Nelson ready to shake up the Warrior (Attn uptempo)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 7:29 pm
Nelson ready to shake up the Warrior
By LOWELL COHN
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT



OAKLAND - “I thought you had died,” Don Nelson said to me"
We hadn’t seen each other in several years and now he was Warriors coach again, and I said, “When I die, you’ll be the first person I tell.”

He led me to his office, which used to belong to Eric Musselman, Mike Montgomery and a cast of thousands I’m leaving out. He sat behind his desk. Nelson is a big man, big-limbed, large head. His hair, which used to be blond, has faded and looks pale — pale gold. He is imposing and invites respect, in some cases, awe.

He is 66 and he’s survived prostate cancer, and his wife, Joy, has survived breast cancer. He and Joy have rented the whole top floor of an apartment house near Lake Merritt in Oakland. “My view is 360,” he said. And he also owns a place in Dallas and seven pieces of property in Maui, although he’s in the process of selling one.

He didn’t have to coach, but he needs to coach — craves the action.

“I’m not a big gambler,” he said, “but when I’m playing golf, I like to have a wager where I win or lose a hundred bucks. In professional basketball, I can compete at the highest level in an arena full of people, and nobody dies. I’m living life to the fullest at that moment. I didn’t have that for one year.”

As he spoke, he sometimes looked at me. Other times he read notes on his desk about who had called wanting a job on his coaching staff. He has none to give. I asked how good his team will be, and he said he hated that question. No matter how he answers, he leaves himself open to second-guessing. And then, of course, he answered.

“I think the team has to show me why it’s not good.”

He assumes the team is good until proven wrong.

“We are not a title contender,” he said, “but we can start the process.”

Now he was rolling. He was talking ball and his eyes were blazing and he laid out his plans for specific players. Like power forward Troy Murphy.

“He’s a skill player who rebounds. He’ll achieve career highs for me — 10 rebounds, 20 points. He’s difficult to guard. I’ll move him to center, and I don’t know which centers can guard him. We’ve got to agree to it — otherwise it won’t work. If he says ‘I’m not a center,’ like Chris Webber did, it won’t work.”

I interrupted Nelson, couldn’t help myself.

“Can Murphy guard centers?”

“No,” Nelson shot back. “He can’t guard forwards, either. We’ll give him help.”

He moved on to Mike Dunleavy.

“He’ll have his best years for me. He’s a natural four, not a three.”

Nelson meant he’s a power forward and not a small forward, which is unusual considering Dunleavy has the tensile strength of a feather.

“He won’t have to worry about guarding smaller guys,” Nelson said. “I see him as a unique piece, a point power forward running my team.”

Running your team?

“Sure. I can’t name another point power forward in the league. He’ll take the ball out of Baron Davis’ hands some. Just in the half court. I don’t want Baron giving up the ball and never getting it back. I want Baron to catch.”

And then he was onto Davis himself. It is said Davis didn’t respect Montgomery and would walk by him without saying hello. He also has a tendency to arrive in camp looking like Willie the Whale.

“I haven’t talked to him yet,” Nelson said. “I want the players to come in 5 pounds lighter than their lightest weight. Adonal Foyle is 27 pounds overweight. He’s immediately gone to the third team. You need to run and move in my system.”

Now that Nelson is coach, Foyle, who has no offensive game, is through. He’ll sit at the end of the bench reading Tolstoy. Nelson got back to Davis, said losing weight will help him avoid injury — the guy always gets hurt.

“He’ll be All-Star caliber again.”

OK, you get the picture. The Warriors will be a small, fast team. They will be difficult to guard because, like Nelson himself, they will be eccentric. It’s not clear, on the other hand, if they can guard other teams.

I changed the subject. I said everyone calls Nelson “Nellie.” I asked him to describe the difference between Don Nelson and Nellie. He smiled. He leaned back in his chair and thought a moment.

“Nellie is a fun-loving guy,” he said. “You’d love to have a drink with him and play golf with him and all that. That side of me carries into my professional life and practices. I am fun-loving, and I like my players relaxed. Don Nelson is a serious guy. He will get into you in a minute if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do. The head coach, that’s Don Nelson. Nellie ain’t the head coach.”

“Nellie isn’t the head coach,” I repeated.

“Ain’t,” he corrected me.

Nellie is a hick. Don Nelson is a shrewd operator. Nellie is the appearance. Don Nelson is the reality. The Warriors hope there’s enough Don Nelson left to lead this team to the playoff's.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 8:45 pm
“Can Murphy guard centers?”

“No,” Nelson shot back. “He can’t guard forwards, either. We’ll give him help.”

hahaha funny


"Adonal Foyle is 27 pounds overweight. He’s immediately gone to the third team. You need to run and move in my system.”

