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News » Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-11-30

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-11-30

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-11-30Don Nelson knows how tough it can be flying into Denver for the second night of a back-to-back sequence, so he's decided to skip it this time. Officially, it's on doctor's orders.

As both a team spokesman and acting head coach, Keith Smart said Nelson was doing better in his recovery from pneumonia. The Warriors distributed a written statement about Nelson's health and pending return during Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"Warriors head coach Don Nelson, who was diagnosed with pneumonia on Monday and missed the team's two-game road trip to Texas earlier this week, is scheduled to rejoin the team following next Tuesday's game in Denver," it read. "Golden State hosts the L.A. Lakers on Saturday before enduring a back-to-back set on Monday against the Indiana Pacers in Oakland and Tuesday against the Nuggets in Denver."

It was no coincidence the statement used the word "enduring." While any back-to-back would be tough for a 69-year-old coming off a serious illness, one that involves a home game in Oakland and then a trip to Denver on the next night is about as difficult as they come in the NBA.

Why? Because after the home game, the team charter usually leaves the Oakland Airport around midnight. With a two-hour flight, a one-hour time difference and then an hour-long bus ride to the hotel in downtown Denver, the team is lucky to arrive at its destination by 4 a.m.

According to the Warriors, Nelson's doctor advised against returning for the Indiana game on Monday if it meant "enduring" the trip to Denver as well. So the organization decided to have him sit out both games -- which will make it a nine-day, five-game absence -- and have him return for Thursday's home game against Houston.

The team has gone 1-2 in his absence. Since NBA rules state the coach of record shall earn the wins and losses whether he's present or not, Nelson recorded his 1,314th coaching victory while on sick leave. He's 19 shy of Lenny Wilkens' all-time record.

LAKERS 130, WARRIORS 97: Reality finally struck the Warriors. And it struck hard. Facing the defending champs with just 10 healthy bodies, three of which were coming back from a recent injury or illness and a fourth who had been plucked from the NBA Developmental League, the Warriors were no match for the Lakers, falling 14 down in the first quarter and never truly putting up a fight. It was the type of effort many expected from the day Stephen Jackson was traded, but the shorthanded Warriors had been shockingly competitive in the five games leading into the Lakers contest, beating the Trail Blazers and Mavericks and playing the Cavaliers, Celtics and Spurs tough.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: November 30, 2009


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