Stellar game from Monta, strong game from Maggette, decent games from CJ and Curry. Really, I don't have a beef with how any Warrior played. That's not to say that they all played well... Vlad and Morrow were both really bad, and Mikki, Randolph and Hunter combined to give us one rebound in 38 minutes. Still and all, this was the second half of a road back-to-back, a game you shouldn't expect to win. I can't fault the effort of the players.
The coaching -- hoo, boy, I can fault the coaching. This was smallball as ignorantly stubborn as any Nellie has ever foisted upon us. We luck into playing the Pistons to a draw on the boards in the first half, and Smart takes that as a sign that we need to get even smaller? Is it written somewhere that the end of days will descend upon the earth if the Warriors actually outrebound somebody? Did we really just finish a close game -- on purpose, mind you -- with Vladimir Radmanovic protecting our rim?
Smallball got us outrebounded 24-10 in the second half, and what did it give us in return? Maybe the one sequence where C.J. tied up Austin Daye? Yippy goddamned skippy, Smart -- that is not a good trade. You don't just cede the glass unless you're dramatically profiting in other ways, and for the 105th straight game, we didn't. We don't get a bunch of extra three-point attempts off because we're small... we're still below-average in that department. We don't rack up steals because we're small... we rack up steals because we have players who are good at racking them up. We don't succeed on the fast break because we're small... we succeed on the fast break because we're fast and can finish. It's not like Monta's basketball powers are neutralized if there are two tall Warriors on the court.
Smallball sometimes nets us an extra steal or two in the first halves of games, as wings aren't used to Watsonian levels of pressure. But in second halves, teams have become used to our peskiness, and they just start destroying us; once they've adjusted, smallball is worthless to us. And yet the sideline directive always is the same, no matter the shape or color of the coach giving it: "Shrink 'em down!"
I don't know which coach is responsible for which parts of the decision-making "process" here, and at this point I don't really care. It's not even about wanting to see more Anthony Randolph, either. It's about wanting to see some basic understanding of basketball on the part of our coaching staff. Smaller is not always better. Rebounds and shot-affecting really do help you win, and you should not give up on them without having a really good reason. Vladimir Radmanovic is not a good fucking reason.
Right now, I can't muster much appetite for the prospect of Keith Smart coaching this team. I'm sure the team would be more energetic and functional under him, and who knows -- maybe left to his own devices, he'd be capable of assembling sane lineups. But right now, it feels like he'd just be dishing out warmed-over Nellieball, and the thought of that is not only appalling, but embarrassing. How much more misguided smallball do we have to sit through? How long does it take to realize that the mismatches you're creating are working against you?