Monday, January 5, 2009

Is Don Nelson Losing On Purpose?

There was an article by Lowell Cohn in last Sunday's Press Democrat that suggests the Warriors are tanking this season in order to get a good daft pick next year. Cohn's argument was based on how the W's could beat the Celtics and Raptors at home, yet lose to Oklahoma City and Minnesota on the road, you know, so the fans won't stop coming to games. At first I thought this article was a bit preposterous, filler material for a lack of NBA news, but now I agree with Cohn's suspicion and his resentment of Don Nelson.

The Warriors played a great game against the Jazz. Granted, the Jazz played without All-Star forward Carlos Boozer, but the W's shot out of the gate firing on all cylinders. They jumped out to a 13-4 lead early, until Jerry Sloan stopped the damage with a timeout. The Warriors were in this game all the way, until they lost it in the end...or so it would appear. I think this game was lost with about 10:45 to go in the forth quarter and the responsible party is Don Nelson. The line-up Nelson had in the game should have been in if the Warriors were losing by 20 with less than five minutes to play. He had CJ Watson, Anthony Morrow, Jamal Crawford, Rob Kurz, and Roni Turiaf.??? Its like Don Nelson pulled a Pete Rose, but bet against his team. I know there were guys in foul trouble and Jack was hurt, but what is Nelson thinking? Marco and Brandan need to be in the game. The team needs Belinelli's shooting and Wright's length on defense and rebounding. And where the heck is Anthony Randolf?!

At this point I can't blame the players for turning the ball over, or not rebounding, or taking awful shots. Now, I blame Don Nelson for not playing the guys on the roster that give this team the best chance to win. You can't play Kurz, CJ, and Morrow together. They need to play with the experienced line-up so they don't force the issue and make bad decisions with the ball.

I respect what Don Nelson has done in the past, but I hate that he is signed on for two more years. I wish Keith Smart was coaching this team. I think it was dumb to sign Stephen Jackson to a contract extension as well. I hate how Chris Mullin's fingerprint is no longer on this team. There have been some terrible basketball choices this year by this organization and the always loyal Warriors fans have every right to be pissed off.

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