2011-2012 Golden State Warriors Preview- More of the same...

Mark-jackson

Think he'll shimmy on the Warriors sidelines? (pic via i.cdn.turner.com)

JUMP for the annual Golden State of Mind season preview for the Golden State Warriors!

2010-2011 Golden State Warriors Rewind

Last Year's Record: 36-46

GSoM's 2010-2011 Golden State Warriors Preview: A new beginning, but is it smart?- Flip back and see where we were smart and where we were um, a little too Warriors-like.

To be perfectly honest last season was fairly uneventful and boring for the Warriors. The Nellie Haters got their wish as the new Warriors ownership unprofessionally gave coaching legend Don Nelson his pink slip by phone. Instead of being a fast breaking, wild, high-energy Nellieball squad that was at least clever and entertaining to watch they became a team without an identity. The emphasis on defense without adding any substantial defensively skilled players was odd and only led to another non-winning season.

All of the local/ national media and fan hysteria about how the team was going to be so much better with anyone but Nellie coaching the team were proven to be dumb and unfounded. Coach Smart did make his share of un-smart decisions (namely the odd yo-yo games with Stephen Curry's playing time and usage), but for a rookie head coach with a flawed roster he did as expected. Was it worth firing him? Sure, but for another rookie head coach with ZERO coaching experience at any level? I'm not so sure.

Player summaries

  • Monta Ellis: Coach Keith Smart seemed content to give Monta the green light. Monta delivered slightly more efficient scoring and picked up his defense a bit in heavy minutes, which of course led to more losing than winning.
  • Stephen Curry: Dumping Nellie right before the season was the single worst thing the Warriors could do for Curry's sophomore season. Curry was an unworldly shooter, but he had a slightly disappointing sophomore season when you remember how he finished that 2009-2010 season under Nellie and the Golden State of D-Leaguers.
  • David Lee: Lee didn't live up to the 20-10 hype or even his lofty contract, but the Warriors did net a very respectable veteran power forward who can produce. Nellie would have done wonders with Lee, but that's another story for another time.
  • Dorell Wright: What a find. Wright might have the best non-rookie contract in the league. He's a solid starter in this league on both sides of the ball and a 6th man of the year shoo-in on a contending team. If I were the Lakers, Knicks, Heat, Celtics, Thunder, Mavericks, or Spurs I'd be on the phone every single day to see if I could pry him from the Warriors.
  • Andris Biedrins: Even his excuse-makers will agree, Biedrins was absolutely terrible last season. Yet another NBA player who absolutely PEAKED under Don Nelson's creative gimmicks.
  • Ekpe Udoh: It was refreshing to see Udoh's solid to great defense last season. He'll never be a star, but he will definitely have a long career in this league.
  • Brandan Wright: Jason Richardson anyone?
  • Vladimir Radmanovic: Well Vlad Rad wasn't going to be coming off the bench anytime soon for Nellie, but Coach Smart found some good spots and big shots for him. Nearly 16mpg in 74 games last season- pretty surprising when you think about it.
  • Louis Amundson: It's too bad he was injured most of the season. With Biedrins going AWOL they really could have used him.
  • Al Thornton: This guys likes to shoot.
  • Rodney Carney: Well that was fast.
  • Jeremy Lin: It might've sold a bunch of jerseys, but that publicity stunt didn't last long. Lin played very nice defense, but he wasn't NBA-level on offense one bit.
  • Dan Gadzuric: A good 12th man- and that's a compliment.
  • Jeff Adrien: A good 12th man- and that's a compliment.
  • Charlie Bell: What a disaster.
  • Acie Law: Why do I have this feeling we'll see Acie in a Warriors uniform again in the not to distant future?

Here's how it ended: 2010-2011 Golden State Warriors Report Cards: A mostly boring and uneventful LOSING season

2011 Golden State Warriors Offseason Rewind

Key Losses

Since last season the Warriors have lost Brandan Wright, Vladimir Radmanovic, Louis Amundson, Al Thornton, Rodney Carney, Jeremy Lin, Dan Gadzuri, Jeff Adrien, Acie Law, and Charlie Bell (via the amnesty), so in other words the Warriors have ZERO key losses.

Actually that's not true. The Warriors lost their Get Out of Jail Card (as YaHeard astutely noted in the FanPost The New Idiots in the Front Office: Warriors waive G Bell under new amnesty provision) by not using the NBA's amnesty gift on the underperforming, overpaid, and hopeless Andris Biedrins and instead using it on a contract that at the very least could have been a nice expiring contract to help facilitate a trade in February. In one swift move the new Warriors regime could have clicked the Undo button on the remaining 3 years and $27 million (last year is a player option, which you better believe Biedrins and his agent are exercising) that Chris Mullin, Robert Rowell, and Chris Cohan foolishly outbid themselves on. All of the reasons for not using the amnesty on Biedrins are just silly. He is never going to be worth his contract, his improbable return to double-double form is realistically not enough of a factor to propel them the Warriors to the playoffs, and it would be a blessing if a rival Pacific Division or Western Conference team picked him up because it just makes an opponent that much weaker.

