FanDuel - WFBC

April 16, 2008

WHAT GIVES, GUYS? Nelson says there's no problem, Davis says very little: For Warriors coach Don Nelson, the mind-boggling question everyone wants answered is really a no-brainer. Why didn't he play Baron Davis in the second half of Monday's playoff-elimination game in Phoenix?

posted by BornIcon to basketball at 08:05 AM - 22 comments

I'm no basketball expert, but from what I know 1) He was 2-13 from the floor when they benched him 2) They went on a 38-19 run once he was benched And they're questioning why he wasn't on the floor in the 2nd half? Doesn't the above answer that question?

posted by bdaddy at 09:23 AM on April 16

right or wrong, it has always been Don Nelson's style to play the combination of players that he feels is best getting the job done on any given night.

posted by jaygolf at 09:50 AM on April 16

Not at all because you only provided information to make it seem as if it was in fact a wise move to make. Baron Davis is the leader of the Golden State Warriors and their best player. He was 2-13 and they did in fact go on a 38-19 run but what you failed to mention was that when their lead against the Suns started to dwindle down, instead of putting Baron back in the game to spark his team with some life, Don Nelson left him out and the Warriors lost the game. Isn't it possible for a shooter that's 2-13 to come back and go 6-9? It's been done before and to not have your best player out there to shoot his way out of a 2-13 night, just pushed them out of the playoff race and may have also made Baron's decision on what to do when he becomes a free agent this off season.

posted by BornIcon at 09:50 AM on April 16

Baron Davis is the leader of the Golden State Warriors and their best player. Correct on one of two. While he is their most talented player, it is widely acknowledged that Stephen Jackson is their leader and emotional catalyst. And, as Davis' agent points out in the article, no other team has the cap room to match what Davis is guaranteed in his player option for 08-09 with the Warriors. So he likely isn't going anywhere.

posted by smithers at 11:13 AM on April 16

One of the reasons Nelson has worn out his welcome at five franchises is because of stuff like this. He's extremely stubborn about pursuing his own gameplan, even at the expense of sitting a star in a must-win game. I got tired of it in Dallas, because it seemed like he was addicted to taking wild risks that might cost his job. Sometimes that pays off big -- Dirk Nowitzki was a huge gamble -- but it can blow up in your face.

posted by rcade at 11:36 AM on April 16

Apparently, BD's birthday partying the night before the game may have played a role as well.

posted by cjets at 11:57 AM on April 16

There's got to be more to this than just being a coach's decision, whether it was the birthday thing or who knows what. I know Nelson makes some unconventional moves, but this isn't the first time Davis has had a crappy first half. It is the first time he's been benched for the entire second half this season, however.

posted by chamo at 11:59 AM on April 16

Correct on one of two. While he is their most talented player, it is widely acknowledged that Stephen Jackson is their leader and emotional catalyst. Stephen Jackson & Baron Davis are both team captains for the Warriors although you are correct that Stephen Jackson is their 'emotional catalyst.' ...as Davis' agent points out in the article, no other team has the cap room to match what Davis is guaranteed in his player option for 08-09 with the Warriors. So he likely isn't going anywhere. The same thing was said about Kevin Garnett and Shaq but look what happened there. Anything is possible especially during free agency. I know Nelson makes some unconventional moves, but this isn't the first time Davis has had a crappy first half. It is the first time he's been benched for the entire second half this season, however. Especially when you consider that Baron was one of the key reason's as to why the Warriors were still in playoff contention until this fiasco.

posted by BornIcon at 12:18 PM on April 16

Why didn't he play Baron Davis in the second half of Monday's playoff-elimination game in Phoenix? Clearly it was to wreck my smallworld basketball team. Nellie was certainly successful in that regard. As a coach you can't justify a bad decision by suggesting there was no shot at making the playoffs. The Warriors have to take care of everything within their control to stay in playoff contention and Nelson can't assume that Denver will beat Memphis. There is absolutely no way you can convince me that they are a better team without Davis on the floor. I can see benching him for the third quarter, maybe. it is widely acknowledged that Stephen Jackson is their leader and emotional catalyst No doubt this is widely acknowledged, but its also laughable. While in Indy, Jacko was a gun toting emotional train wreck that only managed to drag his team down. Take note Golden State, he is a ticking time bomb.

posted by curlyelk at 01:08 PM on April 16

The whole Golden State team shoots a lot of 3s. Some they make, some they don't. And regarding Baron Davis, he wasn't shooting well at that point anyway. He wasn't even trying to take it to the hoop, just kept shooting questionable shots. Stephen Jackson is the x-factor of that team regardless of how he was in Indy. He kept them in the Phoenix game until the very end.

