Tag:Keith Smart
Posted on: January 14, 2011 12:44 pm
Edited on: January 14, 2011 12:55 pm

The Warriors' never-ending problem at center

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

It's quite obvious now that Keith Smart has little faith in Andris Biedrins, and why should he? The man looks lost. Career-wise, he's halfway back to Latvia. He played all 12 minutes of the first quarter, to the tune of one shot and one rebound. It's also clear that Smart isn't ready to play Ekpe Udoh against a team as talented as the Lakers, and Udoh himself admitted he needs more time to adjust to the NBA game. The most intriguing lack of trust last night involved Lou Amundson. Listen, the guy's no world-beater; he has limited skills. But he had some success against the Lakers during the Western Conference finals last year, particularly in Game 4, when he gave the Phoenix Suns seven points and seven rebounds off the bench in 17 minutes. The Lakers are no mystery to him. Seemed awfully strange that he didn't even get off the bench.
via The Warriors A Matter of Trust : Bruce Jenkins' Three Dot Blog.

Biedrins has started for the Warriors since 2006-2007. Before that? Adonal Foyle. Clifford Robinson. Before That? Erick Dampier. So we're talking a long and historic range of failure at the center position. 

What's sad about this is that the Warriors have run such a fast paced system, that had they simply had an above-average big to really fill in all the blanks while keeping their style, their success could have been so much greater. It's not true that a legit big man is an anathema to a system that runs and guns. That's likely why David Lee was brought in. Unfortunately, due to injury, adjustment, or just a smaller role in the offense, Lee hasn't been nearly the player he was in New York, with significant regression in points and rebounds. Meanwhile, Biedrins is also slumping, and despite being on the trade block for years, hasn't been moved by management yet. Ekpe Udoh theoretically shows that kind of promise, but it's hard to see him making that kind of jump immediately. 

Amundson was brought in as a free agent at the last moment. That Amundson was available was confusing as he showed such tenacity in the playoffs with the Suns. But perhaps the scouts were right about Amundson's lack of discernible skills being problematic outside the talent basin in Phoenix.

The Warriors don't have to slow it down, play traditional ball, or grind it out. They can play up-tempo, play fast and loose with focus. But to get to the next step, they have to have a big man to fill in that role, a true big who can get big buckets and rebounds coming off those breaks. Until they find that, the Warriors are just spinning their very fast wheels. 
Posted on: November 15, 2010 8:34 pm
Edited on: November 15, 2010 10:19 pm

New Warriors owner installs son in front office

New Warriors owner installs recent college graduate son as Director of Basketball Operations. Posted by Matt Moore

For years, the Golden State Warriors have been a relative joke due to the state of their front office. An owner who didn't seem interested in winning, who let Don Nelson have far too much run of the place, and Nelson himself randomly and obtrusively acting in pursuit of some mythical plan's completion. But with the new owners, Joe Lacob and Peter Guber, there's been a lot of positive feelings about the future of the franchise. Before they even took over, they ousted Nellie, installed Keith Smart, and subsequently the team has looked about a billion times better on the floor.

Today at an introductory luncheon for the community and media, though, an interesting item was revealed . Lacob has installed his son, Kirk Lacob, as Director of Basketball Operations. Well, okay, that's not exactly the ideal choice for such a big position, but it happens. After all, Josh Kroenke just took over as owner of the Denver Nuggets. I'm sure Kirk has tons of experience. Let's see he graduated from Stanford in...


On the junior Lacob's LinkedIn Profile (archived image found here ), found by Warriors blog Golden State of Mind , the younger Lacob lists internships at a textbook sales company , founding the Stanford Club Basketball team , and working as an intern with the Celtics.

My first job out of college was a dry cleaner's. Geez.

It's a concerning development for someone of his age and inexperience. Then again, in the same luncheon, the Contra Costa Times reported that the new ownership group say Robert Rowell, current GM, would be sticking around , though his capacity is unclear at this moment. And with Smart on board, there's significant help in the front office. Plus, you have to consider how many former players with no front office history are installed in significant roles immediately after their playing days are over. And at the top of course is the Daddy-O, so maybe this isn't a big deal.

It just looks really, really weird.
Posted on: October 19, 2010 10:18 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:55 pm

Stephen Curry: running point, raising hopes

Golden State point guard Stephen Curry is growing up fast, focused on making the Warriors a playoff contender. Posted by Ben Golliver

“You make me feel old.” 

That was the reception from a middle-aged woman for Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, as he emerged from the Rose Garden’s visiting locker room on Saturday night after nearly going quadruple double -- 17 points, 11 assists, 7 rebounds and 8 turnovers -- on the Portland Trail Blazers in a meaningless preseason game.

