OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 20: David Lee #10 of the Golden State Warriors passes around Blake Griffin #32 of the Los Angeles Clippers at Oracle Arena on February 20, 2012 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
For this edition of our on going series of Q&A sessions with rival bloggers (I really need a title for this thing, any suggestions?) we reached out to one of the pioneering NBA blogs in all the Interwebs, the great Warriors blog Golden State of Mind. Once again, we had you citizens ask the questions in the comments section of a post. This time we got the luxury of two bloggers in response, as both Nate Parham and EvanZ took a crack at answering your questions.
Of course, the GSoM community got their chance to ask me questions as well, and you can read my answers over there. Great job, citizens, doing my job for me and coming up with great questions for them. And as always my thanks to Nate and EvanZ for taking the time to provide such great answers.
Citizen cliptakular: stephen curry has a bit of history with ankle injuries do you think its just bad luck or is it something more medically serious?
EvanZ: As Brian McCormick has written at GSOM previously, there is some thought that Curry's ankle problems are more than "just bad luck". (In summary, it's not bad luck, but a correctable problem).
EvanZ: I'd build around Monta at PG, if you give me Dwight Howard at center.
EvanZ: At the very least, it cost us Jeremy Lin and our amnesty. It would have made more sense to keep Jeremy Lin, use our amnesty on Andris Biedrins (who is actually making scientists re-think their position against the existence of zombies), and throw a couple more million bucks at DJ. At least in that scenario, if we didn't land DJ, we'd still have Lin, we'd have gotten rid of a corpse, and forced Sterling to spend a couple million more bucks. All in all, I can't say I'm "glad" about the way things turned out.
Nate Parham: My first response to the Lin issue is that there really was very little opportunity for him to prove himself on the Warriors playing behind two ball-dominant guards in Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis. That's not just a lame excuse - setting aside the question of whether the Warriors are more committed to Curry or Ellis, there are few rookies who would step into the league and take minutes from those guys.
EvanZ: Great question, because I love talking about Ekpe Udoh. He's almost unquestionably the best defensive presence that Golden State has had in the past two decades. Not a high bar, I know, but he really does appear to make a difference out there. The knock on him almost entirely has to do with his lack of scoring and rebounding, but there is mounting statistical evidence that even though you don't see it in the box score, Udoh does help us in both those areas.
Citizen Hangtime81: As of now, what grade would you give 1st Year Head Coach, Mark Jackson?
Nate Parham: First, let me make it clear that I thought this was not an ideal hire - this is a team with a lot of young talent that needed to be developed and developing a non-playoff team into a winner requires an experienced coach no matter how you look at it. It was not entirely reasonable to expect a complete novice to turn around a franchise in one lockout-shortened season.
So with that in mind, I'd still give him an "incomplete".
The main reason is the shortened preseason: that was obviously hard on everyone, but even harder on a first-year coach with an ill-formed roster. Second, the team he was given was not loaded with defensive players. Kwame Brown was a solid defensive presence when healthy, but perimeter defense has still been less than stellar. Third, this schedule is obviously abnormally grueling, which further limits the type of practice time a coach would need to implement his system with players. Fourth, and perhaps most significant moving forward, is that you have to wonder how many wins a coach could possibly get out of this roster; regardless of the coach, my feeling entering the season was "not many".
It's both fair to say that Jackson hasn't done particularly well and that he needs more time to prove what he can do under less irregular conditions - he was hired to coach 82 game seasons and I think it was a tough challenge that he inherited.
Citizen Valdeezy: How do GSW fans feel about their chances against the Clippers on the road? Knowing full well they aren't as good away from home?
Nate Parham: Perhaps it's been awhile since your team has struggled, but at some point it occurs to fans of a beleaguered franchise that their team can lose on any given Sunday (thorough Saturday). If anything can force realism out of an optimist, it's watching a perennial lottery team trying to take on the rigors of the road. I imagine one would be hard-pressed to find a Warriors fan that truly believes the Warriors would beat the Clippers on the road. But at some point you just keep watching in hopes that your favorite team might surprise you.
It's a sick and twisted cycle, I know.
Oh trust me Nate, We know as well. We know.