Kawakami chimes in:
Crawford sits tonight, then Jackson, then Biedrins: Don Nelson is king of the world
Posted by Tim Kawakami on February 27th, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Categorized as NBA, Warriors
I didn’t understand it when Don Nelson first announced he was benching a series of veterans over the next few Warriors games, starting with Jamal Crawford tonight against Charlotte, other than a good guess:
Nelson is screwing with everybody’s heads, once again, for no tangible reason other than just to show that he can.
I stayed quiet for a day, and now I’m really sure: Nelson is REALLY trying to screw with everybody, including the players directly and indirectly involved, their agents, team management, poor Warriors fans and yes, us mean media members.
Nelson is screwing with everybody just to show that he’s still Don Nelson, and that everybody else cares more about the games than he does, that nobody can manipulate the conversation like he can, so he’s automatically cooler than everybody.
(Better watch out: Bobby Rowell might be so confused by this strategy that he’ll give Nelson a 10-year extension!)
What a strange coach. And yep, he’s got 1,300 wins.
Nelson says he’s benching Crawford tonight, then Stephen Jackson the next game, then Andris Biedrins after that, in order to make sure he can get playing time for some of his younger players.
My silly little point: Don, you’re the coach. You can actually limit guys’ playing time just by removing them from the game for an extra few minutes or three or 10. You. Are. The. Coach.
You don’t need SJax dressed in a suit in order to keep him under 39 minutes in any particular game. All you have to do is, you know, take him out of the game with 4 minutes left in the first quarter and the leave him out until there are 6 minutes left in the second. Then do it again in the second half. Easy!
Nelson ceratinly knows this. He’s being facetious, obviously. He’s a trickster. He’s nutty. And he wants to send multiple strange messages.
Here’s what I think is the biggest thing Nelson is trying to communicate: THIS ROSTER IS SCREWED UP BECAUSE IT HAS TOO MANY SHOOTING SWINGMEN.
Nelson wants us to know he can’t win with this group. And that if they don’t win, it’s not his fault. He’s the Great Don Nelson.
OK, he’s not wrong on the lopsided nature of this team, but he’s also to blame for piling up so many similar players and for not putting them into different roles–I mean, Corey Maggette is Kelenna Azubuike is Anthony Randolph, in Nelson’s system.
Isn’t that SmallBall in a nutshell: Everybody runs around and confuses the opponent, which actually has big men and small men and has a hard time matching up with Nellie’s Little Guys?
Yes, the roster is unbalanced.
What’s Nelson’s solution? He’ll never say, because he’ll always claim that he’s not the one who put the roster together. He’ll put it on Chris Mullin. Or he’ll say, gee, look at Utah with Boozer and Williams. I want them.
Maybe eventually he’ll put it on Rowell. If I’m Rowell, I’d expect that. But I’m not sure Rowell knows what’s coming.
Nelson’s the one who’ll have to tell Larry Riley what to do this summer–trade Monta Ellis? Move Marco Belinelli (who, as late as this summer, Nelson apparently recommended as a candidate for release)? Urge Crawford to opt-out?
I personally think Crawford is very unlikely to walk away from $20M in guaranteed money this summer, but oh well, Nelson might be attempting to shove him out, anyway. Just for fun.
Nelson won’t ever commit to a public plan, of course. He agitates. He manipulates. He moves people around, then shrugs his shoulders and says, “Who me? Go ask Mully!”
This is typical Nelson, who repeatedly said he was happy with his roster–when I asked him–over the last few weeks and yet he now has to forcibly sit proven players in order to get a rotation set that includes Marco Belinelli, Anthony Randolph or Anthony Morrow.
Really? Can’t wait until Phil Jackson benches Kobe Bryant for a few games so he can figure out how to play Trevor Ariza. Oops, Phil actually figured that out while both were playing last year.
Gee, how silly. Benching players for entire games? That’s much better. The Warriors might win the games, might lose them, who knows.
But everybody will know that Don Nelson is the one pulling the strings. That’s the most important thing.
Timmy should really join the board. He'd fit right in but still manage to be one of the more "out-there" posters.