With the NBA lockout still in full effect, fans have been focused more on when the lockout will end rather than where their teams will be once the lockout is over. Perhaps no team in the NBA has more questions about their future than the Golden State Warriors. With new front office members, an entirely new coaching staff, and new draft picks, the Warriors will have to try and figure out where they stand in the NBA landscape once the (more than likely shortened) season begins. Let’s look at 2 important questions that will need answers this upcoming season:
Is Mark Jackson ready to coach this team?
A lot of people were left scratching their heads once Jackson was announced as the new head coach of the Warriors. Lacob was thought to be leaning towards a candidate that had previous coaching experience so it was easy to see why the Jackson hiring caught many off guard. The knock against him is obvious: he has zero coaching experience; not even as an assistant. He is making one large leap from ESPN analyst to NBA head coach. There will definitely be a learning curve with Jackson and he is likely to struggle this upcoming season. He will, however, have a lot of help. Mike Malone, who spent last season with the New Orleans Hornets, was brought on board as Jackson’s lead assistant and should instill some type of defensive mentality into the team that it so desperately needs (some is better than none, which is what they’ve had over the past couple of seasons). Unfortunately for Jackson, the lockout prevents him from getting to know his players before the season like a new coach would usually do. At least he was able to visit Ellis, Curry and Lee in their respective hometowns before the lockout started and got to know them a little bit there.
Will the Stephen Curry/Monta Ellis backcourt work?
Offensively, Curry and Ellis are one of the best backcourts in the NBA. Defensively, they are just too small (Curry is listed at 6’1, Ellis at 6’3). Aside from their height, they aren’t fantastic defenders to begin with. Neither really has the foot speed or defensive-knowhow to stay in front of their man and they tend to gamble for steals too much thus throwing the team defense out of whack. This leads to a seemingly never-ending debate on who needs to be traded; Curry or Ellis? It is apparent that while the 2 seem to have squashed the issues they had during Curry’s rookie season, one of them has to go if the Warriors want to progress and become a playoff team. There are good arguments for both sides but the best basketball move would be to send Ellis packing for either a big man to replace Andris Biedrins’ corpse in the middle or a big, defensive minded guard to pair with Curry.
The hope is that these questions can be answered and that a season will happen. As of right now though, the focus remains on the NBA and the Players Association trying to figure out who gets less millions of dollars. Poor them.