5 Ways Nellie Would Have Sunk This Season

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 5:18 pm
As Warriors fans, we are prone to keeping our collective guards up. Years of tears, decades of destruction, and seasons without reason checkered this franchise's history the past 20 years and perhaps no singular being embodies that generation of Warriors basketball like the NBA's winningest coach, Mr. Donald Arvid Nelson.

This season has seen a complete departure from the Nellieball way; it has included an emphasis on defense, valuing possessions, and rewarding productive players with minutes. But to those who believe that even Nellie could have won with a roster like this, I present to you: 5 specific ways in which Nellie would have stuffed up this magical season:

(1) What Rookies?
A staple of this young season, and an enormous reason it's given hope to fans for year's to come, is the solid game displayed by all 3 green horns in Warrior colors. Not even all-star bound yet and the Warriors have announced their starting 5 with 82 starts by rookies in 45 games. That's not to say that there haven't been rookie mistakes and growing pains; there have. But Mark Jackson has found a way to get those out of the way early so that come playoff time, these kids will be ready to contribute. You'll recall, the "We Believe" year was marred by an 8 man rotation that ultimately came unglued in the 2nd round. Nellie can be credited with destroying the careers of Ike Diogu and Patrick O'Bryant, while scarring Brandan Wright into a permanent situational defender. Mark Jackson has already produced more starters (3) than Nellie did during his second tenure here in double the time (1).

(2) Top 5 in MPG: Curry & Thompson
An avid gambler, Nellie coached his team like a craps shooter: riding the hot hand until it busted. Shortening the careers of Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson by insisting they go 38 minutes a night has already taken their games from star quality to scrub level in a matter of 5 years. There's absolutely no reason to believe that Nelson wouldn't have done the same to Curry (recovering from ankle surgery) and Thompson (coming off a rookie year where he played 80 games). Thanks to Jackson's full rotation, secondary players stay sharp, starters stay fresh, and everybody benefits. Nellie would have sunk the season by breaking Curry's workload.

(3) Starting at center, Carl Landry
Nellie had a simple philosophy: the best 5 players play, the next best 2 rotate, you have 1 guy ready in case things go wrong, and everyone else sits. Of those guys sitting included anybody without a decent stand still jumper because Nellieball is entirely dependent on the drive-and-kick. I think it's fair to say that Ezeli and Green, besides being rookies, would earn a trip to Nellie's dog house by not being consistent jump shooters. Lee and Landry would handle the center spot, with Barnes, Thompson, and Jefferson all seeing minutes at the 4.

(4) "He's making too much money. I can't find minutes for him."
The very remark Nelson made about Jamal Crawford would go double for Jarrett Jack. As a firm believer that your best guard should run the point and always have the ball, Nellie would NEVER have gone for the Jack-Curry pairing unless Jack was an equally efficient shooter. Since Jack's game isn't based on scoring, it's a safe bet that Nellie would have relegated his backup point minutes to 10 per game while he destroyed Curry with heavy minutes. Nelson would have been against the Jack-for-Wright swap from the very beginning and likely would have pouted by planting Jack in the corner for 3's, setting him up to fail.

(5) No All-Star Year for Lee
Strangely, the idea of using Andrew Bogut night have appealed to Nelson because Bogut defends everything in the paint, rebounds, and doesn't demand the ball. David Lee is not the same guy; he wants touches in the post, he doesn't block shots, and he isn't a pretty option at center. Curry, Bogut, and Thompson would all have roles handed to them, but Lee would be an afterthought ala Al Harrington. Effectively taking the most efficient scorer out of the equation, Lee would become a midrange jump shooter who would likely play instead of Bogut (not with him). Unless he could add 3-point range to his game, David Lee's Warrior career would have been a disappointing disaster under Don Nelson.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:18 am
Uggh...

Dude is in the hall of fame, You can play your should of, would of, could of because it ended on a sour note.

Fact is Nelson gave us more good years then bad. He was a lame duck coach apart of a lame duck front office (Robert Rowell) I'm sure he was under certain instructions and that steering the ship into rocks wasn't entirely his own fault.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 12:31 pm
PAWNO wrote:Uggh...

Dude is in the hall of fame, You can play your should of, would of, could of because it ended on a sour note.

