The Warriors have won 16 games so far this season and are on pace to win about 22. Last season they won just 29. They are a terrible defensive team (28th in the league in points surrendered per possession). In virtually every other NBA town that would have the media asking for the coach’s head on a platter (in New York the media would have passed pitch forks and torches out to the assembled mob).
But Don “drinking with the players” Nelson’s job is safe.
“As far as we’re concerned, I’ve seen him in a lot of situations,” (Warriors General Manager Larry) Riley answered (a question about Nelson on a conference call with season ticket holders). “He has not lost the ability to coach or forgotten how to put teams together as far as strategy and using lineups and so forth.
“He’s going to get the record. But at the same time, if it wasn’t for that, I’d still like him as a coach. And I like the style of play that we use. And it’s important that we continue to go forward with that style of play, and he’s the guy to coach it.”
Of course Riley said that — Nelson won the power struggle and forced Chris Mullen out the door, Riley is one of Nelson’s guys. To be fair, Nelson can still coach — Sunday night Nelson helped his team beat a hot Hawks squad by going bigger along the front line in the second half, and benching Monta Ellis. Besides, kicking the guy out the door as he is close to becoming the NBA’s all-time winnngest coach would be cold.
But change has to be considered in the Bay Area, and if it is going to come, it’s not going to be from Riley. It will be from ownership, but with Chris Cohan in charge, Warriors fans better get used to the current regime. Now if Larry Ellison ever buys the Warriors, things will get interesting. But until then, run-and-gun, defense be damned.
This has got to put a damper on the whole DeMarcus Cousins trade thing for New Orleans Pelicans fans. According to multiple reports, Omri Casspi — who was part of the trade that sent Cousins to Louisiana — has broken his thumb. The sharp-shooting forward will be out 4-6 weeks.
It’s disappointing news for the Pelicans, who could certainly use Casspi’s 3-point shooting ability. Casspi is shooting 38 percent from deep this season, and while the Pelicans make enough threes per-game they are near the bottom-third in percentage.
Casspi would have been a real help for Alvin Gentry’s offense, but for now it appears they’ll have to make do without him. Casspi should continue to occupy a roster spot for New Orleans, given his expiring contract and the fact that even if the Pelicans make a run for the playoffs they won’t be in a situation to add to their lineup since they won’t expect to get very far.
The good news out of New Orleans on Thursday night? Despite a loss to the Houston Rockets, Cousins nearly dropped a 5 x 5.
The race for the No. 8 seed is on.
New York Knicks guard Courtney Lee should have known better than to try to dunk this. Everyone in the arena knew better than to try this on LeBron James.
Then again, if players stop trying to do things like this, we won’t get videos of incredible chasedown blocks by Mr. James.
It’s a real catch-22.
Actually, you know what? Keep it up. Keep trying this on LeBron. I want to keep watching dudes get rejected.
I’m getting tired of writing this story.
Or this one.
Or this one.
Draymond Green — an excellent basketball player who has an unstoppable, basal need to kick everyone near him — has once again let his feet do the talking.
Let’s take a look at the tape to see what sort of hijinks ol’ Dray has got himself into this time.
In the last nine months, Green has hit or kicked James Harden, Marquese Chriss, Kyrie Irving, Allen Crabbe, and Steven Adams (twice).
The league has decided not to act with any strength on most of the incidents, the most recognizable of which came when Green hit LeBron James in the NBA Finals, causing him to miss Game 5. At this point, there doesn’t seem to be any consequences for Green, which is the exact reason why we keep seeing him kick dudes.
It’s wack, I’m tired of seeing it, and you should be too. See you all here the next time Green kicks at somebody. I’m sure it won’t be before too long.
DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis, and the New Orleans Pelicans will take some time to mesh together. In his first game with New Orleans, Cousins saw a difficult opponent and massive deficits against the Houston Rockets. But there was some glimmers of hope.
Cousins, for example, had a productive statistical evening. The former Sacramento King put up 27 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 4 blocks — just one swat shy of the rare 5 x 5.
Plus, he had this sweet block on Rockets star James Harden:
The Pelicans lost to the Rockets, 129-99, but it’s going to be fun to watch New Orleans battle it out for the 8th seed in the West.