Nelson was good today in pre-game. He explained deeper about why Crawford needs to go. It boils down to the fact that neither can guard shooting guards. Since one of them has to go, Crawford is the guy.
-Q: Is he your point guard for next year?
-NELSON: We’ll determine that the rest of this year.
-Q: If it’s not him next year, who is it?
-NELSON: I don’t know. There ain’t no guy there.
-Q: There’s no way it can be Crawford?
Nellie: “I don’t think that the mix is good enough. It’s just like oil and water. They’re both really good players, but you need somebody that can guard a ‘two’ and both of them have difficulties guarding the twos. Especially when you get into the good teams, twos are 6-7… There’s great players in our league that are twos right now. That’s pretty difficult for either guy. You need somebody that’s more of a defender there.”
Oddly enough, Nellie said he thought Crawford might be able to guard shooting guards when they traded for him. He said he thought Crawford was would be able to hold his own defending the position once the coaching staff got to him. Now, such hope is gone.
Nellie: “I thought, you know, maybe. Because he’s got pretty good size. I thought maybe it might be a few technique things, maybe we could help him, give him a little more support behind him and stuff like that. But it’s just really hard for him. I think they’re both combo guards and maybe have a better chance to guard the one, both of them.”
Since I don’t buy Nelson making a decision based solely on defense, I’m going to assume something else is at play. I think he doesn’t think it ill work offensively. I think he’s saying Crawford isn’t the kind of point guard he wants, certainly not good enough to unseat the face of the franchise.
Nelson said he was unsure if Monta would be the point guard next season and he was going to “determine that the rest of this year.” So he clearly isn’t writing off Crawford because he thinks Monta is the next Baron. If he thought Crawford could be a dominant PG, I bet he’d go with the small lineup and live with their defensive woes.
I can’t say I totally disagree, either. With all his talent, Crawford has not shown he is the kind of PG Nelie needs to run his system. To be fair, he didn’t get a training camp to establish himself, which makes the job of running point more difficult.
Nellie: “Well, there’s different kinds of points–there’s scoring points and there’s passing points and he’s a scoring point right now. I think the development as a passer will come. He’s a very smart player and he has vision, he makes some sensational plays every now and then. It’s just the consistency. We keep thinking that just because he’s been here for a while that…. you know, he’s not a made man yet. He’s got work to do. He’s still young. So a lot of hope there for me.”
The only problem is what do you do when you push Crawford out of town and the team decides to void or Ellis forces his way out?
Nellie: “I don’t know. There ain’t no guy there.”
Highlights from Baron Davis’ pre-game interviews (read the full interview on Tim Kawakami’s blog):
You’ve been the subject of a few columns in the LA Times, getting some intense criticism. Does that stuff bother you at all?
“No, not at all. You guys know me well. I let things roll off my shoulders. I have big shoulders. I’m here to do one thing and that’s to win and get this team to where it needs to be, a playoff-contention, and that’s my mission.”
“If I’m criticized or ridiculed for anything, I accept it and I use it as motivation to continue to get better.”
Have you seen any of your former teammates tonight?
“Coaches more so than teammates. I saw Jack yesterday.”
He got suspended for you.
Yeah, thanks Jack.
What would’ve happened here if you had stayed with the Warriors?
“Umm, I don’t know. I’m a real optimistic person, so I figure we’d come off of a 48-win season, and we were only winning more games each and every year that we were playing together. Who knows what would’ve happened, but I definitely know that we would’ve been in playoff contention and a good team to be reckoned with.”
Q: Have you seen Mullin at all? Negotiating with you might’ve been one of the last things he did as the true guy in charge here. Are you aware of that?
“I’m not sure. I know Chris Mullin has been the figurehead of this franchise and he’s done a great job in his role as president. I think he brought together a great team and he did what he said he was going to do.
I’ve got nothing bad to say about Chris Mullin. He’s a legend, he’s a Hall of Famer, and he’s somebody who’s always going to be in my corner and I’m going to be in his.”