Mark Jackson has had the benefit of riding along with a talented roster that the Golden State Warriors haven’t seen in a long time. His motivation speeches and his demeanor is easily likable by both the Warriors fan base and analysts. His history as an ESPN personality gave him some positive press early and has also helped buffer him from the negative criticism that he should be getting now.
The Warriors are slumping, and while that entirety of that blame does not lie with the coaching staff, Mark Jackson’s ineptitude has shined through and it’s become so problematic that there is only one solution left for the Warriors:
Fire Mark Jackson.
Watching the San Antonio Spurs second-stringers hang on and pull off a win against the #SplashBrothers and company is abysmal to the point where I would have a hard time doing any basketball betting in favor of the Warriors NBA Finals aspirations despite the fact that I picked them in the pre-season to face-off against the Heat there. As entertaining as the high-paced game of the Warriors is, their coach isn’t putting them in a position to win.
Golden State of Mind commented on the three phases of the game that make up a successful coach: tactical, motivational, and leadership. While I have a hard time saying that Jackson has failed on the latter two phases, it is abundantly clear that Jackson is incapable of putting out the best lineups for the Warriors player personnel. In the same way that Omer Asik and Dwight Howard could not coexist well in Houston (and who knows what’s going to happen there now that the Rockets’ front office elected not to trade their disgruntled backup center), Andrew Bogut and David Lee on the floor at the same time has proven it doesn’t work out very well.
Would Bogut or Lee want to come off the bench? Probably not, but there are lineups that he can use to work around the weaknesses (and strengths) of his two big men. The Miami Heat have proven that going small can succeed, and with a LeBron James-like defender and playmaker in Andre Iguodala, the Warriors really have the ability to play successful smallball without suffering on the glass. Something like Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Iguodala, and Lee/Bogut would work perfectly.
Additionally, Jackson is horrendous when it comes time to call timeouts. He often decides not to call timeouts late in games despite the fact that one of the players needs 1) a breather or 2) a momentum shifter. Now, to MJack’s credit, it worked out perfectly when the Dubs were playing the Mavericks because the offensively-minded lineup that Curry & Co. were facing in the final seconds of regulation favored the Warriors. What happened?