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News » Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-01-11

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-01-11

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-01-11
The snowball known as the Warriors' 2008-09 season continues to build momentum. First there were player losses because of injury. Then losses on the court. And now losses in the coaching staff.

Sidney Moncrief, who joined the Warriors as a shooting specialist and finished as the assistant defensive coordinator, left the team Thursday to become a consultant to the Beijing Ducks of the Chinese Basketball Association.

Moncrief, who starred as a defensive-minded player for the Bucks while Don Nelson was the coach, was reunited with his former boss when he was brought into the Warriors' organization to work with shooters on their techniques before the 2007-08 season. He had an immediate positive effect, helping a team that had ranked among the weakest in the league in free throw percentage the year before (71.7) make a giant leap into the upper division (75.2).

The Warriors were even better this season (76.0) at the time of Moncrief's departure.

"He's been a special person in my life dating back to his rookie season in Milwaukee in 1979," Nelson said. "He's bright, hard-working, understands the nuances of the game and will be a big asset to the team in Beijing."

In recent weeks, Moncrief had been working with Keith Smart on the Golden State defense. During the brief stretch, the Warriors enjoyed their high point of the season, a 99-89 win over the defending champion Celtics that was the result of arguably the club's best defensive effort of the year.

In Beijing, Moncrief's responsibilities will include mentoring the coaching staff. He hopes to mold the coaches in a Nelson pattern.

"I certainly enjoyed my time with the Warriors organization and, obviously, owe a great deal of thanks and gratitude to Don Nelson, who has been a friend, mentor and associate of mine for the last 30 years," Moncrief said. "He opened up many doors for me following my playing days and we will always remain close."

The Warriors have yet to announce a replacement for the 51-year-old.

TRAIL BLAZERS 113, WARRIORS 100: In their first game this season without Moncrief, the Warriors looked very much like the team they'd been while the former Bucks star was helping coach them. They shot free throws well (18 of 22, 81.8 percent) in Saturday's loss at Portland but didn't do nearly enough right on defense (the Trail Blazers shot 48.2 percent) and on the boards (a 39-32 deficit), and in the end that imbalance led to yet another loss. Corey Maggette, a guy the Warriors would like to see play more like Moncrief, led Golden State with 25 points off the bench.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 11, 2009


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