you lose a guy like Kwame Brown to an injury, who the Warriors' org took a lot of flack for paying him 7 mil for 66 games...and losing him to injury turns out being A BIG DEAL. Remember, this is a guy who is a 2nd string at best on any other team. A bonafide #1 overall pick BUST. This is the same guy that Kobe talked shiet about and the Warriors seem to have been in total disarray after he went down. Absolutely pathetic!
What does this say about our team?!?!?! The one and only guy that actually plays some decent defense consistently on this team is taken out of the equation and all of a sudden, this team falls into the black hole of mediocrity. And what has Andris Biedrins done to step his game up in Kwame's absence? Well, he's pretty much given up his minutes to Ekpe and even Maguire! You think Lacob would love to press rewind on WASTING that amnesty on Charlie Bell? You're damn right! That inexcusable decision will come back to haunt us every game we see Beans underperform.
We are a quarter way thru this season and I think its safe to say that Coach Jackson's claim to make the Warriors a defensive team is a complete and total fail. Yes, they are allowing about 7 less points a game, but they are also scoring a lot less on offense, which means, under MJ's scheme, they are slowing the game down. But its completely obvious this team still makes the same stupid mistakes on the defensive end. Missed assignments, not getting back on transition D, not switching up on back cuts and screens. How many times have you seen a player from the opposing team be wide open in the key or drive to the hoop with little to no resistance? Same ole, same ole Warriors!
I don't blame Coach Jackson completely for this. I really think this comes down to the defensive limitations of the players on this team. They are just not built to defend the way he wants them to. We rehash these facts time and time again: smallish starting backcourt...big men who are either not athletic enough or lack the skills to be a defensive stopper in the post...and an overall lackadaisical effort, especially in crucial moments of the game(4th quarter). I don't think canning Jackson is the right thing, for now... This all boils down to the roster he is coaching and the present day squad just isn't cutting it! Plain and simple. This team is not a playoff team and won't be unless moves are made to address their liabilities or in the most drastic cases, go back into rebuilding mode and just keep one of the 3 core players(Curry, Lee, or Monta) as someone to build around.
A lot of people might gimme heat for this, but here's my suggestion to the Warriors brass if they were to hear me out:
1. Keep Monta. Out of the 3 core guys, he's the most dynamic scorer on the offensive end. Defensively, its a wash. Neither of them can play defense so if we were just to keep one, its Monta. He can create his own shot, he's an adept passer for a scoring guard, and he just makes the game and this team exciting to watch. I admit, I didn't always think if I had to choose one guy to keep, he woulda been the first one to trade. Now, with Curry's shaky ankle and a good, but not great PF in Lee, who is grossly overpaid...the clear choice is Monta.
2. Since the chances of landing an elite player like D-Ho or CP3 is pretty much slim to none, let's use the 76ers model for building a contending team. Look at their roster-- no one really sticks out as "elite". Iggy could probably be put in the category earlier in his career, maybe Brand as well. But here's a team that was stuck in mediocrity but has made subtle, well calculated roster moves and put together a team of players who know their role, play good team defense, and have a great chemistry. No one scores more than 16PPG, yet they are one of the highest scoring teams and they win ball games! Yeah, this may not be the "sexy" way to put together a winning team like Miami or NY is trying to do but its working. We can't emulate the kind of roster they have but if Lacob thinks the team we have now somehow has the potential to become a better defensive team and be competitive with the top tier teams on a CONSISTENT basis, he's a fool. This team is what it is...one that shows a glimmer of brilliance every so often, but for the most part is a team with the wrong mix of talent. Yeah, we had a great win tonight vs. the Blazers but laying down a string of these type of performances is not likely. That so-called dream team of execs Lacob hired to assist him in managing this roster needs to pull off some creative deals to bring in that right mix. If that means giving up 1, 2, or all 3 of our star players to get the mix of talent we need, so be it.
3. Be patient. Mark Jackson's bold prediction they will make the playoffs is very ambitious, but also a big whiff trying to swing for the fences. Same with Lacob and his "win-now" attitude. We all want the team to be successful ASAP, but realistically thats not going to happen. Not with this squad. Move a player or two before the trade deadline...possibly for draft picks to position ourselves in the upcoming draft. Then also move Lee or Steph in the offseason if the right deal can be made. Then don't expect to make the playoffs next season either. If we do, great!
What the Warriors checklist for an ideal roster should look like:
- big man who's long with solid defensive skills(example: Camby, Bynum, McGee, Ibaka. Kwame can be a decent backup once healthy next season)
- at least 2 players who can create their own shot and get to the line consistenly(ex: Pierce, Wade-type. Monta can fill this role)
- 2-3 shooters who also play consistent D(ex. Aflalfo, Sefolosha, Prince. Rush can fill this role and maybe Klay if he can develop his defensive fundamentals)
- a veteran point guard with a solid assist-TO ratio(ex. Miller, Parker, Nash)
Again, we don't necessarily need superstars to be successful. Just the right MIX. Can Lacob's regime redeem itself??? We shall see...