Top 10 Reasons Golden State Missed The Playoffs

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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:48 pm
The Top 10 Reasons Golden State Missed The 2008 Playoffs

10) Misused Talent #4: Patrick O'Bryant - Okay, so this one seems like a long shot, on the surface. But one thing Warriors fans, in two years of evaluation, can clearly claim is that we don't know how good Patrick O'Bryant is. The Chef only had two games with over 10 minutes this year. How did he fair? In Utah, O'Bryant seemed out of place and picked up 4 quick fouls in 13 minutes, adding 2 points, 1 rebound, and 1 steal to the mix. But in LA, against the Clippers? O'Bryant was an integral part of a 17-point spanking, proving to be the only Warrior capable of containing Chris Kaman (who ended with 20 and 12 on a majority of Andris Biedrins coverage). The Chef chipped in 12 points (5/6), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block, before fouling out in 12 minutes. Flashes of such promise were not permitted this season, as O'Bryant collected a team-low 4:05 MPG average. Patrick O'Bryant has elected not to return to Golden State with Don Nelson as their head coach, so Warriors fans will get to see what he does next season with proper minutes and playing time.

9) SJax's Suspension - It's not rocket science. We went 1-6 without Captain Jack and lost out to the playoffs by 1 game. With losses against Dallas, Cleveland, and the Clippers, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that 7 extra starts with our team's most emotional (and, arguably, clutchest) leader would have yielded a playoff birth.

8) Misused Talent #3: Marco Belinelli - The summer league phenom started the year slow and was never given another chance to prove himself. While Nelson often went to the bench for 3-point shooters, like Kelenna Azubuike, CJ Watson, and Mickael Pietrus, one would be hard pressed to claim that any of them were better long-ball threats than Marco Belinelli. Even when Belinelli performed, but was rarely rewarded, as a 4-for-6 game in Portland was answered with 11 straight games (including 9 DNPs) without more than 2 minutes of playing time. Belinelli, like Pietrus, burned his rotation bridges in November with poor play... but, unlike Pietrus, was never given another solid chance to prove what he had.

7) Misused Talent #2: Kosta Perovic - This is the most intruiging of the 3 youngsters so far... purely because of the competition Kosta Perovic was able to disrupt. Andrew Bogut and Shaquille O'Neal, a couple of 7-foot ogres, met Perovic (whom I, not so PC-ly, have nicknamed "the freak") and didn't know how to handle him. Not only did Perovic clearly upset his competition, but he handled himself well. In both games, Kosta averaged 4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1 block in 9 MPG. But, as with O'Bryant and Belinelli, Nelson had made up his mind from the start not to play Perovic, and Kosta ended the season with only 7 appearances. Warriors fans are left to wonder what could have been with that young man, as well.

6) Bench Players Set Before Season's Start - This one was obvious. Don Nelson's rotation was set in stone, prior to the season starting, and of the 3 regulars he chose to play (Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus, and Kelenna Azubuike), only Azubuike showed up for the entire season. Pietrus stuck his tongue out until the trade deadline and Barnes was never able to recapture the magic. Perhaps, had Nelson kept an open mind and given all of his bench players an equal chance to prove himself, this wouldn't have been such a costly error. Wasted minutes for Barnes and Pietrus tore into the Warriors all season long.

5) Insufficient Preparation - The Warriors dropped gimmie games to the Hawks, the Timberwolves, the Bobcats, the Pacers, the Bulls, and the Kings... not to mention a heart-crushing, season-ending loss to Denver (at home) in what everybody took to be the biggest game of the season. 6 gimmie games dropped (and this isn't including the season-starting loss to the Brand-less Clippers, either). Clearly, the team was not adequately prepared to deal with opponents that had nothing to lose... and the results show it. Golden State was unable to close the door on sucker teams, which is something playoff teams should be able to do.

4) The Chris Webber Debacle - Let me make this clear: trying Chris Webber was not a mistake. Nelson refused to play a backup big man without 10 years of NBA experience, so Webber certainly fit the bill. The mistake was having the head coach go on national TV and completely give up all hopes of making the playoffs if Golden State couldn't utilize Webber. The situation was dramatized to a panty-wetting point for TNT... and went over like a ton of bricks. Webber was clearly done from the start, the Warriors spent entirely too much time screwing around with him, and Nelson put far too much emphasis on him. Bringing Chris Webber back as firepower off the bench? No problem. Claiming he was the key to the playoffs, insisting on starting him, and changing the entire f'ing offense to cater to him was a HUGE mistake. Webber retired, the wind was out of our sails, and the Warriors limped to an early season's end instead of trying options they already had on the bench.

