Tonight’s Warriors-Clippers playoff game has the potential to be a franchise-changing event, for the Bay Area’s team especially if they lose. If they win, it’s on to Game 7 in Los Angeles. Injuries aside, the turbulence that has surrounded them for weeks now has cast a pall over the franchise at a time when they should be celebrated for returning a fan-base to national relevance. Back-to-back playoffs, an ascendant player in Stephen Curry, a team whose poise and maturity belies their years, and a fan base that is second to none in supporting their team.
Warriors Aficionado David Barnes Believes!
Instead we have the conjoined narratives of Mark Jackson and his assistant coaches, speculation that Jackson is somehow at odds with Jerry West and other stories that have little to do with on the court activity but everything to do with how the franchise is viewed. That might not seem like a big deal to most of Dub Nation, but if you’re Joe Lacob, this is not good.
So…where to go from here? You go to tonight’s Game 6 of the First Round of the Western Conference playoffs, where the Warriors drama pales in comparison to the league-wide drama that engulfed the Clippers and the entire NBA by association.
I imagine it like this:
The crowd is alive and engaged from the moment the doors open to the tip, all the way through to the buzzer. The team comes out with purpose, Draymond Green sets the tone early by rocking Chris Paul with a “money” pick, Steph hits his first trey and never lets up. DLee keeps Jordan out of the paint. Dray stays out of could trouble and forces Blake Griffin into being a jump shooter. With the middle being empty of a defensive presence, Klay Thompson scores a tidy 20 with a couple of signature throw downs. This sets up Game 7 in Los Angeles.
As for the non-basketball stuff, I believe we will see a new coach in 2014-2015 with a rebuilt staff. Whoever you want to hold responsible for the off the court stuff it’s hard for me to imagine the team maintaining the status quo. GM Bob Myers’ job is safe but there are some interesting head coaching possibilities out there that would be more in line with ownership and management. If I had to name a name I would posit Ed Pinckney (former Celtic) who is currently on the Chicago Bulls staff, has a reputation as a player’s coach and the defensive pedigree that comes with being a Tom Thibodeau guy, as well as being a great defensive player throughout his career (famously defending Patrick Ewing in Villanova’s 1985 NCAA Championship upset of Georgetown.)
Lots of thoughts and possibilities for the Warriors in the future, but I’m focused on tonight’s Game 6 for now. I’m here at work wearing my Harrison Barnes jersey…so yes, I BELIEVE!