The 22-year old Curry hears that a lot when he travels the league, in part because of his baby face, in part because of his slight frame, in part because so many people remember him tagging along his father Dell, a long-time NBA veteran. But as Curry begins his sophomore trip through the league, after contending for Rookie of the Year honors last season and winning a gold medal at the FIBA World Championship this summer, he’s hearing a lot of others thing too. Like, “One of the best shooters in the league.” Like, “All star potential."

That’s the story for Curry and his new-look Warriors this season: emerging. “He surprised everybody last year because we thought maybe he wasn’t ready for the NBA,” Blazers forward Nicolas Batum said. “He seems more mature. He has learned the NBA game.”

Curry says he’s ready to take on the full time playmaking point guard duties that new head coach Keith Smart has laid out for him. “Down the stretch of last season with so many injuries I think my role would be to distribute the ball, and 1A was to score. This year I think it’s more managing the game, we have such a powerful lineup this year I’ll be able to pick and choose when I want to attack, when I want to get people the ball.”

With the offseason additions of power forward David Lee, forward Dorell Wright and big man Lou Amundson, there’s a steadiness in the Bay that wasn’t there last year. “We had so many guys rotating in and out with injuries,” Curry lamented on Saturday. “Coming from the D-League, guys who are going to be here for two weeks until somebody gets healthy. Playing with unorthodox lineups on the floor, it’s kind of tough to be consistent throughout the course of a season so hopefully that doesn’t have to happen this year. Right now we have more of what I’d call a traditional lineup, our big guys are healthy, we can go out there and know the rotation that coach is going to put in, know what to expect night in and night out, not have to adjust on the fly as much as we did last year.”

The bread and butter of Curry’s game remains his gorgeous shooting stroke, which he works at harder than just about any one in the league. Two and a half hours before Saturday’s preseason game, Curry went through his “plan” with Stephen Silas. The plan consists of getting up “about 200” shots prior to a game, although Curry says he takes even more some nights to get his rhythm. This isn’t a standstill three-point contest. Curry works on catching the ball in awkward locations, creating a clean look off the dribble while moving in all four different directions, stopping and popping, floating through the lane, you name it.

All the work has paid off. “He’s always been a pretty good shooter with range,” says Blazers coach Nate McMillan, who coached Curry during the World Championships as an assistant for Team USA.” Now he’s proven he can shoot the NBA three. He’s definitely one of the top shooters in the league.” Batum agrees. “He is a top two or three [shooter] in the NBA for sure. When he has the ball he’s very dangerous. You have to remember where he is. If you lose him, bam.”

Bam, indeed. While the Blazers threw three different guards at Curry and occasionally extended their ball pressure full-court to make his life even more difficult, Curry found his shots again and again on Saturday night. Pull up three in transition, stopping on a dime. Cross-over dribble for a step back mid-range jumper. Darting off of a high screen, squaring his shoulders and letting fly.

“He has no conscience,” former NBA player and three-point ace Hersey Hawkins, who has known Curry since he was a child, laughed last week. “I think every guy that’s been labeled a great shooter shoots the ball with confidence, regardless of makes or misses, they’re constantly looking for their shots. He moves well without the ball, that’s a plus for being a good shooter. He knows how to free himself up to get his shot off. And then he has a variety of shots. He can put it down, shoot the floaters, shoot runners, of course we know he can shoot the three. When guys like that get on a roll, they’re just unstoppable.”

Curry isn’t yet an unstoppable force, but he’s getting there. The game plan to defend him involves denying him clean looks and forcing him to make plays under pressure. Curry’s 11 assists on Saturday speak to his developing vision, but his 8 turnovers make it clear there’s still work to be done. “It’s still a little bit of an adjustment,” Smart said after the game, pointing to the team’s addition of true low post players as a contributing factor. “We won’t have as much space on the floor that we’ve had in the past. There’s nothing major that’s going on right now. He’s going to figure it out.”

A number of Curry’s zip passes hit unprepared teammates in the hands. “We shared that in our shootaround this morning. You guys need to make sure when you’re cutting to the basket, be ready to receive the ball,” Smart said. “Don’t just run through the lane. He’s putting the ball on the money in some places but they’re dropping too many of his passes. But those things are correctable. They can correct the pass, they can correct the catch and we can move forward.”

Curry smiled when asked about the turnovers. “I won’t have that many every night.”   He says he’s still adjusting to his new teammates, and vice versa, and feels like he’s being given as much time and space as he needs to develop into the point guard role. “They want me to be aggressive, make plays, but you can’t be careless with it,” Curry says. “You can’t take that freedom and running around the floor. I think they trust me to be smart with the ball, be aggressive, make the right play. Nights like tonight where I’m making a lot of dumb plays, it shows the trust they have in me to make the right ones by keeping me out there and letting me work through it.”