3) A Reluctance To Give Monta The Reigns - This is going to be short and sweet: for two straight seasons, Monta Ellis has been held back and coddled for reasons unknown to anyone but Don Nelson. Last year, he was a bench player that clearly was more talented than most of our starters. This year, he was a sidekick that looked more ready to carry the load than anyone else on the roster NOT named Baron Davis. Monta's consistency far outranked that of Al Harrington, his overall talent is leaps ahead of Stephen Jackson's, and his long-term value destroys Baron Davis'. The sooner the Warriors hand the reigns to Monta Ellis, the sooner we are at getting to the next level. Baron, Jack, and Al are all very talented and nobody should question why they're on the team... but this needs to be Monta's team before we can go any further.

2) The 7-Man Rotation - Can we say: gassed? Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, and Al Harrington all went down at the season's end. Al was the first to start crumbling and haters noticed it a month ago. Jackson fell next, with an April average of 14 PPG (far below his season's average of 20). Finally, Baron Davis gassed out, forcing Nellie to sit him in the 2nd half of a pivotal game against Phoenix. The only people not to buckle under the minutes? You guessed it. The kids. Andris Biedrins and Monta Ellis finished the year strong.

1) Misused Talent #1: Brandan Wright - Nobody will try to claim that the Brandan Wright trade was made to instantaneously improve our lineup this year. Wright's importance to the team will be demonstrated more clearly in future seasons and no one, not even a Wright fan like myself, would argue that. But from the very beginning, Don Nelson was firm on his choice to get Wright a season under his belt before thrusting him into the NBA spotlight. To claim that Wright wasn't ready for a solid role (even off the bench), that he didn't address a need, or that he would hinder the Warriors, more than help them, is pure ignorance. Perhaps the only player capable of improving our record, with consistent playing time, was Wright. Would so many lukewarm big men have torched the Warriors, if Andris Biedrins had any sort of shot-blocking backup behind him? Would Stephen Jackson and Baron Davis have gassed out, at the season's end, with another young gun for Nelson to go to? Would the Chris Webber debacle have even taken place, had Nelson gone to Wright and seen Brandan was the run-and-gun forward we were so desperately aching for? The smart fan would answer each of those questions with a resounding "no". But, thanks to the head coach's absolute stubbornness in playing him, Golden State fans are going to have to wait for the '08-'09 season to truly examine what they got in exchange for a 23 PPG scorer.

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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:08 pm
32 wrote:The Top 10 Reasons Golden State Missed The 2008 Playoffs

10) Misused Talent #4: Patrick O'Bryant - Okay, so this one seems like a long shot, on the surface. But one thing Warriors fans, in two years of evaluation, can clearly claim is that we don't know how good Patrick O'Bryant is. The Chef only had two games with over 10 minutes this year. How did he fair? In Utah, O'Bryant seemed out of place and picked up 4 quick fouls in 13 minutes, adding 2 points, 1 rebound, and 1 steal to the mix. But in LA, against the Clippers? O'Bryant was an integral part of a 17-point spanking, proving to be the only Warrior capable of containing Chris Kaman (who ended with 20 and 12 on a majority of Andris Biedrins coverage). The Chef chipped in 12 points (5/6), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 block, before fouling out in 12 minutes. Flashes of such promise were not permitted this season, as O'Bryant collected a team-low 4:05 MPG average. Patrick O'Bryant has elected not to return to Golden State with Don Nelson as their head coach, so Warriors fans will get to see what he does next season with proper minutes and playing time.

9) SJax's Suspension - It's not rocket science. We went 1-6 without Captain Jack and lost out to the playoffs by 1 game. With losses against Dallas, Cleveland, and the Clippers, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that 7 extra starts with our team's most emotional (and, arguably, clutchest) leader would have yielded a playoff birth.

8) Misused Talent #3: Marco Belinelli - The summer league phenom started the year slow and was never given another chance to prove himself. While Nelson often went to the bench for 3-point shooters, like Kelenna Azubuike, CJ Watson, and Mickael Pietrus, one would be hard pressed to claim that any of them were better long-ball threats than Marco Belinelli. Even when Belinelli performed, but was rarely rewarded, as a 4-for-6 game in Portland was answered with 11 straight games (including 9 DNPs) without more than 2 minutes of playing time. Belinelli, like Pietrus, burned his rotation bridges in November with poor play... but, unlike Pietrus, was never given another solid chance to prove what he had.

