Don Nelson has done that unthinkable. No, he hasn’t stopped drinking scotch or smoking whatever he does while playing poker against Willie Nelson and Woody Harrelson (Man oh man, Nellie does love a good cigar!), he’s playing the young guys.
No, I’m serious. A lot of you might have already heard this already (I heard him talk about it yesterday, actually), but I didn’t believe it. But apparently Jamal Crawford is going to sit out tonight’s game against Charlotte so the likes of Anthony Morrow can actually get a chance themselves to shoot long jumpers, early in the shot clock of course.
I don’t care about Crawford’s agent, Aaron Goodwin, getting all huffy because that’s what he’s paid to do. He isn’t really worried about the message Nelson’s sending to the fans, he’s pissed that Crawford won’t get to go up against the team he scored 50 on just a couple short months ago.
What bothers me is people asking whether the Warriors owe it to their fans to play all the veterans, a question brought up by the folks over at Golden State Of Mind. The answer? In this case, no, no, no, no, no. No. Hell, I believe the Warriors owe to their fans NOT to play the veterans most of the time I’ve seen them play this season. Aren’t vets like Crawford part of the reason the team is 20-37? Who’s to say the team won’t actually perform better with Morrow, Marco Belinelli and Anthony Randolph getting more minutes?
(Note: I know C.J. Watson is technically one of the players in this group, but I’m ready to say good riddance. He’s small and all he can do is score. Watson can’t pass or defend, and adding another one-dimensional scorer to this team is like putting spinners on a Ferrari.)
I know a lot of fans need something to bitch about every day (other than the week or two after their team wins its league title), but complaining about an already-lottery bound team playing it’s younger talent is ridiculous. What if Nellie decided that he was going to play Stephen Jackson, Crawford and Corey Maggette 40 minutes every night in order to ring every win possible out of the group and get the coaching wins record quicker? Would any Warrior fan or analyst agree with stifling the development of the younger players, while the team limps into yet another off-season unsure of how good those players may even be? Monta Ellis probably won’t play for the rest of the season (One-to-two weeks? I’ll believe it when I see it.), what better time to see what this team’s really working with than now?
I agree with Bob Fitzgerald’s comment today on KNBR that Nelson should perhaps sit his injured veterans instead of arbitrarily choosing days off for healthy players like Crawford. Especially since Maggette’s hand, according to Fitz, is twice it’s normal size. Maybe Nelson’s afraid that if he sits Maggette, he’ll immediately fly to L.A. for a couple weeks to “get treatment” for his hand injury. However, if I were a season ticket holder and I was weighing whether or not to renew next season, I would be in full favor of the Warriors resting the vets from time to time. Of course, I’m always in favor of anything that means more Tony Randolph and a better chance of getting Ricky Rubio or Blake Griffin.