Friday, January 13, 2012

Injuies could earn Warriors a protected draft pick

The Warriors beat the Heat with a brilliant performances by Nate Robinson, Dorell Wright, David Lee, and Monta Ellis. Actually, every Warriors player gave a little something in that win. The Warriors didn't play a perfect game and the Heat may have had their focus on the following night's match-up against the Clippers.

The W's also deserve credit for hanging tough with the Orlando Dwight Howards for most of last night's game, considering their seriously depleted roster. No Curry (ankle), no Dorell (knee), no Kwame (torn pectoral muscle)...It was the worst possible time to lose Kwame with the NBA's most dominant center in town...

Let me clarify a previous post where I suggested the Warriors should tank. Tank is an ugly word. It conjures up images of players missing lay-ups on purpose or playing dummy defense. The intention of 'tank' is better described as the Warriors saving their best for next season and not mortgaging the future with 'win-now' type of moves where they give away young talent and draft picks. Let's be honest, the Warriors are the youngest team in the league, they have had minimal time to adjust to a new coach, and despite these conditions, they are not awful. The Warriors need to continue to build their base of young talent, they need that top 7 pick in this upcoming draft. It doesn't matter what position type is available, they need talent, even if that talent is there as an asset for a possible trade when the time is right.

No dummy defense or intentionally missed free throws are needed. Tanking is ugly. But giving Monta Ellis rest in a blowout is okay. Giving rookies like Klay Thompson and Charles Jenkins more minutes is not tanking, but letting them get their rookie mistakes out of the way when the season isn't on the line. Like Trevor said, injuries to key players may get the Warriors that protected top 7 pick without any questionable maneuvering (not that Mark Jackson would ever consider any of those tactics, he obviously wants to win).

I think it's safe to say that no one will question coach Jackson if he doesn't make good on his playoff promise. There are somethings that a coach cannot control (i.e. injuries, lockouts, front offices decisions). Warriors fans have been conditioned to have the lowest expectations of any in the NBA. We understand this thing isn't going to turn around overnight. Coach Jackson needs some more talent to work with and the Warriors need that lottery pick this year.

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