Tag:Golden State Warriors
Posted on: April 29, 2011 10:04 pm

Warriors want a complete overhaul

Warriors' GM says personnel changes towards defensive strength must happen along with new coach mindset. 
Posted by Matt Moore

Thursday we mentioned how Larry Riley was looking for a coach with better defensive principles, and we questioned how that was going to happen, given their personnel. Turns out, Riley turned around and acknowledged that there were going to be personnel changes. Defense has to be brought in, and the time is now. 
From SFGate.com: 
In what hinted at a major change in philosophy, Riley noted that all of the potential additions have to be better defenders. He even seemed open to slowing his preferred uptempo style offense.

"That doesn't mean I have to go get a defensive guru to coach," Riley said. "Our defense has to improve, but that's not necessarily the model for the coach. ...

"We do like the uptempo game, because the roster is geared that way. That could change, if we change the roster as well as the coach."
via Housecleaning ongoing for Warriors GM Riley.

So the objective then is to try and build a transition roster that doesn't clash with the uptempo pieces they have in place but can also play defense. That's a tough, but not impossible order. Fast-pace teams tend to give up more points and offensive rebounds by way of the system. But a team like Indiana is a good example of a team with young, athletic talent who play solid defense and have the fifth highest pace. And we saw what kind of promising future they've got in their first-round series against Chicago, albeit a brief one. 

If the Warriors want to put the pointless speed years behind them and move towards a more-balanced, while still fast future, making these kinds of adoptions are a great way to start. The only question is what they'll have to give up to start adding those types of players. 

Posted on: April 28, 2011 2:57 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 1:56 pm

Warriors short list: looking for a powerless hand

Warriors short list includes several former head coaches, but seeks to give them "minimal input" over personnel decisions. Huh?
Posted by Matt Moore

With Keith Smart ousted in Golden State, the search naturally begins for his replacement. The next coach will be inheriting a roster built for speed, with defensive liabilities at multiple positions and a lot of guys that like to shoot... well, a lot. So who's on the early short list? From the Contra-Costa Times' Marcus Thompson.
Riley said the Warriors havent contacted anyone yet and dont have a timetable for hiring a new coach, though he said it wouldnt hurt to have one by the NBA draft, which is June 23.

He declined to reveal whom the Warriors have on their shortlist, but multiple sources -- from the team and in NBA circles -- said they believe former Cleveland coach Mike Brown and assistant coaches Dwane Casey of Dallas, Mike Budenholzer of San Antonio and Lawrence Frank of Boston are on that list. Casey and Frank are also former NBA head coaches.

One team source said the Warriors have an eye on former Utah coach Jerry Sloan. But thats considered a long shot, as the legendary coach isnt expected to come out of retirement for a rebuilding franchise.
via Head coach Keith Smart is one and done with Golden State Warriors - ContraCostaTimes.com.

Those are all pretty standard choices, and the move towards a more grounded, defensive-centric coach is evident. Frank was brought in to replace Tom Thibodeau in Boston, Brown is known most notably for his defensive work. Perhaps most interesting, though, is this snippet from Kawakami later: 

Riley suggested that a new coach will have only minimal input over player personnel. He will be expected to significantly improve the defense and get into the 2012 playoffs.

 Riley has been the one splitting responsibilities with Don Nelson, and handed a new contract to David Lee. So for this to be a move towards more autonomy in decision making smells like a power grab in a vaccuum. Furthermore, how does that mesh with the pursuit of veteran coaches, most of whom are going to want significant influence over personnel? You can't hire a defensive coach, give him a bunch of defensive-liability offense-centric players and say "Go get 'em!" There's got to be some level of balance going forward. 
Posted on: April 27, 2011 9:42 am
Edited on: April 27, 2011 1:47 pm

Report: Warriors let go of coach Keith Smart

The Golden State Warriors reportedly part ways with coach Keith Smart. Posted by Ben Golliver. keith-smart

Update: CSNBayArea.com reports that the Warriors have indeed decided to part ways with coach Keith Smart. Smart signed a two-year contract last fall with a team option for 2011-2012. That option, the site reports, will not be picked up.

