California Love?

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – For a team that didn’t pile up many wins last season, the Golden State Warriors certainly racked up their share of highlight plays.

When you start with the dynamite backcourt tandem of Monta Ellis and Steph Curry, that should be expected.

But much has changed for this team since we saw them last.

New owners, new uniforms, plenty of new faces and maybe some renewed vigor for a team that has never had to worry about the passion of its immense fan base.

With training camp just days away, we’re still trying to figure out how coach Don Nelson is going to integrate eight new faces — All-Star forward David Lee, Dorrell Wright, Louis Amundson, Rodney Carney, Charlie Bell, Dan Gadzuric and rookies Ekpe Udoh and Jeremy Lin — into the Warriors’ mix.

But Nelson is the league’s resident mad scientist, so if anyone is capable of cooking up something, it should be him. And he’ll be coaching (for as long as the new ownership group will have him) the sort of motley crew that should be easy to show some California love for all those Warriors diehards in the Bay Area.

Whether or not this team will inspire any reaction beyond their home base, however, remains to be seen.

My main man Scott Howard-Cooper gave the Warriors a D+ on their NBA.com Summer Report Card, summing it all up like this:

There are so many roster holes, so many issues to be addressed, so much uncertainty going forward as new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber ponder the future of the basketball-operations staff and Nelson that it’s difficult to imagine an easy season.

Curry, Lee and Ellis are good building blocks, but there’s little in the way of dependability beyond that. The lottery pick, Ekpe Udoh, has already been ruled out for months because of injury. The defense is non-existent. The bench is only slightly better.

That’s a sobering-but-realistic view of what the Warriors face heading into camp.

Call us crazy here at the hideout, but there’s something about this group that is intriguing. We’re not ready to anoint these guys as the Hang Time Warriors just yet, but we’re keeping an eye on them during camp to see how all the new pieces fit.

A frontcourt rotation that starts with high energy cats like Lee and Andris Bierdrins is backed up by a non-stop grinder like Amundson, Gadzuric and the underrated Chris Hunter. And with the ball in the hands of Ellis and Curry, who is poised for a breakout sophomore season, this team could make some noise this season if things come together in camp.

We’re not predicting “playoff” noise (we’re not that crazy), but they could certainly make enough racket to force the rest of us to take notice.

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31 Comments

  1. bdiddy says:

    Don Nelson is a great coach and its not because hes the winningest coach of all time that makes him great. Its because he knew how to squeeze wins and get the most out of the teams he coaches even with unusual mixes of talent, he was able to give confidence to his teams to play hard and even win when most critics and fans (outside of the bay area)would have them written off. For example beating a very good dallas team (67 wins that season) as the 8th seed which just barely snuck into the playoffs and coaching teams consisting of several d-league players last season and still somehow pulling out wins. To be honest, because of his circumstances hes actually had to do more “coaching” than the zen master has in LA despite the rings that phil has to show for it. About the comment above, much as I love c webb he is as much to blame for the underachievement of the 90′s warriors as don nelson is. Also Sekou as far as I could tell never mentioned that the warriors were going to be a playoff team or even a good team, but simply an intriguing team to keep an eye on.

  2. tenki says:

    Why Nelson? I guess they should really have to look for someone who’s more interested in playing defense. We have seen what Curry and Ellis are capable of doing on a nightly basis offensively, but they must work out their defensive game. Besides, they now have new talents in their roster, and Curry had the opportunity to play in FIBA, where basketball is played on a different mode. Although the US team is undersized, they beat the odds by playing exceptional defense and doing it on a consistent basis. If they can implement this brand of game, then they should have a decent shot of improving their record, making their rebuilding process a sensible one. Don Nelson should retire and get inducted to the HOF, and not coach this team. Golden State is playing with fire if they keep him.

