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News » Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-12-08

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-12-08

Golden State Warriors Getting Inside 2009-12-08Even though team management has never come close to making it official, it's a foregone conclusion Keith Smart will take over as the Warriors' head coach the minute Don Nelson hangs up his whistle.

It seems the worst thing Smart could do at this point is prove he's not worthy.

Yet that is a distinct possibility as the Warriors continue on a five-game road trip of all seemingly winnable games.

With Smart running the show while Nelson stays home and recuperates from a recent bout with pneumonia, the Warriors got blown out in the second half of Monday's trip opener at Oklahoma City. That result, in and of itself, cannot offset the brownie points Smart earned while leading the Warriors to surprising wins over the Mavericks and Trail Blazers last month.

Yet Monday's loss dropped Smart's record to 2-4 as Nelson's replacement this season. The .333 winning percentage is only slightly better than the club's .286 mark (4-10) under Nelson.

But what if the Warriors limp home next week following subsequent losses to New Jersey, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia? That would make Smart 2-8 -- certainly not the type of record that's going to earn him sure-thing status when the Warriors' brass must make its decision.

Thus, Wednesday's game at lowly New Jersey might not rate as important in most people's minds, but it could be the most important game of Smart's coaching career. Surely, a loss to a one-win club would pin a red flag onto his resume.

It might be the first must-win for a 6-14 team in NBA history. It's not the type of history the Warriors' coaching staff had hoped to make this season.

THUNDER 104, WARRIORS 88: For a team that made big headlines even before taking its first dribble of the preseason, the Warriors had been remarkably level-headed through their first 19 games of a disappointing regular season. Then came Game 20 and the fireworks exploded. Corey Maggette got nailed with bang-bang technical fouls and Monta Ellis, troubled by a nine-turnover night, got a "T" himself as the Warriors saw a third-quarter lead dissolve into a one-sided defeat. The Warriors' complaints might have had some merit. They were outscored 29-18 from the foul line, nearly accounting for the entire margin of defeat.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: December 8, 2009


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