The morning after...

After watching Dallas beat the Heat (woooohooo!!) I am thinking about the Warriors and what they can take from this impressive accomplishment. 10 lessons the Finals taught me:

1. You need a guy that "can flat out make a play" (like Dirk was) so keep Monta.  I have gone back and forth on this one.  Given Roy's injury and Manu and Joe Johnson's decline - Coach Grown Man Move may be right that Monta is the third best SG in the league, especially in terms of potential.  Future SG Tyreke Evans may disagree.  If Mark Jackson really feels this way, then he will utilize Monta the same way the Knicks utilized a young and very good John Starks - play him solely off the ball, use him to attack zones and create open shots, make defenses worry about him. Turn him into a pest on defense. Monta's weaknesses can be coached - being more efficient and improving defensively.  You can't coach someone into being the scorer he is.  Iggy may be better all the way around - but Monta does one thing better than anyone not named Wade in my opinion.  Jackson needs to sit him down and let him know that this will now be Curry's team though. That might be the biggest reason they are shopping him.

2.  Lee is a poor man's Nowitzky.  Both are bad on defense, great outside shots (Dirk is obviously better), great passer, makes good decisions, nice footwork, Lee the better rebounder and more scrappy, both smart players.  He will be SO much better with a big center - GSOM fans will be pleased. Is Lee overpaid? We all know the answer is yes.  Will you care when we are in the playoffs for the next five years?

3. Curry needs to study Kidd and Nash.  He needs to be in the video room right now watching tapes.  Not only watching how they manage the floor, but also their team mates, making them better, putting them in positions to score.  At the same time, he needs to keep being a scorer because that will make his passes lead to easier shots.  Mark needs to make him into a coach on the floor - I'm most excited to see this develop.  Biggest question mark of the year to me is seeing if Curry can become a floor general in terms of his play and behavior.

4. Our defense needs an anchor.  Of all the big men available - I think JaVale McGee, DeAndre Jordan or Tyson Chandler best offset what Lee Brings to our front court.  Tyson isn't going to leave Dallas (unless Jason and Dirk retire) and Jordan may want to stay with his buddy Blake.  JaVale, with the right coaching, could be Chandler down the road. Nene and Marc Gasol are better players, but will be too expensive for us. JaVale is not a free agent, but he sort of duplicates what Andre Blatche brings to the table.

5. On second thought - do we need to shell out big bucks on a center? I know this is blasphemy, but what if we keep Udoh and Beidrins as co-centers.  Tell them to get 5 or 6 fouls each a game.  They both can play defense, score and rebound in stretches. We could cross our fingers and hope that if Udoh starts, Beans will regain a bit of his confidence if asked to play off the bench and do less. If we can get 13 points and 15 rebounds and 3.5 blocks a game from our collective centers of Beans and Udoh, and they play good defense - we'd be in okay shape. Currently, they collectively give us 9 points and 11 boards.

6. Outside shooting is at a premium.  Heat lost for many reasons, one being that unlike the Mavericks, they could not hit an outside shot in the fourth.  We have some of the best outside shooters in the game.  If we can even get to around 18th in the league on the defensive end, we will be a playoff team.  Mavs game (like the spurs) isn't flashy but it wins games.  We need to follow that model, we'll get our flashy from Monta.

7. That brings us to D-E-F-E-N-S-E.  Mike Malone is our ace in the hole.  I wanted Dwayne Casey after seeing how great the Mavs defense was considering their lack of defense players.  I've never seen J-Kidd play defense like he did this playoff run, or Jason Terry for that matter.  Dallas was actually 10th in the league on allowed points. Having the anchor in the post made a huge difference of course, but if our guards can harass the perimeter it will make our big men better able to establish defensive positioning to stop the players once they get past our backcourt.  Lots of bad defensive plays last years looked as follows - Curry or Monta offer little to no resistance to a penetrating wing, as a result, Lee, Udoh or whoever isn't ready to defend, the guy scores and we blame the big. 

8. Our draft.  Looking at the Mavs as a example, I think we lack a defensive minded SF/SG like Marion was for the Mavs.  If we trade up, I'd like to get Kawhi Leonard to be that guy for us.  If not, maybe we go with Singleton or Jordan Hamilton.  Biyombo is long term project and an offensive liability.  Burks or Klay only makes sense if we trade Monta. Klay is also a smaller version of DWright anyways.  If Jonas falls he'd be a good pick up as well. 

9. Free agent signing:  Obviously we need a big.  But if somehow Jonas falls to us, then we shoot for a veteran defensive wing  man - Caron Butler? Arron Afflalo? Tayshaun Prince? Shane Battier?  One of these guys might be easier to get than a great center.

10. The West is falling, our time is now.  Some perennial teams are falling off (suns, spurs, Mavs, Lakers) some are rebuilding (Utah, Portland, Houston).  Only OKC seems like a lock to take the West.  Grizzlies, Warriors, Hornets, Clippers, will be fighting for the 7th and 8th seeds and are all teams on the rise. CP3 will be in NYC if Hornets continue to struggle, Clippers will always be the Clippers, Memphis playoff run was about them getting hot at the right time. Honestly, both teams in this finals would have been beaten bad by other championship teams of years past - this is a good thing for the warriors. Gonna be a fun year!

This FanPost is a submission from a member of the mighty Golden State of Mind community. While we're all here to throw up that W, these words do not necessarily reflect the views of the GSoM Crew. Still, chances are the preceding post is Unstoppable Baby!

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