Fact is Nelson gave us more good years then bad. He was a lame duck coach apart of a lame duck front office (Robert Rowell) I'm sure he was under certain instructions and that steering the ship into rocks wasn't entirely his own fault.

Okay, so you seem to be taking the stance that Nellie was a better coach than a bad one (as evident by his +.500 record). So I'm curious: which of my strikes on Coach Nelson do you disagree with? You think he'd play the rookies? Without having a rookie guard (for the first time in his career)? You don't think he'd have Lee spotting up instead of in the post? You don't think he'd play Curry 40 MPG? What exactly did I say that seems incorrect to you?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 5:07 pm
32 wrote:
PAWNO wrote:Uggh...

Dude is in the hall of fame, You can play your should of, would of, could of because it ended on a sour note.

Fact is Nelson gave us more good years then bad. He was a lame duck coach apart of a lame duck front office (Robert Rowell) I'm sure he was under certain instructions and that steering the ship into rocks wasn't entirely his own fault.

Okay, so you seem to be taking the stance that Nellie was a better coach than a bad one (as evident by his +.500 record). So I'm curious: which of my strikes on Coach Nelson do you disagree with? You think he'd play the rookies? Without having a rookie guard (for the first time in his career)? You don't think he'd have Lee spotting up instead of in the post? You don't think he'd play Curry 40 MPG? What exactly did I say that seems incorrect to you?


We are going so well & you have to rehash this demon. [-X

To me it feels like our wedding day we are marrying our Charlize Theron (a stunner & princess) & then the grooms best man 32 has to pull out the photo of Kirsty Alley and remind us all of the time I/we dated the fatpig Kirsty Alley (& Kirsty Alley was a pretty girl but yet 32 gets the photo when she's fat & is ruining a perfectly good moment)

In terms of the minutes distribution... I guess I disagree with you the most. As I recall the last season of NellieBall we had a injured Monta, a injured Biedrins, a Injured Azabuike all these key players (I'm guessing I am forgetting someone) in civilian clothes and he was forced to play Steph Curry 40 minutes because he didn't believe in the other guys.

I dunno man. Don't really wanna fight with you over this but there's some players/people in this organization that get a rough ride & I feel like I have to come to their defense (Mike Dunleavy for example, He got a very hard time simply for the place he was drafted & the high expecations that come with being 3rd cab off the rank. Fact is Dunleavy has outlasted the 2 guys ahead of him and contributes more then the guy taken 4th -Gooden)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:39 pm
I'm certainly not trying to fight with you; I just find Nelson to be an intriguing topic because he's such a splitting point for Warriors fans. Personally, I think a case by case basis is necessary to evaluate talent. You'll recall, I was never above giving Dunleavy credit (alongside you) when the rest of this forum would lynch him. If he played well, I gave him his due credit. When he played poorly, I wasn't too proud to say so. Likewise, I'm nowadays giving Andrew Bogut a similar treatment. If he's healthy, he's easily our best asset. But when he's riding the pine for extended periods of time, I tell it like it is. Nelson was a similar character. Before his rehire, I acknowledged the damage he put this franchise through... But the second Mullin brought him back, I was stoked; as a motivated Don Nelson has always been productive. But after Davis left the team and it was clear the roster was going to go through a rebuilding phase, it is my personal opinion that Don Nelson tried to get himself fired by quitting on the job and sabotaging the team.

This thread was written with the 2009 Nelson in mind; the guy who wanted $5 and a half million to be fired so he could go back to Maui and drink. Even though we both can acknowledge that Nellie was an asset in 2007, he clearly coached half-assed in '09 and the point of this thread is to celebrate how great the organization is performing since letting him go. I'm certainly happy to have Jackson at the helm pulling strings instead of Nelson, aren't you?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 9:16 pm
32 wrote:I'm certainly not trying to fight with you; I just find Nelson to be an intriguing topic because he's such a splitting point for Warriors fans. Personally, I think a case by case basis is necessary to evaluate talent. You'll recall, I was never above giving Dunleavy credit (alongside you) when the rest of this forum would lynch him. If he played well, I gave him his due credit. When he played poorly, I wasn't too proud to say so. Likewise, I'm nowadays giving Andrew Bogut a similar treatment. If he's healthy, he's easily our best asset. But when he's riding the pine for extended periods of time, I tell it like it is. Nelson was a similar character. Before his rehire, I acknowledged the damage he put this franchise through... But the second Mullin brought him back, I was stoked; as a motivated Don Nelson has always been productive. But after Davis left the team and it was clear the roster was going to go through a rebuilding phase, it is my personal opinion that Don Nelson tried to get himself fired by quitting on the job and sabotaging the team.