That work, on his jumper, on his maturity, on his playmaking, is turning heads. Asked if Curry will make an all star game in the near future, Hawkins didn’t hesitate. “Oh, yeah, definitely. I think he’s that good.” McMillan agreed. “He enjoys the game, he works at it. Just a talented player. If he continues to have that success and his team wins, you certainly have to consider that.”

Team success is on Curry’s mind too. “We have a lot of pieces we need to make that push, be in the mix with those eight or nine teams in the West competing for those playoff spots.” Whether it’s this year or next, Golden State is playoff bound in the near future.  Young Curry will see to that, as he makes us all feel old in the process.

Posted on: October 17, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 7:52 pm

Lou Amundson Breaks Finger, Needs Surgery

Golden State Warriors big man Lou Amundson reportedly needs surgery on a broken finger. Posted by Ben Golliver Matt Steinmetz of CSNBayArea.com reports that new Golden State Warriors big man Lou Amundson fractured his finger during a preseason game on Saturday night and that the injury will require surgery.
The Warriors are going to be without backup center Lou Amundson for a little while.  Amundson suffered a fracture in his right index finger during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers – and the injury will require surgery.  The date for the surgery has not yet been determined. 

Amundson was a late addition for the Warriors, who signed him to a two-year, $5 million contract in early September. Don't be fooled by his ponytail: Amundson is a hustle guy off the bench who isn't afraid to mix it up.  The Warriors and first-year head coach Keith Smart will likely make due in his absence by leaning more heavily on new starting power forward David Lee, who was also acquired this summer. Steinmetz reports that backup big men Dan Gadzuric and Jeff Adrien are also likely to see their playing time increase in Amundson's absence.
Posted on: September 30, 2010 12:55 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 12:55 pm

Warriors already name starting five

Posted by Royce Young

So much for camp battles and position competitions. New Warriors head coach Keith Smart has already figured out who he wants to use for his first first at the tip.

According to Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area, Smart will start Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Dorell Wright, David Lee and Andris Biedrins. Who's shocked? Who's completely stunned there? What, you didn't think Dan Gadzuric had a shot?

David Lee will officially make the position change from center to power forward, which is probably a more natural spot for him anyway. In New York, he played as an undersized center in an up-tempo scheme and in Golden State, well, I guess he's just playing power forward in an up-tempo scheme.

Really, across the board though, the Warriors didn't have any wide open positions up for grabs. Maybe small forward where Vladamir Radmanovic or Rodney Carney could've pushed Wright, but Smart didn't want to mess with it. He wanted to get it out of the way early and let players start figuring out roles now.

The big question has been how Curry and Ellis play together but for the foreseeable future, they are going to be together in the backcourt in Golden State. And instead of opening up things and seeing how it played out, Smart decided to just lock everything down now. He knows the team already and he's sticking to the script. It's the expected starting five and probably the one he would've settled on had he opened up all five spots in camp.
Posted on: September 23, 2010 8:28 pm
Edited on: September 23, 2010 8:45 pm

The Nellieball era is over, Don Nelson to resign

Winningest coach in NBA history to resign as head coach of the Warriors, assistant Keith Smart to take over. Posted by Matt Moore

Don Nelson has been involved in the NBA in some capacity nearly every single year since 1962. Somehow, despite eschewing every traditional basketball value (discipline, defense, poor sense of humor), he's managed to hang on year after year. But after turning 70 and with new ownership taking over in Golden State, talk had developed that his time may be done.

It would appear that talk was well founded. Ken Berger of CBSSports.com has confirmed a report from Matt Stenimetz of CSN Bay Area reports that Don Nelson will announce his resignation as head coach of the Golden State Warriors on Monday. Keith Smart will take over as expected. Steinmetz also reports Calbert Cheaney will move from the front office to an assistant coaching position. 

Smart is unlikely to differentiate significantly from the system he's been under immediately, but changes may be made in the same vein as Alvin Gentry's changes to the Warriors. With a better team composed around David Lee inside, the Warriors present a young, versatile team led by Stephen Curry. Then again, Smart could completely switch it up and run what's called, what is it, what's the word? Oh, yeah, a system.

But it will still be strange to see an NBA without Nelson in it, assuming he elects not to pursue another position during the season. At 70 years old, he's hinted strongly at retiring and walking away finally, but with Nelson, you never can tell. During his time, Nelson managed to take the tile of winningest coach in NBA history with 1,333 wins in his career.

There had been thought new owner Joe Lacob might retain Nelson due to the awkward timing of the finalization of the sale, but it would appear that moves to take the franchise into the future are already being set in motion.

We'll keep you updated on how the situation in Golden State progresses.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com