  3. Andrew says:

    The Warriors are not going anywher anytime soon. Their backcout is offensively potent and legit. However, defensively, ill just give the LOL. Monta Ellis and Curry are both excellent players yet theyre both dweebish (still taller than me). Their frontcourt is the complete opposite. Offensively dry and defensively a ?. * I expect David Lee’s scoring to dib next season by about 3-4pts*
    With their roster, run and gun is probably their only option. Unlike the Suns, they dont have Nash (duh) to control the tempo and Amare to man the middle. Even with all the hyperbolized claims of Nashs defensive hiccups, Jrich and HIll are more than capable to cover, lengthwise. That is completely missing with the Ellis, Curry, and the Warriors. Their run and gun will win them some games but against better teams comes better talent meaning more athetlicism. So how much more can outrun past a generous .500 record. Curry, Ellis, Maggette VS Rondo Pierce and Allen. Anybody seen at least one of those games? Their backcourt was demolished and completely caged.
    Monta Ellis is a fanastic individual player who reminds me of Allen Iverson. Talentwise, spectacular. However, teamwise, high maintainence would be the word. Off the bat the only team that would benefit significantly if they got Ellis would be the Utah Jazz. Big PG that makes plays, and can shoot the three ball. With AK to defensively cover swing. Now imagine Ellis going to the Blazers or Bobcats AS the 6th man! instant level up for those teams? IF his talent didnt prohibit him from being other than a starter for now in the NBA?
    Depending on how Curry does this season, theyll know the right pieces to get. GSW have been more than open in trade talks with Monta. Why no takers? The Warriors understand Ellis is a top 20 talent so they expect more in return than other teams are willing to give because they are wary of how Ellis will mesh. Earliest Monta goes before trade deadline but expect a different home for him come 2011-2012 esp if Curry is the real deal.
    Don Nelson is erratic and unstable. I believe hes detrimental to the development of the young Warriors. 30 mins a night followed by a DNP are you kidding me? You are the winningest coach in the NBA (20+ years but a .550 winning record), of course you have some rapport. But i have to question his patience at times. I feel that Nelson is better suited for a up and coming team and help them figure it out just like how he figured out how to upset the Mavs in 2007 (KEYNOTE: Think roster talent/ plus the oh so recent departure from the Mavs. Maybe thats why ;-) ) I think the Warriors are going to fire Nelson if he does not fulfill their already low expectations which i feel like its happening.
    Long story short, the Warriors have a long long long season. The high is the development of Curry and of course the athelticism of Ellis. Everything else, lets hope management does it right. Trade Monta and replace Nelson.

    • Brandon A says:

      How do you play Curry, Ellis, and Maggette against Rondo, Allen, and Pierce when Maggette plays for the Bucks? Hmmm… that’s interesting.

  4. Kris says:

    id say nellie is more of a rebuilding coach rather than a championship coach. he usually takes on a team that he can turn them into winners (for the most part)… most recently the 90s warriors, dallas, and warriors again until 08… perhaps there is a reason winning organizations never offer him a job, maybe cause defense wins rings and hes not much of a defensive minded coach. its tough to say how good of a coach nellie is, but i think he’s been around long enough for people to respect him.

  5. teamakina says:

    warriors suck! go miami! go 3 kings!

  6. Dongz23 says:

    The Warriors top management should replace Don Nelson as a coach. The only upside he has done to the warriors was when they defeated dallas in the playoffs. After that nothing, no more and never did Don Nelson make the team better. He allowed the trade that sent their starting players away in the name of Baron Davis, S. Jackson and Jason Richardson. Its just sad to know that the Warriors is one of the leaders in audience attendance, yes its maybe an upside but the audience should also get good game in return.

  7. Joel says:

    Just get rid of Robert Rowell and things will start moving in the right direction!!!

  8. fred says:

    unless monta ellis passes their team ain’t goin nowwhere

  9. Kizzy KIre says:

    ok so i kinda like the worriors! ever since that 1st round upset and the super dunk by BDavis. you gotta love taht team. even tho most of the players that played for the team that year are not on the roster, they are in a rebuilding period. and they are doing a good job of it. next to the kings. they have done the best job of rebuilding in the west. you think?

  10. Sypy23 says:

    Ellis’ll the top scorer and Curry is the MVP of the future, maybe this year or next year!!

  11. ddddd says:

    The only buzz the warriors will create are single play mad scientist type buzz. They are not winning with what they have. I honestly wonder what the line of reasoning they had over the past few years. Start over! David Lee and Curry are good starts. Beyond that I dont know unless someone pops out of nowhere. However with Nellie thats inflated.

    Where did this article come from Sekou!

  12. prabu says:

    The outcome does not purely depend on the coach. The team needs to fire up this season.
    This means Ellis and Curry need to be working along with their front court – give the front court more ball time.
    Get more quick and sneaky baskets to the bigger guys to take the focus away from the 1-2 guards.

    Althought Corey Maggette played a strong season – the warriors are missing a swing man this season.
    who will step up?

    A team is only as strong as their weakest link… the link lies within 3,4,5 positions.
    They dont have to be in the top 50 of players, but they need to have the thirst that the top 50 bring to the game night in and night out.

    This will keep GSW in the top 8 come playoff time.

  13. Beavis says:

    I love warrios!!

  14. Utep says:

    The Don Nelson saga makes me cringe when i think about CWebb, a 3pt marksman, slashing crazy sg and ball on a crazy string pg..that took the lakers to 7 games in the WCF.

  15. checkmystats says:

    I remember a former player of Nelson’s saying that for all the creativity and ingenuity that his offense incorperates, by the time your done executing, you have no energy to play solid defence. With that said, even with some new additions I still see the Warriors just barely missing play-offs. I think it is definately time to give the reigns over to Smart, and like most people have said, I see them being solid in the near future.