This thread was written with the 2009 Nelson in mind; the guy who wanted $5 and a half million to be fired so he could go back to Maui and drink. Even though we both can acknowledge that Nellie was an asset in 2007, he clearly coached half-assed in '09 and the point of this thread is to celebrate how great the organization is performing since letting him go. I'm certainly happy to have Jackson at the helm pulling strings instead of Nelson, aren't you?



That's interesting that you think he was trying to get himself fired.

Because going into the last year of his contract he was a lame duck coach and many people thought he should of been fired then.

I think the fact that he didn't play the rookies and kept them in Nellies world famous doghouse would of been to play the rookies and end up with a worse overall record thus leading him to more likelyhood of getting fired. Playing the veterans was more a ploy in my eyes for him to get a extension because the older heads gave him a better chance to win. (common logic is veterans>>>rookies, I've seen it all too often where a coach knows his on the hot seat and refuses to go the youth movement in the small chance that the older more experienced heads will save his backside)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:16 am
Far fetched conclusions here, 32.
But I enjoy people indulging with poetic license in imaginary things, so I, who always been a big nellie supporter, will close my eyes to some attacks against one retired great coach, BUT will give you one tidbit:

in last three games Lee was used a lot in high post to play point-forward by Mark Jackson to result in amazing play (that is a new one in warriors book) where a guard (jack and thompson) cuts to close to the basket to receive the pass from Lee standing as high as three point line. Lee is used a lot in high post here, quite where nellie would have used him, for he is a great passer. Hence his tremendous assist games when curry was sidelined.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:00 pm
Well, martin, I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree with our prospective evaluations of Lee as a regular occurring point forward. To me, that's a waste of your best high-post player. While Lee has above-average handles for a 6'9" power forward, and court vision to boot, using him in a mostly distributive role would take away from the team's efficiency in terms of scoring. As a slick post veteran with range out to 18 feet, Lee is your best scorer inside the 3-point line. Giving him the option and using him to create mismatches for your guards is gimmicky, awkward, and surely can't be sustained.

Running a high-post option through a big forward was never Nellie's gameplan anyway; every play in a Nellieball lineup began at the top of the arc with both corners being filled with shooters, one strong side cutter, and one bailout option on the weak side, while the man with the ball attempted to break down his defender and score in a man-on-man setting (often a mismatch orchestrated by Nelson). Nellieball was a fast break track meet and whenever the game slowed down to a half court setting, Nelson's idea of coaching was gimmicky substitutions to get ridiculously small, encouraging three-point shooters to fire with even a baby's breath of room, and dragging a center out of the game by his ear if he wasn't doing a Russell-esque job of covering up all the mistaken gambles taken by the guards who were lane-jumping and ball-swiping at the behest of Nellie.

Nelson believed 3-point shooting, fast break scoring, risky transition defense, and constant mismatches in the half court were the keys to victory. This is clearly an antithesis of Jackson's philosophy; a creed built first and foremost on rebounding the ball and playing sound, conservative defense emphasizing the right rotation and a surrender of perimeter jumpers if it means winning the points in the paint battle (two afterthoughts in Nellie's scheme, if even one could observe them as any sort of instruction at all from Don). Jackson believes a mismatch is a bigger player posting up a smaller defender; Nellie's idea of a mismatch was giving the ball handler a screen so he could And-1 dribble against the other team's center.

