The Nelson era is over for the second time in Golden State history. Keith Smart is set to take over as what coach according to the report by Marc Stein of espn.com. This is a significant move for the new regime taking over the Warriors and it will be met with rave reviews by fans.
Moving right along, what does this mean for the Warriors this year? A Scott Brooks like turnaround is not to be expected but it does set a nice precedent. Last year Keith Smart had an impressive victory in Dallas with a 6 man team, but aside from that, not much else was memorable. Credit also needs to be given to the new owners for the timing because now, Smart will have a full training camp to work with and implement his own philosophies and strategies. They should be a little different, right?
Scott Brooks didn't have high expectations last year mostly because he was under a coach who wasn't very successful. The advent of a full training camp though obviously helped him and the team. Not that we should expect a 50 win playoff berth but as I wrote previously, this is a playoff roster. Again, if the team can play a smidgen better on defense they would set themselves up for at least a few more wins. Play a lot better, 15 to 20 more wins.
When Smart was coach of Cleveland (the year before the LeBron draft) for the final 40 games of the 2003 season, the team still gave up a lot of points to opponents. Tanking or not, they did run finishing 3rd in pace for the entire league. And last year for the brief amount of time he had to work the sidelines as the head man, the team played pretty much the same way as it did under Nelson. Perhaps Keith will remember these events and prove that he has learned from the things he could and couldn't control during those brief tenures. More of an emphasis on defense would prove that and if slowing down the pace would help, so be it.
Kieth's contract expires at the end of the season so it looks as though he will get a full audition to prove that he is the man for the job. He will only have 5 days to make a blueprint and then try to build that house until the season opens on October 27th. I'm excited and optimistic to see what he can do.
What do you expect?