  16. DieLawn says:

    If only the front office could have held on to the team that was wining for the warriors. Instead they let go of Jason Richardson for pretty much nothing. They let Baron Davis sneak away for nada as well, don’t forget they lost Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington, and Corey Maggettte. They let Matt Barnes (who really got the crowd fired up more that he was a high caliber player) walk away as well They got nothing of lasting value in return for any of these players. Nelly was left with a roster of spare parts,disgruntled vets, a young guard who couldn’t be responsible for his own injuries much less running a team, and a front office that was crumbling in front of him. Although Nelly’s coaching may not be typical, it is entertaining and with the right players it can produce quite a few wins. I thought he did pretty well with a crop of D-leaguers and half his roster in the injury list last season. I really hope the new owners can put this mess back together and I hope they stick with Nelly this season cause they’re not making the playoffs, so they should at least be exciting to watch. Nelly makes that happen. Good luck Warriors I think this team is on its way to becoming something special again.

  17. Peter says:

    I wished Louis Amundson would stay in Phoenix.

  18. codyweeks23 says:

    ok the warriors were a good team but know they don’t have a chance but they will have a better season then last year and mr.z ur rite about don nelson wats up with him i think he should reitre and move on 2 somthing else.all in all the gsw will not b a playoff team even with some of the new players the got this year.they will b a better team but not a playoff team.i like there chances down the road a couple of years from know.but not this year.the west is 2 tough of a conferace 4 a young team like the warriors 2 make the playoffs.sekou i like wat u had 2 say but they will not make it this year.and thats that.

  19. gsw says:

    Time for nelson to go, give Keith Smart a shot or bring in Mike Brown.

    • rocketfan_believeit or not says:

      That is certainly not a bad idea, this time Mike Brown will not have superstars but building up around Curry and some future prospects (not this year’s though) GS could be a playoff team let’s say in three years from now.

      • Zzanzabar says:

        I agree. I know that many think that Mike Brown just ‘rolled’ the ball to Lebron and said “win it”, but that is unfair to him. He really is a decent coach.

    • daez says:

      LOL don’t bring in Mike Brown… Do that, and they will lose Curry and Ellis like the Cavs lost LeBron. Bad idea

      • Bob says:

        One of the reasons LeBron left is because Mike Brown got fired. I think any team who has a coach who can win 60 games in a season should be given a chance. Ya i know it was all LeBron, but still you have to give him some credit. I think Mike Brown is a great coach.

  20. Zzanzabar says:

    I’m sorry but I just do not get it, I will admit that. Just WHAT is it with Don Nelson? Yeah, yeah I know; ‘the second winning-est coach in NBA history..yadda, yadda,…’ (although there are 4 or 5 coaches that have a higher winning PERCENTAGE than he does). Ok I get that, but what is the deal? The last time I checked there were no rings given to players for having the winning-est coach. Let me see if I get the story line right:

    Don Nelson, a legendary ‘guru’ of coaching takes hold of a sagging franchise and turns then around so that they, as an 8th seeded team, defeats a heavily favored Dallas team (a lost that in all likelihood cost Avery Johnson his job), Nelson then takes that win and quickly parleys it into a series of Golden State losses that still stretches on to today.

    Don is an icon for the NBA but his current style of coaching seems to be ‘if you score enough you can tire out your opponent so don’t worry about defense.’ Is the NBA just letting hold on long enough so that he will eventually pass Lenny Wilkens? Nelson seems to fit into that category of coaching more suited to the fairy tale of ‘the Emperor’s New Clothes’, nobody wants to feel stupid pointing out that they have not done much lately. In a state where there is little coaching tolerance for those who don’t bring home the big prize (just ask UCLA) he sure has lasted a long time.

    • Paul says:

      @Zzanzabar
      He already passed Lenny Wilkens…

    • Gabe says:

      Just a point of note – he is THE winningest coach in NBA history. I still think he’s not an amazing coach – especially when he has to coach promising rookies.

    • Phoenix Fan says:

      Don Nelson already has the most wins

    • Zzanzabar says:

      I stand corrected, Don Nelson already has passed L. Wilkens for wins.

    • Kev says:

      It’s hard to give Don Nelson the respect he deserves because he hasn’t won a championship. He was never lucky enough to coach a team that spent billions to steal away all the All Stars from other teams. But he has always found ways to work with what he has. He twists the fundamentals of basketball into things that most coaches would be too scared to try during a game. I remember back in 2008 he played 5 guards on the floor at the same time. I’m a huge Warriors fan and I love Don Nelson, but I was still saying, “what is Don Nelson doing?” Even for the people who love him, it will only be after he’s gone from the NBA that he will be given the respect he deserved and earned.