:D
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 9:53 pm
hmmmm - I am really not thrilled with the Dunleavy at 4 scenario. The kid has zero inside game, remeber how many layups he blew last year, no strength, and is going to get the **** bashed out of him in the low pots. Meanwhile, we havea kid in Diogu who was born to be a power forward and nelson is conspicuosuly silent. I really hope to be proven wrong, but am truly dubious about this one. I do like the idea of Murphy at the 5 and Foyle to the 3rd team...
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:38 pm
If this article is genuine, then not all is looking that good. I don't like dunnyboy as the PF, any position for that matter. He is going to get destroyed and Nelosn will look like a fool for gambling that dunny will outrun and SCORE alot while not being scored on as much! Murphy can't defend that well either so no interior defense........... guess the defensive superpowers, Baron, JRich and whoever the third player is (either Ellis or Pietrus) will have to get the ball before it goes inside for the opposition for an automatic two :roll:

The only really right thing about this article is that Foyle is not going to play much and that Nelson is a "Big man, large head". Let's hope that large head can think up better scenarios than two soft sugar bags playing the biggest positions
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 2:22 am
Quazza wrote:“Can Murphy guard centers?”

“No,” Nelson shot back. “He can’t guard forwards, either. We’ll give him help.”

hahaha funny


"Adonal Foyle is 27 pounds overweight. He’s immediately gone to the third team. You need to run and move in my system.”

:D


Hit the nail in the head... :D
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:49 pm
Don Nelson wrote:“We are not a title contender,” he said, “but we can start the process.”

I like this. He's honest with the media. That's important. There's no sense in BSing around what kind of team Golden State it. Montgomery would never talk about what kind of condition the ball club was in.

Don Nelson wrote:“He’s a skill player who rebounds. He’ll achieve career highs for me — 10 rebounds, 20 points. He’s difficult to guard. I’ll move him to center, and I don’t know which centers can guard him. We’ve got to agree to it — otherwise it won’t work. If he says ‘I’m not a center,’ like Chris Webber did, it won’t work.”

I interrupted Nelson, couldn’t help myself.

“Can Murphy guard centers?”

“No,” Nelson shot back. “He can’t guard forwards, either. We’ll give him help.”

I love this, too. Nelly's saying all the right things.

Don Nelson wrote:“He’ll have his best years for me. He’s a natural four, not a three.”

Dunleavy's best games were against slower opponents who couldn't guard him off the dribble. This is an excellent move by Don Nelson.

Don Nelson wrote:Adonal Foyle is 27 pounds overweight. He’s immediately gone to the third team. You need to run and move in my system.”

:D

Don Nelson wrote:Nelson got back to Davis, said losing weight will help him avoid injury — the guy always gets hurt.

“He’ll be All-Star caliber again.”

:) And that's what Golden State needs to be a playoff team!

Don Nelson wrote:“Nellie is a fun-loving guy,” he said. “You’d love to have a drink with him and play golf with him and all that. That side of me carries into my professional life and practices. I am fun-loving, and I like my players relaxed. Don Nelson is a serious guy. He will get into you in a minute if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do. The head coach, that’s Don Nelson. Nellie ain’t the head coach.”

“Nellie isn’t the head coach,” I repeated.

“Ain’t,” he corrected me.

Even if this whole Don Nelson thing doesn't work out (fat chance), I'm loving these interviews. Nelson's so damn quick and witty.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:53 pm
migya wrote:If this article is genuine, then not all is looking that good. I don't like dunnyboy as the PF, any position for that matter. He is going to get destroyed and Nelosn will look like a fool for gambling that dunny will outrun and SCORE alot while not being scored on as much!

Aw, come on. We're stuck with Mike Dunleavy for the next 5 years. It's not gonna kill Golden State to try him out one more time before we bury him on the bench. Hell, who knows what'll happen! He's been playing the same role since he got into the league... and it hasn't worked. Maybe he will explode at the 4 and be the player everyone expected him to be.

migya wrote:Murphy can't defend that well either so no interior defense........... guess the defensive superpowers, Baron, JRich and whoever the third player is (either Ellis or Pietrus) will have to get the ball before it goes inside for the opposition for an automatic two :roll:

I don't think how much the other team scores is gonna matter because we'll be scoring up the friggin wazoo. Check how that's working for Phoenix (who, aside from Marion, had NO inside defense last year).

migya wrote:The only really right thing about this article is that Foyle is not going to play much and that Nelson is a "Big man, large head". Let's hope that large head can think up better scenarios than two soft sugar bags playing the biggest positions

I think his ideas are great. He's trying something noticeably different. The last 5 coaches all did the same thing with the same players. Nelson see's that the talent is there... but it's not clicking in their current roles. By changing up the roles a bit, Golden State might thrive. Sacrificing inside defense for an extra 30 points a night from Ike and Murphy sounds good to me... unless, of course, you'd like to see another season of Adonal Foyle (who, at the moment, is the better defender between him and Biedrins)?
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 6:46 pm
#32 wrote:
migya wrote:If this article is genuine, then not all is looking that good. I don't like dunnyboy as the PF, any position for that matter. He is going to get destroyed and Nelosn will look like a fool for gambling that dunny will outrun and SCORE alot while not being scored on as much!