7) Misused Talent #2: Kosta Perovic - This is the most intruiging of the 3 youngsters so far... purely because of the competition Kosta Perovic was able to disrupt. Andrew Bogut and Shaquille O'Neal, a couple of 7-foot ogres, met Perovic (whom I, not so PC-ly, have nicknamed "the freak") and didn't know how to handle him. Not only did Perovic clearly upset his competition, but he handled himself well. In both games, Kosta averaged 4 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 1 block in 9 MPG. But, as with O'Bryant and Belinelli, Nelson had made up his mind from the start not to play Perovic, and Kosta ended the season with only 7 appearances. Warriors fans are left to wonder what could have been with that young man, as well.

6) Bench Players Set Before Season's Start - This one was obvious. Don Nelson's rotation was set in stone, prior to the season starting, and of the 3 regulars he chose to play (Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus, and Kelenna Azubuike), only Azubuike showed up for the entire season. Pietrus stuck his tongue out until the trade deadline and Barnes was never able to recapture the magic. Perhaps, had Nelson kept an open mind and given all of his bench players an equal chance to prove himself, this wouldn't have been such a costly error. Wasted minutes for Barnes and Pietrus tore into the Warriors all season long.

5) Insufficient Preparation - The Warriors dropped gimmie games to the Hawks, the Timberwolves, the Bobcats, the Pacers, the Bulls, and the Kings... not to mention a heart-crushing, season-ending loss to Denver (at home) in what everybody took to be the biggest game of the season. 6 gimmie games dropped (and this isn't including the season-starting loss to the Brand-less Clippers, either). Clearly, the team was not adequately prepared to deal with opponents that had nothing to lose... and the results show it. Golden State was unable to close the door on sucker teams, which is something playoff teams should be able to do.

4) The Chris Webber Debacle - Let me make this clear: trying Chris Webber was not a mistake. Nelson refused to play a backup big man without 10 years of NBA experience, so Webber certainly fit the bill. The mistake was having the head coach go on national TV and completely give up all hopes of making the playoffs if Golden State couldn't utilize Webber. The situation was dramatized to a panty-wetting point for TNT... and went over like a ton of bricks. Webber was clearly done from the start, the Warriors spent entirely too much time screwing around with him, and Nelson put far too much emphasis on him. Bringing Chris Webber back as firepower off the bench? No problem. Claiming he was the key to the playoffs, insisting on starting him, and changing the entire f'ing offense to cater to him was a HUGE mistake. Webber retired, the wind was out of our sails, and the Warriors limped to an early season's end instead of trying options they already had on the bench.

3) A Reluctance To Give Monta The Reigns - This is going to be short and sweet: for two straight seasons, Monta Ellis has been held back and coddled for reasons unknown to anyone but Don Nelson. Last year, he was a bench player that clearly was more talented than most of our starters. This year, he was a sidekick that looked more ready to carry the load than anyone else on the roster NOT named Baron Davis. Monta's consistency far outranked that of Al Harrington, his overall talent is leaps ahead of Stephen Jackson's, and his long-term value destroys Baron Davis'. The sooner the Warriors hand the reigns to Monta Ellis, the sooner we are at getting to the next level. Baron, Jack, and Al are all very talented and nobody should question why they're on the team... but this needs to be Monta's team before we can go any further.

2) The 7-Man Rotation - Can we say: gassed? Baron Davis, Stephen Jackson, and Al Harrington all went down at the season's end. Al was the first to start crumbling and haters noticed it a month ago. Jackson fell next, with an April average of 14 PPG (far below his season's average of 20). Finally, Baron Davis gassed out, forcing Nellie to sit him in the 2nd half of a pivotal game against Phoenix. The only people not to buckle under the minutes? You guessed it. The kids. Andris Biedrins and Monta Ellis finished the year strong.

1) Misused Talent #1: Brandan Wright - Nobody will try to claim that the Brandan Wright trade was made to instantaneously improve our lineup this year. Wright's importance to the team will be demonstrated more clearly in future seasons and no one, not even a Wright fan like myself, would argue that. But from the very beginning, Don Nelson was firm on his choice to get Wright a season under his belt before thrusting him into the NBA spotlight. To claim that Wright wasn't ready for a solid role (even off the bench), that he didn't address a need, or that he would hinder the Warriors, more than help them, is pure ignorance. Perhaps the only player capable of improving our record, with consistent playing time, was Wright. Would so many lukewarm big men have torched the Warriors, if Andris Biedrins had any sort of shot-blocking backup behind him? Would Stephen Jackson and Baron Davis have gassed out, at the season's end, with another young gun for Nelson to go to? Would the Chris Webber debacle have even taken place, had Nelson gone to Wright and seen Brandan was the run-and-gun forward we were so desperately aching for? The smart fan would answer each of those questions with a resounding "no". But, thanks to the head coach's absolute stubbornness in playing him, Golden State fans are going to have to wait for the '08-'09 season to truly examine what they got in exchange for a 23 PPG scorer.


