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Could Keith Smart’s relationship with Curry cost him his job?

Mar 17, 2011, 12:20 PM EDT


Keith Smart may not be long for the Golden State Warriors.

Matt Steinmetz of CSN Bay Area minces no words about that or why.

When Warriors owner Joe Lacob says publicly at the end of the season he’s not bringing back Keith Smart as coach — which seems very much a foregone conclusion at this point — he’ll certainly have some reasons.

Right at the top of the list will be Smart’s relationship with second-year point guard Stephen Curry. There is no feud, no profanity-laced shouting matches or even any dislike, really. There’s not even really a “problem.”

But something’s amiss between the two. All you have had to do was watch the Warriors all season long and you would have seen it. To say Smart has had Curry on a shorter leash than Don Nelson did a year ago would be an understatement.

Smart has some reasons here. Curry still turns the ball over on 16.5 percent of the possessions he uses. His defense is unimpressive.

I can see sitting Curry if you have better options. Acie Law is not a better option. For all his flaws, Curry is their best point guard and he is shooting the ball better this season than he did last season. That is why you drafted him in the first place, to shoot the rock. Smart is trying to push Curry to be a more rounded player. But in the process he may have helped push himself out the door

  1. mharenza - Mar 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Heaven forbid a coach suggest playing defense. Further, heaven forbid a coach suggest putting forth effort on defense. I’ve watched several Warrior games this season. In my opinion, it is not just that Curry is a terrible defender (which he is), it is that he doesn’t put forth much effort on that end of the court.

    • zackd2 - Mar 17, 2011 at 4:51 PM

      No no no, we here at PBT only criticize the players when they get traded to the Knicks. This is all Smart’s fault.

      • diegorodriguez3897 - Mar 17, 2011 at 7:45 PM

        Zackd2, you raise an interesting point. I am starting to wonder whether the legacy of the Melo trade will be that teams get back to more team oriented basketball as opposed to the one or two superstar model and a supporting cast.

        If the Nuggets get to the Finals or even just make a deep run I think more than one owner is going to take a long, hard look at which model they are going to follow. For example, if the Warriors can pull off a trade like the Nuggets did and turn their team into one that can run out 12 guys on any given night who can play D and share the ball why not try it? This is going to be an even more interesting choice after the new CBA is put into place.

        I am very curious to see whether the NBA is going to decided to start pushing the Nuggets who are now the hottest team in the league or stick with its usual marketing strategy of selling individual superstars. Again, I think we all may look back at the Melo trade one day and say it was a turning point for the league.

      • zackd2 - Mar 18, 2011 at 7:21 AM

        Maybe they’ll go back to zone defense yelling “HANDS UP HANDS UP” too

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