Warriors need to be winners
The Warriors are 8 weeks away from ending this lost season. This is the point of the season where franchises decide to play hard for the rest of the season or mail it in and hope to win the lottery? Allow me to give you some exclusive insider information – Hope is not a strategy in investing and it is definitely not a strategy when trying to build a NBA championship caliber team. Furthermore, the NBA draft is chocked full of overrated players the potential super stars will likely be drafted in picks 9 – 15. The Warriors are stuck with this current group of misfits for the foreseeable future so they might as well learn how to play together. If the Warriors are to ever return to the playoffs, they need to start learning the concept of we are out to win every night. At the minimum, the team is young enough that they don’t quite understand that they are supposed to lose when they play for the Warriors and become all-stars when they leave.
There are three basic themes that I need to impress upon Koski and the rest of the lemmings out there who still believe the Warriors may actually win a championship some day.
Don’t play the young players just to play them
There is nothing I hate more than this concept. Putting a young player out there who can’t guard anyone ruins the player’s confidence and creates animosity between the veteran and inexperienced players. My hatred of Corey Maggette not withstanding, he has been a solid player off the bench and he does play hard in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Why sit Maggette on the bench while we watch Anthony Morrow continue to prove he cannot guard a flagpole – let alone an NBA small forward? It’s ridiculous. Maggette is going to be part of this team for the next 5 years (mental groin punch) so he may as well develop some chemistry with his teammates.
(The exception to this concpet is Jamal Crawford. He has no right being anywhere near the floor because he will never be part of a winning culture. NEVER!)
Winning = Winning
I know, I know. I am crazy. Franchises that are ok with letting their teams lose to get a higher draft pick often continue their losing ways for years. The Warriors have a very solid young nucleus that has no idea how to win right now. The only real mentor on the roster is Stephen Jackson who (if nothing else) leaves it all out on the court each time he plays. Cutting Cap’n Jack’s minutes or surrounding him with players that he knows are not good enough to win that night could be disastrous. (Think Ghostbusters crossing the streams bad) Similar to closing out quarters on a high note, ending the season on a high note is very important. The young players need to believe that they can make the playoffs next year and a string of bad losses like the one against the Clippers on Tuesday does nothing positive for anybody (fans, players, front office and Nellie).
The 2009 NBA Draft is not top heavy
If there was ever a draft where a great player is going to be drafted late in the lottery, it is this year. Let’s take a quick look at the potential top 5:
1) Blake Griffin: Kevin Love II – solid NBA player with no all-star upside
2) Hasheem Thabeet: a homeless man’s Dikembe Mutombo and that is being nice
3) James Harden: Paul Pierce without the defensive intensity. (This guy has ZERO quickness)
4) Brandon Jennings: Averaging less than two assists in Europe as a point guard. Did I mention he can’t shoot?
5) Jordan Hill: U of A is a bubble team this year and Chase Budinger is on the team with Hill. Sounds like the kind of winner the Warriors need.
Needless to say having more ping pong balls looks more detrimental than productive to me.
The bottom line is the Warriors have been surrounded by losing for as long as I have been alive and changing that trend requires taking one small step at a time. Playing the last 8 weeks like they are trying to make the playoffs can only help the Warriors in the long run.