Putting aside my affinity for Stephen Curry, are the Warriors in that bad of shape? Man, I read this Monte Poole column and he treats the Warriors like they’re the Timberwolves or something. Let’s first explore two playoff teams who surprised folks in the last month: The Indiana Pacers and the Memphis Grizzlies. The Pacers fired their coach midseason and promoted Frank Vogel, a guy with zero head coaching experience. They proceeded to have a great second half of the season and fought the Bulls hard in the first round before bowing out in five games.
The Grizzlies are coached by Lionel Hollins, who ran up an 18-42 mark with the Grizzlies a decade ago. Memphis lost its best player, Rudy Gay, and actually improved. Then, they knocked off the No. 1 seed in the West, San Antonio, and are tied 1-1 with the Thunder in the second round.
I’m not aware of Vogel or Hollins being on any “hot young coaches” lists prior to this season. If Indiana and Memphis can find quality coaches, why can’t Golden State?
Do either of those teams have considerably more talent than the Warriors? (If you quickly said, “Memphis does,” I wish I had asked you that question before Zach Randolph blew up in the postseason.)
Each team has a young point guard (Darren Collison, Mike Conley, Stephen Curry) and one really good scorer (Danny Granger, Rudy Gay, Monta Ellis). From a talent perspective, Memphis has the best roster (Mayo, Allen, Randolph, Gasol, Gay), but it’s not like the Warriors are that far behind (Curry, Ellis, Lee). The Pacers’ job would be the most coveted because of the cap room situation (though there’s no guarantee they’ll spend), but there’s no reason they won’t just bring back Vogel.
It’s obvious the key would be to find a defensive-minded coach – though the ideas of Van Gundy and Sloan are laughable – but I disagree that the Warriors have a horrendous roster that is years away from being decent. They got a steal in Dorrell Wright, we haven’t seen what last year’s rookie (Udoh) is capable of, and as long as they take the Vlad Rad money that comes off the books and put it into a defensive-minded player (like the Tony Allen steal in Memphis), I don’t see why the Warriors can’t target a playoff spot in 2012 or 2013. The top of the West is aging (Lakers, Spurs, Mavericks), Denver could lose Nene and Wilson Chandler this summer, and the Hornets could lose Chris Paul (though they seem to think he’s going to stay).
No coach can save this Golden State Warriors roster [Oakland Tribune]