The team also issued the following statement.
“It’s never easy to make difficult decisions, especially when it involves someone that we have a great deal of respect for like Keith Smart,” said Warriors Owner Joe Lacob. “After meeting extensively with Larry Riley and Bob Myers, we came to the conclusion that a change was necessary at this particular time. I think Keith did an admirable job this season and he should be commended for many of the positive things that transpired both on and off the floor. The team showed improvement and their effort was never in question. However, we’ve elected to pursue a new path and we wish Keith the very best. He’s a quality person and we thank him for the time he invested with our organization.” 
CBSSports.com's Ken Berger has more on the decision.

Original Post:

The first year of the post-Don Nelson era in Golden State didn't end in abject failure, but it also didn't end with a trip to the playoffs. New Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber have repeatedly made public their intentions of turning the team into a perennial winner.

Now that the season is over, the question is whether head coach Keith Smart will be a part of that building process. It's not looking promising: the Oakland Tribune reports Wednesday that Smart's tenure could end this week.
A team source said a decision is expected within the next two or three days, while another source "wouldn't be surprised if he's let go (Wednesday)."
Larry Riley, recently named executive vice president of basketball operations, said on April 15 that the Warriors would begin evaluating Smart in eight or nine days, which would have been last weekend.
New owners in any sport always want "their guy." In this case, Smart served as a solid bridge last season given the timing involved in the Warriors purchase. He knew the players, had a system and was given the opportunity to prove he was the man for the job long-term. 

Smart's first season on the job produced 36 victories, an improvement over the team's 26 in 2009-2010 and 29 in 2008-2009. But the Warriors invested some serious coin in forward David Lee and expectations were raised with that signing.

The problem, as always for the Warriors, was defense, where the team ranked No. 26 in efficiency. The offense wasn't all that either, ranking No. 12 league-wide. On both sides of the ball there are ongoing questions about whether guards Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry -- who are both undersized and need the ball in their hands to be most effective -- are a good match going forward. 

If there's one real knock on Smart, it's that Curry didn't take more of a leap forward in his second season. While his scoring numbers were slightly up, his assists and turnovers remained virtually identical to his rookie season. More progress on that front likely could have resulted in a new contract.

Should the Warriors do decide to let go of Smart, it will be interesting to see which direction they go. Given that all three of their best players -- Curry, Ellis and Lee -- are better on offense than defense, whoever it is will have his hands full. The temptation might be to go for a defensive-minded coach, but that could turn into a situation like Terry Porter's tenure in Phoenix, where the mentality didn't necessarily mesh with the pieces on hand. 

More than Xs and Os, though, the Warriors seem to be looking for the right personality and culture fit. The team's new ownership have bent over backwards to connect with the team's fanbase. Does that mean they'll go for a splash hire? Not necessarily, but you can bet whoever is the coach next season will possess a marketability factor.
Posted on: April 11, 2011 1:14 pm

Ellis has concussion, will miss final two games

Posted by Royce Young

Monta Ellis took a nasty spill last night. It was one of those abruptly-inhale-deeply-and-don't-breathe-again-until-he-moves kind of falls. He was taken to the hospital but as the Warriors said today, Ellis was released this morning with a Grade 2 concussion.

The team says he'll miss the final two games of the season.

The fall was pretty scary just because the way it happened. Ellis hit the side of his head on the floor, which doesn't happen often. Once he got up after laying for a minute or so, he was obviously woozy and shaken.
As the NFL has been trying to tell us lately, along with people well before, concussions are no joke. And Ellis's was pretty serious. Basketball is not immune to these types of things with sharp elbows flying around, players jumping high and hard falls taking place. That wood below is hard. Really hard. It's not very forgiving.