posted by Scars at 08:38 PM on April 16

[Stephen Jackson] kept them in the Phoenix game until the very end. You mean the game they lost and so desperately needed to win in order to have a chance of making the playoffs? Way to go there, Jack.

posted by BornIcon at 07:00 AM on April 17

Not at all because you only provided information to make it seem as if it was in fact a wise move to make The guy was having a bad game, they were trying to make the playoffs. I don't think crunch time is when a coach should be thinking about free agent signings. I know there's "Win now" vs. long-term planning, but come on.

posted by yerfatma at 10:10 AM on April 17

Not at all because you only provided information to make it seem as if it was in fact a wise move to make. No I provided information that was available to me. "Putting Baron back in the game would spark his team with some life" is not a fact. "Going from 2-13 to come back and go 6-9" is not a fact. All of that is a guess at best, and worse they are guesses contrary to what we had seen thus far. What did he do in the 1st half to imply either of the above would happen? Isn't it more likely that instead of going 6-9 when he came back in, he went 1-9? Isn't it also possible to say that instead of "sparking" his team with some life, that he would drag them down further by his poor play? Isn't both of those "guesses" more likely to occur given his play in the first half?

posted by bdaddy at 12:02 PM on April 17

Not at all because you only provided information to make it seem as if it was in fact a wise move to make. Never before have such clearly stated facts so easily been refuted by a statement that ONLY further proves the points in question with such unexplained logic.

posted by YukonGold at 12:14 PM on April 17

Isn't both of those "guesses" more likely to occur given his play in the first half? You can't claim that things aren't facts and then claim that things which also aren't facts are more or less likely. Science doesn't work that way. It's completely unconventional, as far as coaching is concerned, to bench your best players in crucial parts of the game, no matter what their performance is, especially if it's contrary to what you've been doing all season. The theory is that despite their struggles, great players still have more talent than bench players do. Noone forgets how to shoot; it is a matter of streaking and getting into a groove. He might've; he might not've. The upside to him streaking is greater than the upside of a bench player streaking. It's a no-brainer. It would be different if, say, the bench player shot 6-6 in the first half and was spot on. That wasn't the case.

posted by dfleming at 12:18 PM on April 17

dfleming is right. At the very least you have to get the guy in for a heat check sometime in the second half. This decision seems to be some kind of stunt by Nelson. Isn't it more likely that instead of going 6-9 when he came back in, he went 1-9? I would say just as likely, not more or less. What you have to keep in mind is that the Baron does much more than score for this team. The last Warrior's game I had a chance to watch was the Denver matchup about a week ago. As I remember he had a fairly sub par first half, but ended up with a triple double. In the NBA you have to rely on your star players to work through a poor stretch or at least provide some intangibles.

posted by curlyelk at 01:29 PM on April 17

In the NBA you have to rely on your star players to work through a poor stretch or at least provide some intangibles. This is true for the most part. Most players will look to drive to the basket to get off easier shots (distance-wise), or in the hopes of drawing contact/fouls. Unfortunately, Baron has established a reputation as a player who will fall in love with his jumper, and who will stop penetrating late in games. Why this is, I do not know. I just know that this move (Nellie shenanigans aside) isn't quite as unexpected as some are making out. In fact, given Baron's age, health, and (alleged) coachability issues. Its not too hard to read the writing on the wall. Ellis will be the primary focus of this off-season and of the offense come next year.

posted by lilnemo at 04:23 PM on April 17

I know there's "Win now" vs. long-term planning, but come on. Com'on with what? Their best player is sitting on the bench because the coach is trying to prove a point, how does that help the team even make the playoffs? Oops, apparently it didn't. Isn't it more likely that instead of going 6-9 when he came back in, he went 1-9? Isn't it also possible to say that instead of "sparking" his team with some life, that he would drag them down further by his poor play? Isn't both of those "guesses" more likely to occur given his play in the first half? Actually, no, that's not more likely, that's just your guess. Since Don Nelson decided to keep Baron on the bench, I guess we will never know. A shooter is more likely to shoot his way out of a slump than not and that is not a guess since I've actually seen it happen many times before in the NBA. Ellis will be the primary focus of this off-season and of the offense come next year. That's if he re-signs with the team this off-season since he will also be a free agent besides The Beard.

posted by BornIcon at 07:12 AM on April 18

That's if he re-signs with the team this off-season since he will also be a free agent besides The Beard. Which is exactly the implication of the first clause in nemo's sentence that you pull-quoted. Re-stating it doesn't invalidate his argument.

posted by yerfatma at 08:48 AM on April 18

Implication? Clause? Sentence? Argument?

posted by YukonGold at 07:02 PM on April 18

Dammit, when I want facts, I'll make up my own! No, you shut up!

posted by The_Black_Hand at 02:12 PM on April 19

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