This whole season has been successful ENTIRELY BECAUSE IT IS NOTHING LIKE A DON NELSON COACHED TEAM. Nelson fan or not, and I was capable of seeing the good in him when he put his heart into coaching but, you have to admit, if he were coaching this roster, the only players who would benefit would be Jenkins, Thompson, and Bazemore. Curry would be overworked, Barnes would be playing the 4, and Lee, Landry, Ezeli, and Green would all be underutilized based on Nellie's history.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:57 pm
I don't know about all of this, but I know 32 is right on the small line ups. Harrington had minutes at the five spot sometimes. Biedrens when he was statistically our best player (I know it sounds crazy, but he was that good at one point) only played around 28 minutes a game. This was when we were winning.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:52 pm
32, you say nellie was a gambler, but then you say he had his philosophy. If anything, gambling (and poker is not gambling, if you refer to nelson's love of that game) is not philosophy.
So, if nellie was a gambler, he would take gambles with this roster and that might include letting lee outdrible and outsmart his man - which lee is constantly doing.
Both curry and lee are playing 40 or so minutes this season, so to state that he would have overused curry is a bit off the fact this season have been going.
Anyway, it's a mute discussion, it involves too many presuppositions.
Though I certainly don't buy the idea that nellie could not coach this team to be a winning one.
He might do it differently, sure, but there's enough talent for any coach to win with this roster, even mark jackson admits that you are as good as a coach as far as your roster talent takes you.
Bassically, thank front office for bringing in talent.
Mark Jackson is trying to spread the floor for most of the time with this roster, nelson did the same. Even if they are not identical in tactics, the strategy is the same.
Modern basketball IS about stretching the floor.
Nelson was one, if not the, of the first to do that.
The rest is history.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:50 pm
Even with a double OT against Denver and several OTs early on, Lee and Curry aren't even in the top 10 for MPG this year. In Nellie's final season, Ellis led the league in minutes (41.4). The year before, Jackson was #2 overall. The year before, Baron and SJax were 7 and 8 respectively. There's really no comparison between which coach blew out his stars more. Yes, Steph and Lee play a lot, but their backups (Jack and Landry) have extremely prominent roles, whereas Nellie established virtually no substitutes for Davis, Ellis, and Jackson.

And yes, you are absolutely correct, the front office increasing the level of talent makes this roster a winner by default. But I just believe that Mark Jackson establishing a pattern of substitutions for his main guns (not afraid to give them a blow even in a close game), invigorating his bench and keeping 10 or 11 guys sharp at all times, and - above all - playing each baller to his strengths, rather than a mismatch, is a recipe for greatness. Nelson might have been able to get these guys to the playoffs, you're right. But Mark Jackson has these guys ready to go deep; with home court advantage in the first round, these guys can practically punch their ticket to the semi-finals. Jackson is quite possibly the Coach of the Year. Nelson, to his credit, was past his CotY prime and I sincerely doubt he would be doing anywhere near as good a job with this team.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2013 11:52 pm
Btw boys, this is kinda killing me...

I'm "32" and my poster credit is alllllmost matching my username! :wink: Can a brother get a bump for ego's sake?? Haha :mrgreen:
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:43 am
32 wrote:Btw boys, this is kinda killing me...

I'm "32" and my poster credit is alllllmost matching my username! :wink: Can a brother get a bump for ego's sake?? Haha :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 12:44 am
32 wrote:Even with a double OT against Denver and several OTs early on, Lee and Curry aren't even in the top 10 for MPG this year. In Nellie's final season, Ellis led the league in minutes (41.4). The year before, Jackson was #2 overall. The year before, Baron and SJax were 7 and 8 respectively. There's really no comparison between which coach blew out his stars more. Yes, Steph and Lee play a lot, but their backups (Jack and Landry) have extremely prominent roles, whereas Nellie established virtually no substitutes for Davis, Ellis, and Jackson.

And yes, you are absolutely correct, the front office increasing the level of talent makes this roster a winner by default. But I just believe that Mark Jackson establishing a pattern of substitutions for his main guns (not afraid to give them a blow even in a close game), invigorating his bench and keeping 10 or 11 guys sharp at all times, and - above all - playing each baller to his strengths, rather than a mismatch, is a recipe for greatness. Nelson might have been able to get these guys to the playoffs, you're right. But Mark Jackson has these guys ready to go deep; with home court advantage in the first round, these guys can practically punch their ticket to the semi-finals. Jackson is quite possibly the Coach of the Year. Nelson, to his credit, was past his CotY prime and I sincerely doubt he would be doing anywhere near as good a job with this team.



Unless we get the Nuggets.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2013 4:29 am
32 wrote:Btw boys, this is kinda killing me...

I'm "32" and my poster credit is alllllmost matching my username! :wink: Can a brother get a bump for ego's sake?? Haha :mrgreen:

So...you don't wanna go over it? :mrgreen:
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