Frustrating.

The other key (debatable) loss is Coach Keith Smart as described above.

Key Additions

Head Coach Mark Jackson: Based on his past coaching experience and credentials I can project that-- actually he has no coaching experience.

Kwame Brown: The Warriors won the lottery! They won the #1 pick in the (2001) NBA Draft. Kwame wasn't exactly what Warriors fans were thinking when the organization promised BIG THANGS, but he's still a serviceable big body down low. By game 15 I wouldn't be surprised if he's starting at center over the #1 reason the Warriors stunk up the joint last season.

The Rookies- Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler, and Charles Jenkins: The Warriors 2011 draft was widely regarded as a success, so I'm hopeful. Thompson struggled with his shooting in the preseason, but he projects to be a fine shooter in the NBA. Tyler looked great in the WE BELIEVE charity game (only slightly kidding) and Jenkins should give the Dubs some solid backup guard minutes. As with all rookies, we shall see.

Dominic McGuire: Some more D and size can't hurt.

Ishmael Smith: More speed in the backcourt.

Brandan Rush: Whew! Thank goodness Mullin isn't making trades anymore for the Warriors. He would've sent the Pacers a future 1st round pick for Rush. Jokes aside I see the second coming of Kelenna Azubuike in a Warriors uniform. Solid trade.

2011-2012 Golden State Warriors Projections

Biggest Strengths

It's pretty simple:

  • The starting backcourt can score a lot of points in a wild, variety, of crazy and entertaining ways.
  • The starting forwards can shoot- Dorell's got range and Lee can hit jumpers from the elbow.
  • Expectations are low.
  • The fans are rowdy.

Biggest Weaknesses

There's a lot to list here, but here's the top ones:
  • Soft. Soft. Soft. On defense the Warriors scare no one. It doesn't matter how many times Coach Jackson preaches D if the main cogs in this machine aren't inherently skilled defenders.
  • Rebounding. Aside from Lee, the Warriors don't have any big men who are reliable rebounders.
  • Inexperience. From coaching down to winning this team isn't NBA savvy in what it takes to win.

Golden State Warrior Goals for 2011-2012

Player Level

  • Stephen Curry: Cut down on the fouls, stay healthy, and be a better distributor. It's tough because Monta dominates the rock so much, but I'd like to see Curry get up near 7 assists a game.
  • Monta Ellis: Pick up the rebounding and defense, quit sending dumb texts, and share the rock.
  • David Lee: Give the Warriors 18-11 every night.
  • Ekpe Udoh: Keep bringing the D and be more aggressive on offense.
  • Andris Biedrins: Boost that trade value!
  • Kwame Brown: Own the paint against opposing big men.
  • Dorell Wright: Continue the impressive offensive play and bring back the D.
  • Klay Thompson: Shoot the lights out.
  • Brandon Rush: Drain 3's and rebound.
  • Charles Jenkins: Be a steady backup for Curry.
  • Ishamel Smith: Be a steady backup for Curry.
  • Dominic McGuire: Help this team get better on D.
  • Jeremy Tyler: Get ready for 2012 or 2013.

Team Level

This roster and core have proven that they cannot get it done. Make a trade that makes a big impact. Shake things up.

Golden State Warriors Projections for 2011-2012

BOLD Predictions

I missed on almost all of my common sense predictions in last season's preview:

  • Andris Biedrins and his 16% FT will be playing somewhere else by next August.
  • Monta Ellis has his league-leading 3.8 turnovers a game will be playing somewhere else by next August.
  • Larry Riley will be this team's GM for this season and the next at a minimum.
  • Either Dan Gadzuric ($7.2 million) or Vladamir Radmonovic's ($6.9 million) expiring contracts will actually be used to improve this team hoops-wise in a trade before the 2011 NBA trading deadline. (I know, what a concept.)
  • Everyone will miss and finally appreciate Don Nelson. Man I'm going to miss The Don Nelson Show on KNBR with The Razor and Mr. T.

So I'll just make one for this season: The food will be much improved at Warriors home games at the Oracle. (Man has it been awful for way too long.)

Overall Record: 28-38

Meaning no playoffs.

NOTE TO WARRIORS FRONT OFFICE-- MAKE A MOVE! (and not to SF)

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