the injuries, he’s being forced to be a playmaker. But I guess if he’s ever going to learn, now is the time.

* Something impressed me tonight. And it’s odd that it came up since I just asked Jackson about this. Crawford, who missed Tuesday’s game, didn’t have a blazer, which is required to sit on the bench for those not in uniform. He said he’s been living out of his trunk and before the road trip he just grabbed some gear, stuffed it in a suit case and took off. Now, he’s not hurting for money, so he could have bought a blazer. But he can hardly walk (still could’ve sent someone to purchase him a blazer) and he came to the arena hoping against hope he would be able to play tonight after treatment.
Anyway, he didn’t have a blazer so he would’ve had to sit in the locker room and watch the game. Instead, he wore CJ’s blazer. The sleeves were noticably short, as his french cuffs were hanging out. Plus, it didn’t match his brown-and-pink get-up (a small thing for us, but we are talking about millionaire athletes). Still, there he was, in an ever-so-young blazer, so he could sit on the bench with his teammates.

* Rob Kurz got a DNP-CD

* Randolph matched up with No. 2 overall pick Michael Beasley a bit tonight. The Warriors’ rookie came away the victor. He finished with 10 points on 2-for-9 shooting, six rebounds, two blocks a steal and 3 TOs in 21 minutes. Beasley had 5 points on 2-for-7 shooting, two rebounds, two turnovers and a block in 13 minutes.
The highlights of their head-to-head included Randolph swatting a Beasley shot into the backboard and Randolph soaring past Beasley, who didn’t block out, for a two-hand tip dunk.

Marcus Thompson

  • Andrew

    Do you rhink that Nellie is going to blame the defensive coordinators for not purposely fouling towards then end of the game? Something is very fishy in Oaktown and Im not talking the bay

  • NotaNelsonfan

    Marcus, I have to wonder why Nellie would play Demarcus over Marcus Williams too. It is very obvious that at this point of his NBA career that Demarcus is not ready for this caliber of basketball, and I understand that he was brought up because of the shortage of healthy players. But,it is truly a waste that we have this guy and he can’t log any minutes in tonights game. You wonder if Marcus is really doggin it during practice to deserve this.

    Well, at least Nellie is playing his first round picks during regular minutes other than just during garbage time.

    I also felt sorry for AB. Man, after that Magic game against Howard he really is going through a minor setback. But, I would not worry AB will bounce back.

  • earl monroe

    Personally I would have played the game out correctly so the players would learn, but Nellie is worn out, he needed a drink and of course he knows it all.
    Hi future is in fortune telling in Hawaii.

    Randolph is going to be a beast once Nelson leaves and stops fooling with his head.
    Same for Wright, no coach in his right mind except Nelson would give so much run to Azubuke, at best he should be getting 1–20 minutes. Or else make him a big guard, not a small forward.

  • http://farmhouse1983.com Dan

    This is solid, and a spot on example of why you are the best beat writer covering the team. The Bucher/ Kawakami certainty that the team is over seem slightly premature, and I appreciate that there is some measure of pragmatism involved in your analysis of the Warriors failures. Also, live blogging is super cool, and everybody is doing it.

  • howl

    agreed except on MW. history shows that he sucks at the two good things you claim he’s good at scoring and passing. he’s a poor shooter and turnover prone and calls his # way way way too much. maybe you don’t know as much bball as you think? here’s his scouting report.

    2007-08 season: Williams is what I call a basketball narcissist: He keeps calling his number despite horrid percentages and bushels of turnovers. If he ever decides to chill out and become an actual point guard there’s enough talent here to turn into a real player, but who knows if the light bulb will ever come on.

    It’s hard to overstate how harmful Williams’ me-first offensive tendencies are. He used a ton of possessions and used them horribly, ranking in the top third of point guards in usage rate but sporting the third worst turnover ratio at his position and a sub-50 true shooting percentage. He ranked 58th out of 71 points guards in pure point rating, even though, theoretically, he’s supposed to be a natural point guard.

    About the only positives were his improvement to 38.0 percent on 3-pointers, which would make him a useful spot-up guy if he’d stop trying to drive 1-on-5 so much, and the sixth best rebound rate among point guards.

    Scouting report: Offense isn’t Williams’ only problem. He was out of shape and was routinely blistered by opposing point guards last season, which is why 38-year-old Darrell Armstrong was able to eat into his minutes even though he was about the only player in captivity who made worse decisions than Williams at the point. New Jersey was phenomenally bad on D with Williams playing, giving up 9.0 points more per 48 minutes than with him off the court.