Aw, come on. We're stuck with Mike Dunleavy for the next 5 years. It's not gonna kill Golden State to try him out one more time before we bury him on the bench. Hell, who knows what'll happen! He's been playing the same role since he got into the league... and it hasn't worked. Maybe he will explode at the 4 and be the player everyone expected him to be.


He has been playing the same role for the last 5 years - town clown :mrgreen:
Hopefully dun can play well at PF and if he does, Nelson would show his genius again but we all really need to hope on this one


#32 wrote:
migya wrote:Murphy can't defend that well either so no interior defense........... guess the defensive superpowers, Baron, JRich and whoever the third player is (either Ellis or Pietrus) will have to get the ball before it goes inside for the opposition for an automatic two :roll:

I don't think how much the other team scores is gonna matter because we'll be scoring up the friggin wazoo. Check how that's working for Phoenix (who, aside from Marion, had NO inside defense last year).


The Suns are one of a kind, it will take alot to do what they do but the team does have the personnel. Murphy and dun however, are not similar to any of the athletes that can play some defense that the suns have! :roll:


#32 wrote:
migya wrote:The only really right thing about this article is that Foyle is not going to play much and that Nelson is a "Big man, large head". Let's hope that large head can think up better scenarios than two soft sugar bags playing the biggest positions

I think his ideas are great. He's trying something noticeably different. The last 5 coaches all did the same thing with the same players. Nelson see's that the talent is there... but it's not clicking in their current roles. By changing up the roles a bit, Golden State might thrive. Sacrificing inside defense for an extra 30 points a night from Ike and Murphy sounds good to me... unless, of course, you'd like to see another season of Adonal Foyle (who, at the moment, is the better defender between him and Biedrins)?


Didn't hear anything about Diogu in any interview with Nelson! Doesn't look like he has much in store for Diogu!
Nelson certainly seems like he will try something different but I hope he is willing to try other different lineups if the one he has proposed doesn't work, which is likely!
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:18 pm
migya wrote:He has been playing the same role for the last 5 years - town clown :mrgreen:
Hopefully dun can play well at PF and if he does, Nelson would show his genius again but we all really need to hope on this one

Dunleavy has nowhere to go but up. Next year will be anything but a disappointment. If I'm impartial about Dunleavy at the end of next year, that will be an improvement.

migya wrote:The Suns are one of a kind, it will take alot to do what they do but the team does have the personnel. Murphy and dun however, are not similar to any of the athletes that can play some defense that the suns have! :roll:

The Warriors don't have Marion. Aside from that, they can pretty much physically mimic most of the Suns players (Kurt Thomas = a skinnier Adonal, Amare = Taft, ect). In a Don Nelson offense, they can be good in the same way (albeit, probably not AS good... but good in the same way). There are very few things in basketball that are 'on of a kind' and the Suns aren't one of them. Phoenix Suns clones are already popping up everywhere around the league.


migya wrote:Didn't hear anything about Diogu in any interview with Nelson! Doesn't look like he has much in store for Diogu!

Yeah. Nelson also told the press a few years back that he was drafting Tractor Traylor.

Don Nelson is smart; he realizes that his opponents read the papers. So far, he's given us his plan with players like Murphy and Dunleavy... but he's hardly said anything about Ellis (and nothing about Diogu). I'm betting they'll be the aces up his sleeve. Nelson's smart enough not to reveal his whole hand before playing. Aside from Baron (who everyone already watches out for), Murphy (whose a small threat right now), and Dunleavy (whose no threat), who else has Nelly gone into detail about?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:11 am
migya wrote:Didn't hear anything about Diogu in any interview with Nelson! Doesn't look like he has much in store for Diogu!
Nelson certainly seems like he will try something different but I hope he is willing to try other different lineups if the one he has proposed doesn't work, which is likely!


I don't think anything he sayd matter till training camp. He may have ideas now that won't work once he gets to know the players.
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 8:55 am
TMC wrote:
migya wrote:Didn't hear anything about Diogu in any interview with Nelson! Doesn't look like he has much in store for Diogu!
Nelson certainly seems like he will try something different but I hope he is willing to try other different lineups if the one he has proposed doesn't work, which is likely!


