Point/Counterpoint

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Briane Nuval: Yes

As we enter the 2006-2007 NBA season, high hopes are expected from the Golden State Warriors. Especially from their new and once again head coach, Don Nelson, who coincidently is the last Warriors head coach to bring them to the postseason during his 1993 campaign.

Although there weren’t that many free agent signings or transactions from the front office, the season’s main acquisition was when Chris Mullin, president of main operations, hired Nelson on Aug. 30. Mullin hired him to coach one of the youngest teams in the NBA and to revive a team who has been in a playoff drought for 12 consecutive seasons.

Bringing in the second most winningest coach in the NBA will bring a great impact amongst the Warriors, veteran leadership, and 27 long years of knowledge of the coaching game.

When Nelson coached the Warriors from 1989-1993, he led them to the playoffs four out of the six seasons he spent there. He had a pair of 50 win seasons while having coach of the year honors as well from 1991-1992. Along with his tenure with the Warriors, they ranked in the top four in scoring during for two consecutive seasons.

Nelson has led the teams he’s coached (Milwaukee, Golden State, Dallas) to 17 playoff appearances and ranks tenth for the NBA’s all time winning list with 70 victories. These are only a few of many successful doings that Nelson brings to the table.

Having great veteran leaders on the team such as Shooting Guard Jason Richardson in his fifth year and point guard Baron Davis going in his seventh year gives Coach Nelson the opportunity to work with great athleticism, especially when both players should be in their prime.

To create a great team with every key player, they need to form a fierce competitive team in their division. There is no doubt that Nelson will do a great job and do the same as before, which was to get to the postseason and perhaps better yet, beyond that.

“One Goal, Focus, Direction, Team” as the team’s motto states, and Nelson intends to make his statement and stick to that motto to show the whole league that his new Golden State Warriors will be ready to make a winning impact throughout the league.

Syed Ali: No

The saying goes, “Lightning never strikes twice.” Unfortunately for the Golden State Warriors, it sure won’t strike for a second time with the re-hiring of Don Nelson.

Everyone knows of Nelson’s awards and accolades, but even a genius such as himself can’t change the Warriors’ history of losing. I’m sure the numerous coaches who’ve been fired by the Warriors within the last thirteen years can attest to that.

Besides the hiring of Nelson, there haven’t been any major acquisitions. The only addition made was the drafting of center Patrick O’Bryant, a very talented player who’s going to have to fight for minutes because he’s backing up starter Troy Murphy and competing with the other reserve center, Adonal Foyle.

Nelson coached the Warriors the last time they went to the playoffs and did a tremendous job during his tenure. However, he couldn’t get along with star forward Chris Webber and made several terrible front office decisions, thus resulting in his eventual firing.

I’m pessimistic because when Nelson last coached the Warriors, he had great players to work with. Nelson had the infamous Run T-M-C, a tremendous trio that consisted of Tim Hardaway, Mitch Ritchmond and Chris Mullin, and also had players such as Webber and Latrell Sprewell. However, the current Warriors team is a couple notches below compared to teams of the past. There is star point guard Baron Davis, who has been consistently unhealthy during his career. Shooting guard Jason Richardson has improved every year in the league, but he’s known for being erratic at times. Finally, there’s Mike Dunleavy, who’s on the verge of bearing the label of a “bust.”

Nelson likes to cause opponents trouble by running a small lineup that consists of shooters and fast players, and asks of some of his players to play out of his position. However, the lineup can cause a problem for the teams that utilize it. Undersized teams usually score many points, but have a tough time matching up on defense against much taller players. So in essence, you can score many points, but it won’t make a difference if you can’t stop your opponent from scoring.

It would be a miracle if Nelson can change the nature of being consistent losers. But in the end, the Warrior’s mascot Thunder is the only one who’s going to bring the lightning.