    A left-hander with a great feel for the game, Williams actually could be pretty good if he decided to be a pass-first player. Scouts compared him to Mark Jackson coming out of college — yes, seriously — and if he gets in shape and gets his head on straight, there’s still an opportunity for that caliber of player to come out. But he’s a poor finisher and only a middling shooter, so if he’s trying to score 20 a night it’s not gonna work.

    2008-09 outlook: The Nets traded Williams to Golden State for a lottery-protected — heck, lottery embalmed — first round pick that might not even be a first when all is said and done and likely won’t be theirs for at least a few years.

    He’ll begin the year with the backup point guard job, just as he did in New Jersey a year ago, but I don’t expect Don Nelson to be any more tolerant of Williams’ selfish play than Lawrence Frank was. If he can get in shape and focus on passing he’ll have a nice year, especially since Monta Ellis will be out of the lineup at the start of the season; otherwise he might find himself again kicked to the curb for a veteran retread with a fraction of his talent.

  • chikago

    like you said, its sends wrong message to the players. nelson seems very indifferent and although it has to be tough for him hes getting paid good money to coach and that means the entire game. his attitude sux and his act is wearing thin with me.

  • Doctorben

    Beans is a superior talent — who needs a COACH to help him keep developing. Playing Watson ahead of Marcus Williams to the obvious detriment of the team [I won't pick on poor dEmARCUS WHO IS not AND NEVER WILL BE AN NBS class player] is criminal – at least tortious – beavior on the part of Nelson. Either he is throwing the games on purpose (gambling motive?) or he is abusing his position to use his employer’s assets to reward young men in whom he has a personal interest. SUE the bastard!

  • jim back from fishing

    I couldn’t see much of the game. But when I turned in late the players on the court were Morrow, Watson, Azubuike, Nelson and Biedrins/Turief. What happened to Bellineli, Wright, and Randolph (let alone Williams)? With the vacuum in upper management is there no one who Nelson is accountable to?

  • Doctorben

    Think of it this way: Nelson has destroyed any value to the company that Marcus Williams might have had – by lying about his performance, and by lying about the terms of Williams contract, and by lying about the performance of players competing with Williams: if you were a GM in the NBA, and you thought that CJ Watson – hell DeMarcus Nelson – was outplaying Marcus Williams, would you want Williams? Those of you who have watched practices know that Williams is so far superior to Watson and DemARCUS in every respect, that no HONEST coach could report anything else.
    Nelson is an EMPLOYEE – he is supposed to protect the interests of his employer – NOT indulge his own desires to the detriment of that employer. Last year, with Mully in charge, this team won 48 games. This year, with Nelson (empowered by Rowell)running the show, Baron Davis has been run out of town, AH has been run out of town, Biedrins is floundering for lack of coaching, Jackson has been overplayed to the point of emotional – if not physical- breakdown, and players who would not make the roster anywhere else are starters — WHY? What is Nelson getting for doing this? We all know that the fat man is GREEDY, and SELFISH to an incredible degree? So WHY is he destroying the Warriors? Is he interested in young guys? Is THAT why he kills the team to play inferior talent? Because he wants the kids to OWE him? Does he have gambling connections? At the very least, the league should investigate Nelson’s behavior. A bad official may only be the tip of an iceberg — imagine a corrupted coach?!?

    Perhaps Nelson is just a compulsive liar and a head case – in that event, Rowell must be the WORST executive in the history of the American corporation. Imagine: Nelson has diminished the value of the Warriors, has purposively destroyed the value of assets of the Warriors . . . and, thanks to Rowell’s co-operation, has buried the Warriors in a financial hole that will take YEARS to get out of . . .maybe Nelson is just nuts (MAYBE) – but Rowell? If he worked for YOU, would he still be employed, today?

  • Nilesh Choudhary

    I agree that it was a mistake not fouling down the stretch, especially considering how they extended the game in Oakland which ultimately cost us the game. I disagree on Marcus Williams. DeMarcus Nelson played decent defense on D. Wade and got a steal for a layup. Marcus Williams is a bust – and even worse, his effort appears lackluster. I like DeMarcus Nelson. I just wish he would step in on his jumper instead of forcing himself to shoot from 3 when it is outside his range. Also, he did make his free throws last night.

  • J.A. (A.J.’s brother)

    Nelson played along side Russell, Havliceck and all those Boston “legends.”

    One would think he would employ a more traditional outlook on basketball.

    Play tough defense, play as a team, move the ball, motion offense.

    He is the exact opposite.

