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Why Nellie Ball and the Warriors are the NBA's Finest

Dec 14, 2007
Can you imagine coaching Kobe Bryant: Are you healthy? Are you rested? Wanna play? That's it. For the rest of the players it's 'feed K the ball'.

The problem is with salary caps you can't give all your money to K because that means the other guys won't get paid very much and it might be hard to attract players that can do things like catch the ball. But there is another way; another strategy.

It's called Nellie ball. Who can forget last spring when the Warriors blew out Dirk and the Mavs? Blow out time! The team and execution coach Don Nelson put on the floor stunned the basketball world and especially delighted the jaded Warriors fans. Of course if you remember, Don had done it before with the Warriors.

Understanding the coach is the team's foundation, GM Chris Mullen knew that Don was the man. During the off season the biggest anxiety was Nellie's return. Without Nellie there is no Nellie Ball. What a relief when they broke the news that the Warriors would be back with Nellie.

And this year is a bit different from last. Nellie could pick his own players and from what it appears Mullen did nothing to interfere. Think of what this means. Few people know basketball like ex-NBA star Chris Mullen yet Chris says Don is the Man. That takes guts and smarts and points for Chris who is in the running with Danny Ainge of the Celtics as the NBA's best GM. Ainge is betting on the superstars; Mullin on Nellie and the Team.

The season opening went flat, partly because catalyst Stephen Jackson was serving out a suspension. It was one loss after another and not a good start. But with Jackson back in the line up the combination was ready to roll again and as they did in Oakland by crushing Shaq and Company in the fourth quarter.

Here they go again was what it looked like in that fourth quarter and you could hear the buzz in the crowd. When they get into their zone the Warriors are capable of putting together strings of runs and demolish opponents.

So what does Nellie do that other coaches don't?

First I remember seeing him play with the Celtics when I was a kid. I always felt players should make the best coaches because players know the game the best. Nellie knows the game and the inside report is that he is a stickler for the fundamentals, which comes directly from being a player.

Also Nellie can look a player in the eye and see if they really want to play. Nellie fills his team with players like that. They come cheaper than Kobe but can be highly productive. They seem to have quirky characters and personalities like Stephen Jackson and Baron Davis. But they come together under Nellie. Boy do they ever.

Mark my words...Nellie is getting ready to pull the big one. His boys are fast, quick, determined and good. They work like a team and play defense like it's half the game. Last night they were down 18 to Dwayne and Shaq and blew them out in the fourth quarter. A couple years back the Heat were champions. Go figure.

The Warriors all scrap and shoot good free throws. They all seem to have a good work ethic and love to play. When they get moving they can steal the ball in so many ways and score in so many ways. If they stay hot with the threes they could be unbeatable.

Unbeatable? Spurs and Celtics? You bet. The team model for the Spurs and Celts is superstars with supporting cast. If one of the superstars gets hurt, a big cog in the wheel goes down. If a Warrior gets hurt, odds are his replacement will be just as good. A solid bench pays off all season and especially during the playoffs. Please spread the money, honey.

What me worry? Nobody worries as much as Nellie. To see him work the sidelines you would think he was getting ready to have a Miminsky and he always is on the verge. If Nellie expects his players' best efforts he is no less demanding of himself. The worry edge goes to Nellie.

Will the recipe work? There are no guarantees in life and even fewer in professional sports. But one thing is for sure, Nellie Ball is here and it is going to stay here and this just might be the year. After all, what does that smarty Chris Mullin know that the rest of us don't?

Hmmm. Maybe something...
About the Author
Jack D. Deal is a long term NBA fan and writes marketing and promotional articles in Santa Cruz, California. Sample marketing articles and Related articles may be found at http://www.jddeal.com/blog/business
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