Report: Signals are Warriors will remove Don Nelson, promote Keith Smart


NBA_nelson_250.jpgIf one thing would endear the new Warriors owner Joe Lacob to Bay Area fans it would be to remove Don Nelson the day he gets control of the franchise.

That may be what happens, according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News.

The signals are strong: If the timing is right and the discussions progress, my belief is that Joe Lacob is planning to move on from Don Nelson and probably install Keith Smart as the Warriors’ interim coach for the coming season.

Nothing is concrete. The rush of training camp-due to start in late-September (earlier than I thought)-complicates everything.

He points to things like the signing of Lou Amundson — not a Don Nelson type player — as one of the signs that things are about to change.

Owners are expected to vote on and approve the Warriors sale to Lacob in October. There are two questions about getting rid of Nelson.

First, is it wise to do that after training camp has started? A shake up of head coach, and with it system, in the middle of training camp is not good for a team looking to come out of the gate fast.

The other is money. Nelson is owed $6 million this season whether he coaches or sits in his home in Maui. That’s a lot of money to pay someone to go away.

But those would be the prices of buying good will and giving hope to the Golden State fan base. They want change, they want a team that is run well, and they want proof that Lacob and team can do it. Firing Nelson may have short-term ramifications, but it would show that things are changing for the better long term.

Stan Van Gundy rips ‘selfish’ Pistons

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The Pistons had just 19 assists – to 22 turnovers – in their 93-83 loss to the Nets last night.

Stan Van Gundy was none too pleased.

On offensive problems:

I told them in there – that was the first thing – we’re not playing together at all. I thought it was a very selfish performance, and guys wouldn’t just pass the ball to open men. They wanted to see if they could take one more dribble to get their own shot, so the passing angles were gone. I just thought we forced play after play after play. We’re not willing to move the ball

On Reggie Jackson, who scored seven points on 3-of-10 shooting with six assists and six turnovers, and was coming off Achilles soreness:

He was not good at all. He was forcing everything.

On injuries to point guards – Jackson, Brandon Jennings and Steve Blake – hindering the team’s flow in practice and that carrying over to the game:

We could probably make a lot of excuses for our guys, but we were selfish.

Van Gundy is clearly trying to send a message, and the preseason is the best time to do it.

But it’s somewhat troubling he had to do it after this game.

Eight of the 10 Pistons who played against Brooklyn project to make the regular-season rotation. Joel Anthony played over Aron Baynes, and once healthy, Blake could challenge Spencer Dinwiddie to become back up point guard – at least until Jennings is ready. Otherwise, Detroit – with Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Ersan Ilyasova, Andre Drummond, Jodie Meeks, Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver – looked similar to its opening-night lineup.

Van Gundy is blunt, but he doesn’t tell the media things he hasn’t already directly told his players. They appreciate that.

He’d appreciate them getting this message.

Report: Dwight Howard didn’t have offseason surgery

Dwight Howard
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Dwight Howard said he played with a torn MCL and meniscus in the Western Conference finals – pretty shocking news that few knew what to make of.

So, um, did he have offseason surgery?

Calvin Watkins of ESPN:

Howard obviously feels great about his health now, so maybe this was the right course.

We’ll never how Howard would have performed if fully healthy, but he averaged 14.4 points and 14.4 rebounds in 35.1 minutes per game against the Warriors during the conference finals. How bad could the injuries have been?