    Anyway, Erik Spoelstra, young and inexperienced has his Miami Heat 3 or 4 games over .500 while our coach is still struglling with his gimmick line ups and “show” defense.

    Nelson comes to NBA franchises with the sole purpose of taking over. From coaching to General Management to scouting to decision-making, this guy wants it all.

    He did in his first go around with Golden State, he did it Dallas, and he’s doing it again. Where is Chris Mullin? Mitch Richmond? It’s all Nelson now, exactly how he wants it. I don’t know how he did in Milwaukee when he was coaching Moncrief, that’s before my time, but as far as what he did here the first time and then Dallas and now again over here, it’s very obvious what his intentions are.

    The big contract and all the decision making power, that’s all this guy’s in it for, at least that’s how it appears to most Warrior fans at this point!

    I wish there was something positive I could write. I don’t want to consistently harp on the negative aspects of this organization and their place in the NBA, but what else is there to talk about with this team lately?

  • J.A. (A.J.’s brother)

    Farmar is out for 8 weeks for the Lakers.

    They need a back-up PG.

    How about sending Marcus Williams over there for Chris Mihm.

    Chris is healthy and ready to play. He has much more offensive game than Ronny Turiaf, he can play with his back to the basket, and he can rebound decently. This way you bring in Mihm to spell Biedrins at the 5 and move Turiaf to the 4 to back up Wright if I were running the team.

  • jsl

    Good points all. Nelson was tanking, pure and simple — the exact wrong message to keep sending with this very young team.

    Benching BW after he came alive and got the team moving (we’re now one of the slowest teams I’ve seen in years when neither BW nor AR is in the game) was just ludicrous, as well, and could be added to the list.

    Finally, whether conscious or not, the “Bare with me” line was just precious, given Emperor Nelson’s now obvious lack of clothes.

  • danikil49

    There is a reason why losing teams fail and it starts at the top. Nellie can only coach veterans and only GOOD to GREAT veterans as he has proven more than once in his coaching career. I would say the sooner he goes the better, but then Rowell would have to choose a new coach and after the SJ and reup for Nellie deals I have litle faith in his judgement. So Nellie just play Wright, Bellinelli, Randolph and Morrow I will shut up and suffer as we are want to do with young players.Also trade SJ and CM for anything the league will allow and Buddy Ryan.

  • http://www.FIRENELSON.com Vik
  • http://www.FIRENELSON.com Vik

    He’s quit on the team but won’t quit … he’s too smart for that. He is TRYING to get FIRED … so why don’t we give him what he wants and be on with it. http://www.FireNelson.com

  • A’s in 2009

    Not putting BWright back in the game was the most inexcusable thing that happened last night. 10 pts in 3rd Q, he gets yanked and it done for the game. WTF :?

  • manhattanproj

    i agree with you marcus. i said it after 10 games and i’ll say it again, nelson is not the right coach for this team right now. he was good for the team the past two years when they were trying to get over the hump. w’s need a coach that has the patience for development. it doesn’t help the team if randolph, wright, belinelli, and some extent, williams, don’t get consistent minutes. this is the year to find out who’s staying for the future and who’s not.

    w’s need a coach like nate mcmillan.

    and who went ahead and gave nelson an extension? the same dude that gave jackson an extension, who could’ve been a trade bait to get tayshaun prince, who is a superior role model for the youngster because of his work ethic.

    the organization, and as a result, the team is in disarray because of the “power struggle.” it’s a bunch of crap and that’s exactly what this team looks like right now on the court.

  • http://?? Jerry

    Hi Marcus, I don’t know if you will respond to me or not?? It would be nice to get some answers from someone that might be able to explain things to a longtime fan (35 yrs) or so..I go to some games and watch the rest on TV, I used to be excited about the team when Nellie first arrived. But watching the way he over uses players frustrates me more and more every day. Two years ago I thought we had a decent team that was 9 or 10 deep at pre-season, but as the season went on Nellie cut it down to 7 or sometimes 8. But we came together at the end and shocked the world. That was great as we all know..Last year after Jackson returned we really got going and it was great to see, but anyone who watched could see that Nellie was over using the starters game after game. Why doesn’t he trust young players? There on the team why not play them? Even for only 3-5 minutes a game to get real game experience, and to rest the starters. The guys tried to run the whole game, but you could see the tired legs in the 4th qtr. and the shots got shorter and we lost games we could have had a chance to win if the starters had more energy?? Anyway the team did great even if it ended badly..This year has been very strange to say the least, but listening to Nellie talk out of both sides of his mouth at the same time is sad. I don’t pretend to know the power strugles that are going on inside of the organization, but as a fan I can tell you that I am not going to any more games this year. I am sick and tired of Nellie preaching about how good a young player is after one game and telling everyone that he will be playing more often and then not seeing that player for a week or so is just plane stupid on his part. What is Nellie’s problem?? Is this a power play with ownership or the GM or what?? We have 3 power forwards on the team, Brandon is in his second year, Anthony and Rob are rookies. I played college ball and I coached a little in college also, I can tell you that you can practice all you want and it’s never the same as game time speed. All Nellie is doing is lying to everyone and I for one am sick of it. Will you please explain to me why the team trades for a point guard and will not play him, didn’t anyone see this kid play before they traded for him. How dumb does this organization look after doing that, who the HELL is in charge anyway. He must be a MORON or work for the Nets part time.. Oh, please don’t tell me that he’s overweight or doesn’t know the playbook, that just insults me and everyone else with half a brain.

