By Craig Kwasniewski
CRASH! BAM! BANG! BLAMMO... Down goes the Golden State Warriors bandwagon! The Warriors were officially eliminated from the post season after losing to Phoenix 122-116. So down goes one of the best home court advantages! Down goes one of the most explosive and exciting teams in the NBA! Down goes the most sensitive fan base in all of sports. (Seriously, with all the time you have this summer, you need to get a backbone! Stop whining!) But most importantly... as a Lakers fan, down goes a very scary first round opponent!
And I have Don Nelson to thank for all of this.
Thanks for only going six deep all season! The NBA regular season is a grind and going retro and playing at most eight a game, you wore your team down. One of my favorite coach-speak applies to this team, "fatigue makes cowards of us all." The Warriors were simply gassed for all of April. A team that lived off of heroic late-game rallies were blowing huge early leads. This wasn't the same team that put fear into the rest of the league back in February and March. Nellie needed to look at the big picture and develop a bench.
Thanks for the C-Webb fiasco! Y'all remember that Chris Webber stopped for a cup of coffee with the Warriors? No seriously, a guy who was unemployed for half of the season was picked up off the street AND STARTED for the Warriors. Obviously he was out of shape! Obviously the game passed him by! And obviously it was the worst mid-season acquisition of the year! While the rest of the league was shoring up their rosters for the stretch drive, Nellie gambled on a one-legged, old power forward that is notorious for chocking.
Thanks for trading J-Rich! The same guy that destroyed the legendary RUN-TMC era when he traded Mitch Richmond for Billy Owens was at it again. When the Warriors traded Jason Richardson to Charlotte it looked like they were clearing the way for Yi Jianlian. Nellie loves him some point forwards and with the rumors that Yi wanted out of Milwaukee along with the huge Chinese population in the Bay Area, it looked like a perfect match. But nothing ever happened and the Warriors lost a key player from the 2007 run. Yes Mont-eh stepped up with a brilliant season, but the Warriors sorely missed J-Rich's minutes down the stretch and eventually they wore down. Nellie even candidly admitted last Thursday that the Richardson trade was a mistake. Was he trying to put blame on the front office or was he admitting his own gaffe? All I know is that Don Nelson has a reputation for tinkering with his roster (remember all those Dallas trades?)... he just may have destroyed another Warriors team.
Thanks for sending a message by NOT playing your best player down the stretch in one of the most important games of the season!
(Time to play "Really" with Seth Meyers and Amy Pohler.)
Really? You're sending Baron Davis a message in the 81st game of the season? Really? You chose the Steve Nash-led Suns to bench a top-five point guard? Really? You tighten your rotation from 6 to 5 for an all ready exhausted team? Really? Really? You bench your best clutch player with the playoffs on the line? Really? REALLY??? You benched a player who can opt out of his contract this summer? Really? Really? REALLY???
Thanks again Nellie!