Ellis will be fine but his injury is a subtle reminder that the concussion discussion isn't entirely limited to just football and hockey. Basketball is indeed a contact sport and hard falls happen.
Posted on: April 11, 2011 12:40 am
Edited on: April 11, 2011 12:48 am

Monta Ellis taken to hospital after hard fall

Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis takes a hard fall against the Sacramento Kings and was taken to a hospital afterwards. Posted by Ben Golliver.

With roughly a minute to go during the fourth quarter of a game and his team leading the Sacramento Kings, 100-97, Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis took a nasty spill that forced him out of the game with an apparent head injury.

Ellis drove into the paint against Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins, drawing a foul as he catapulted in the air and flung the ball at the rim. On his way down, Ellis landed hard on his right side and lay in a heap in the paint. He was able to walk off the court under his own power, but the Warriors tweeted after the game that Ellis "will be taken to a local hospital for further examination after hitting his head late in tonight's game." 

CSNBayArea.com added these details.
He landed awkwardly and appeared to hit the side of his head on the hardwood floor. Ellis remained on the ground for a minute or so and when he got up appeared visibly woozy. Ellis, who got fouled on the play, went to the bench and did not return ... Warriors coach Keith Smart said after the game that Ellis had been bothered throughout the game by a sore ankle. Ellis ended up playing just 26 minutes, but sat for most of the fourth quarter.
The Warriors also noted that Ellis "will not travel with the team to Denver for tomorrow's game." Following Monday's game against the Nuggets in Denver, the Warriors close their season at home against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Here's video of the play.

To add insult to the injury, the Warriors lost to the Kings, 104-103, giving up four straight points in Ellis' absence. Ellis is Golden State's leading scorer at 24.3 points per game, and his absence could have playoff implications, as both the Nuggets and Blazers are jockeying in the playoff seeding race. Denver is currently the No. 5 seed while Portland is currently the No. 6 seed.

Updates on Ellis' health when they become available.
Posted on: March 20, 2011 3:21 pm
Edited on: March 20, 2011 3:25 pm

Suns G Brooks suspended for throwing ball at ref

Phoenix Suns guard Aaron Brooks has been suspended for throwing a ball at an NBA official. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Phoenix Suns guard Aaron Brooks is developing quite the reputation for anger management issues this season. He stormed off the court after an argument with former coach Rick Adelman, he attempted to pick a fight with Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love and now, humorously, he chucked a basketball at an NBA official for no apparent reason, drawing a one-game suspension from the NBA. 

The league announced the suspension in a release on Sunday.
Brooks  has  been  suspended one game without pay for throwing a ball at an official  and  striking  him  in  the leg.  The incident occurred with 7:46 remaining  in the fourth period of the Suns’ 108-97 victory over the Golden State Warriors at the US Airways Center in Phoenix.
Brooks will serve his suspension today in Los Angeles when the Suns play the Los Angeles Clippers in a 3:30 p.m. EDT/12:30 p.m. PDT game at the Staples Center.
With the Suns leading the Golden State Warriors by double-digits in the fourth quarter, Brooks drives into the paint in transition, looking to draw contact. Warriors guard Monta Ellis backs off and Brooks careens out of control as Warriors forward Lou Amundson attempts to reach in and steal the ball from behind. Brooks falls to the court and out of bounds and the baseline referee makes no foul call. Instead, he begins to signal that it will be Warriors ball. Without hesitation, Brooks fires the ball, from the ground, at the official, nailing him in the leg. Brooks was immediately whistled for a technical foul on the play.

Here's a look at the hilarious exchange via YouTube user SBNationArizona.

Posted on: March 17, 2011 1:05 pm

If Smart's not coming back is Curry the reason?

Posted by Royce Young

When Keith Smart was hired before the season, or more specifically promoted from the second seat on the bench after Don Nelson "resigned," it was clear Smart wasn't thought to be the long-term answer.