    Well thats enough for now;

    Jerry

  • GSWFan24

    There must be more to the story of how Marcus Williams can’t get into the game. He’s not great but the guy could pass. Meanwhile CJ, Bukie, and Nelson are out there stinking it up with turnover etc. Its unfair for him not to get any minutes in a game like that. If there is one thing I disagree with Nellie on, its his high opinion of CJ Watson, bless his heart, he’s a scrub!!!!

  • tim1344

    Nellie is no to blame for the bad personal. Since the team is headed for deep lottery it is better to lose trying to teach the young ones than trying to steal a game by fouling. And the chances of Wade missing clutch frees is about one in one hundred. Get over it. The team sucks and Nellie needs a point guard of all star calibur to run his system> BD was dumped for nothing and Nellie was suppose to weave straw into gold with this bunch of unsuitable players? How about some real reporting on why JR was traded, BD dumped, MP, MB the weird trade of a number one for a guy NJ gAVE UP on? Etc. and etc.

  • montae all day

    Hey marcus. did you know there actually is a fire nelson website. The fans want him and rowell gon. firenelson.com

  • Andrew Rosenblum

    Great analysis Marcus — I was mystified by the not-fouling too — I assumed that it was just DeMarcus making a rookie mistake — instead that comes from the top? To just quit? Then why are we bothering to watch these games, since Nellie says the Warriors have no chance to win and then doesn’t try to win? What a bunch of nonsense!

  • goingforthemoney.com

    Marcus,I feel you on this one! The reality is this; before the Monta feasco and discovering that MW was not his kind of player after acquiring him, Nelson knew he was in for a long year with all these young player. He through in the towel long before this situation developed. Once the losing streak took place Nelson’s mad scientist ego has been deflated. He can’t even think anymore. Right now he doesn’t even want to coach anymore with all this talk of letting smart and moncrief coach the team on defense. What a sellout nelson is. He may be a smallball matchup strategist but he’s got no stomach for youth. He’s talking about how mellow and soft he’s gotton but I say he’s gone yellow. There’s no more fight in him and like AL Davis the game has passed him by. No one can deny that Nelson has been an innovator over time however he is out of touch with this younger generation of players and needs to ride off into the sunset. Yes young player will make mistakes but that’s part of the process. The whole purpose of playing them is to put them in favorable situations and develop them and that requires a firm hand and great communications. Nelsons knows the success is of this team is in the future and he is not going to be around to benefit from that. Oh well! I guess he might as well turn the reigns over to Smart.

  • danikil49

    Check this out!! Chris Mullins goes to the Knicks as their GM Nellie moves up to GM the Warriors and Keith Smart becomes the coach. The W’s may as well do it now and stop acting like that is not the plan.This scenario would not surprise me at all.The only thing that would make this better is if Rowell became the President of the Clippers.

  • firethefrontoffice

    Rowell and Cohan for mayors of East LA. Get them far away from the Warriors. These two are good for something – demolishing things!!

  • firethefrontoffice

    One more thing.

    I bet you Cohan and Rowell do not have the cohones to read the CCT discussion forums.

  • Mike W.

    If you’re going to rip others, be sure your own skirts are clean. For instance, it’s “bear” with me not “bare” with me. This laugher is in your lead paragraph. Secondly, chunks of your stream-of-consciousness dump were just as laughable. For instance, “Andris played like he was jealous….” There are times to hit the ‘delete’ button, and that was one of them.

  • Marcus

    Mike W.

    I should hire you to edit my blog. I can pay you in media guides.
    By the way, the correct way is “be sure your own skirt is clean.” Can’t wear two skirts at once, now can I? :-)

  • ad hoc

    “bear”,not “bare” unless you want to bare it all!