Great analysis!

I would also add that the turmoil caused by Nelson's off season shenanigans where he had extorted more guaranteed money from this team had much to do with it performing below expectations. He, Nelson, had no financial incentive to get this team back into the playoffs. Players who were looking to get new contracts, only to see Nelson as the one person in the organization getting to renegotiate, lost all respect for the organization and its coach. If he comes back next season to coach the team, let's hope that Nelson, the drama queen, keeps the off season drama to a minimum.
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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:08 pm
Very Nice post. Hits major points that i agree with IMO. Once again great post man. =D>
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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:09 pm
Good list, but I'd switch numbers 9 and 4. The Webber debacle was baffling but it really didn't hurt us too much in the standings. Losing Jack for the first six did and if we had just split the games he missed TNT and ESPN would be frothing at the mouth at the prospects of a Laker-GSW round 1 matchup.

I mean, we were 6-3 in games that Webber played versus 0-6 during the Stack jack suspension.
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Posts: 8
» Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:55 pm
OPINION OF NOT MUCH EXPERT FAN FROM EUROPE.


1. Jason Richardson trade
With J-Rich I'm sure we were to playoffs. I don't know situation players in that moment but i had tried to use others except(obviously) Baron, Jackson, Monta Ellis and Briedrins.

2. Refills of guarantee for our "Big Three"
Too many dependence of which Baron Davis, Ellis and Jackson were working well simultaneously. If one was playing bad match, almost sure defeat. Only with Azubuike and some day of Harrington isn't enough.

3. Don Nelson rotations
Many nba fans from my country think Don Nelson is very pigheaded :banghead: , always with seven player. It seems he is stingy even with the rubbish minutes for Bellineli and company.
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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:02 pm
Honorable mention: Bob Delaney :evil:
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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:47 pm
Beli did not belong in the rotation, he needs more muscle and his skill is just shooting. Although he could have helped us with our perimeter shooting he is by far the worst defender on this team.
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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:09 pm
jimbob631 wrote:Beli did not belong in the rotation, he needs more muscle and his skill is just shooting. Although he could have helped us with our perimeter shooting he is by far the worst defender on this team.


Yes he is probably the worse defender on the squad but when you really don't play defense whats the point. Nelson has always wanted scoring over defense so why not use Belinelli and IMO his defense looked better the last game than in the beginning of the season.

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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:13 pm
belinelli is not a good shooter, he's a phenomenal shooter, could outshoot any warrior in three point contest easily
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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:26 pm
martin wrote:belinelli is not a good shooter, he's a phenomenal shooter, could outshoot any warrior in three point contest easily


Next year, I would like to see them bring him in the bust a zone if we need to. He would be perfect at that.
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Posts: 1099
» Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:28 pm
So what. He isn't strong enough to play solid minutes yet. He will score less points than he allows whoever hes defending to score. Hes the worst defender on a terrible defensive team. We dont need offense, we need defense and rebounding

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Posts: 2320
» Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:30 pm
so ****ing let him rain threes! why the **** ellis is playing then, he's outplayed on defense by anyone who wants :banghead:

plus look at todays game, he hits them easy, when no one else is doing **** on so called best offense of the league. he may fire it up when everyone else is cold.
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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:34 pm
Ellis actually is a decent defender against point guards, not great but decent. Beli would allow way more points.

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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:37 pm
if nor belli we would have been blown out today. well, we'll lose anyway, cause we have better defender in azubuike and jackson who misses every three they take. plus you talk like belli is retarded and can't move at all on defense. wow, youngsters, just, wow
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» Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:43 pm
Thunder wrote:Good list, but I'd switch numbers 9 and 4. The Webber debacle was baffling but it really didn't hurt us too much in the standings. Losing Jack for the first six did and if we had just split the games he missed TNT and ESPN would be frothing at the mouth at the prospects of a Laker-GSW round 1 matchup.

I mean, we were 6-3 in games that Webber played versus 0-6 during the Stack jack suspension.


As many have said - great post! Very valid points...but yes, the only thing the Webber incident did was annoy a lot of people.

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