I don't think anything he sayd matter till training camp. He may have ideas now that won't work once he gets to know the players.


#32 wrote:Yeah. Nelson also told the press a few years back that he was drafting Tractor Traylor.

Don Nelson is smart; he realizes that his opponents read the papers. So far, he's given us his plan with players like Murphy and Dunleavy... but he's hardly said anything about Ellis (and nothing about Diogu). I'm betting they'll be the aces up his sleeve. Nelson's smart enough not to reveal his whole hand before playing. Aside from Baron (who everyone already watches out for), Murphy (whose a small threat right now), and Dunleavy (whose no threat), who else has Nelly gone into detail about?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 6:55 pm
#32 wrote:
migya wrote:He has been playing the same role for the last 5 years - town clown :mrgreen:
Hopefully dun can play well at PF and if he does, Nelson would show his genius again but we all really need to hope on this one

Dunleavy has nowhere to go but up. Next year will be anything but a disappointment. If I'm impartial about Dunleavy at the end of next year, that will be an improvement.


He could actually go down and that is possible if he just doesn't perform well to early and often. Nelson doesn't go with players that play bad and with all the talent that team has, he would be smart to replace anyone not doing well with someone else to see if it works


#32 wrote:
migya wrote:The Suns are one of a kind, it will take alot to do what they do but the team does have the personnel. Murphy and dun however, are not similar to any of the athletes that can play some defense that the suns have! :roll:

The Warriors don't have Marion. Aside from that, they can pretty much physically mimic most of the Suns players (Kurt Thomas = a skinnier Adonal, Amare = Taft, ect). In a Don Nelson offense, they can be good in the same way (albeit, probably not AS good... but good in the same way). There are very few things in basketball that are 'on of a kind' and the Suns aren't one of them. Phoenix Suns clones are already popping up everywhere around the league.


That's harsh on Kurt Thomas :mrgreen: and real nice to Taft (so far anyway)! There is no other team that has come close to duplicating what the Suns have done yet but the team under Nelson certainly could


migya wrote:Didn't hear anything about Diogu in any interview with Nelson! Doesn't look like he has much in store for Diogu!


#32 wrote:Don Nelson is smart; he realizes that his opponents read the papers. So far, he's given us his plan with players like Murphy and Dunleavy... but he's hardly said anything about Ellis (and nothing about Diogu). I'm betting they'll be the aces up his sleeve. Nelson's smart enough not to reveal his whole hand before playing. Aside from Baron (who everyone already watches out for), Murphy (whose a small threat right now), and Dunleavy (whose no threat), who else has Nelly gone into detail about?


Let's hope that's the case because it is obvious that both Ellis and Diogu are better weapons
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 7:58 pm
migya wrote:That's harsh on Kurt Thomas :mrgreen: and real nice to Taft (so far anyway)! There is no other team that has come close to duplicating what the Suns have done yet but the team under Nelson certainly could

What's the difference between Amare and Taft, physically?

Both are around the same height, same weight, can run with the guards, jump outta the building... and both missed nearly the entire season with injuries. :mrgreen: :banghead:
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 20, 2006 11:49 pm
#32 wrote:
migya wrote:That's harsh on Kurt Thomas :mrgreen: and real nice to Taft (so far anyway)! There is no other team that has come close to duplicating what the Suns have done yet but the team under Nelson certainly could

What's the difference between Amare and Taft, physically?

Both are around the same height, same weight, can run with the guards, jump outta the building... and both missed nearly the entire season with injuries. :mrgreen: :banghead:

err...not a physical difference, but one enormous difference is current skill level. amare was a certifiable all-star monster who utterly destroyed Tim Duncan in the conference finals. If Taft becomes 2/3 the player that Stoudemire is, he will be one of the better players in the league, since a healthy Amare is easily top 5.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:24 am
coltraning wrote:
#32 wrote:
migya wrote:That's harsh on Kurt Thomas :mrgreen: and real nice to Taft (so far anyway)! There is no other team that has come close to duplicating what the Suns have done yet but the team under Nelson certainly could

What's the difference between Amare and Taft, physically?

Both are around the same height, same weight, can run with the guards, jump outta the building... and both missed nearly the entire season with injuries. :mrgreen: :banghead:

err...not a physical difference, but one enormous difference is current skill level. amare was a certifiable all-star monster who utterly destroyed Tim Duncan in the conference finals. If Taft becomes 2/3 the player that Stoudemire is, he will be one of the better players in the league, since a healthy Amare is easily top 5.




And Taft would be considered one of the biggest steals ever, being a second round draft pick and Mullin would look like an absolute genius
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