He was given just a one-year contract and with the Warriors playing better this season but still struggling in a lot of the same old areas, Smart may pay for it. Especially with an ambitious owner breathing down his neck to turn things around now-ish. On top of that, it could be Smart's relationship with the franchise player that does it too. CSN Bay Area has the goods.

When Warriors owner Joe Lacob says publicly at the end of the season he’s not bringing back Keith Smart as coach — which seems very much a foregone conclusion at this point — he’ll certainly have some reasons.

Right at the top of the list will be Smart’s relationship with second-year point guard Stephen Curry. There is no feud, no profanity-laced shouting matches or even any dislike, really. There’s not even really a “problem.”

But something’s amiss between the two. All you have had to do was watch the Warriors all season long and you would have seen it. To say Smart has had Curry on a shorter leash than Don Nelson did a year ago would be an understatement.

Playing is and will always be a coach's greatest weapon and Smart uses that against Curry often. This season, Curry is averaging about three minutes less per game but is scoring better and shooting higher percentages. The problem though is how Curry takes care of the ball and he's made no improvement in that area since last season, still averaging three turns a game. That's what's irking Smart.

Thing is, Curry is your guy. He's The Player. If the Warriors had depth, it wouldn't be as big a deal, but sitting Curry for players way worse isn't a smart thing for Smart (hi-oh!). He's trying to make Curry a better player, but it's all about response and right now, it doesn't appear that Smart is getting through.

The Warriors kind of seem like a franchise that's closing in on something even though they don't know what it is. Owner Joe Lacob keeps talking about trading the team's best players and now it looks like Smart's job could be open. Again, the team's not bad! They still stink defensively, but they rebound and defend just enough to win some games.

The team has already won four more games than last season and honestly, if a strong push is made to end the season the Warriors could flirt with .500. If they were in the East, they could be battling for the six-seed right now. Doesn't sound like that's going to help Smart much though.
Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:24 am

New Warriors owners promise playoffs or prizes

The Golden State Warriors are promising incentives to season ticket holders if the team doesn't reach certain milestones. Posted by Ben Golliver. joe-lacob-fan

When you're a struggling lottery team year after year, you do what you have to to create a buzz. 

New Golden State Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Gruber are pushing the bounds of that axiom, promising incentives to season ticket holders in the event the Warriors fail to reach the playoffs next season. The Warriors have launched a website, SignWithTheWarriors.com, that's designed with a legal feel. The front page document reads "Herinafter contained is the first official contract between a professional sports team and its fans."

That "contract" includes the promise that the Warriors will make the playoffs next season or "ticket prices will not increase" for the following season. It also notes that if a Warrior is not selected for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, season ticket holders will "receive an autographed All-Star-related item' and "will be entered into a drawing for an all-expenses-paid trip for two to the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando." Finally, if the team doesn't go at least 25-17 at home, the Warriors will arrange for season ticket holders to attend "an exclusive two-hour autograph event at Oracle Arena with the entire team."

The San Francisco Business Times notes that the Golden State's new owners see these promises as part of a plan to help meet their own high expectations.
“In order to achieve the objectives outlined ... we are going to need everyone in this organization — from the basketball side to the business side — to meet the expectations that we’ve established,” said Peter Guber, who along with Joe Lacob bought the club last year for a NBA record $450 million. “It’s going to take a committed effort in all facets if we are to reward our great fans with the product they deserve.”
It goes without saying that the NBA needs more innovation and accountability when it comes to its ownership groups, and after years of disarray in the bay this message and approach will likely be received with open arms from Warriors fans, even if the actual incentives aren't much to write home about. 

Here, it's the thought that counts. Being a season ticket holder requires an investment of thousands of dollars and, like any big ticket item, comes with doubts and concerns that it could go bust. With this move, the Warriors are selling their fans a bit of insurance and peace of mind: buy into our vision and we'll take steps not to burn you. What consumer wouldn't appreciate that?
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com