Keith Smart, pointing to what?

Follow the 2010-2011 Warriors, step onto an unmarked train. Who knows where this new roster is headed? Who knows what to expect from Keith Smart–he might jump out of a cake at your birthday. Perhaps he’s sitting behind you, shaving his head, using your laptop’s reflective powers. Here are some early predictions for the 2011 Dubs:

Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo: 21 wins

Jeremy Britton, Wages of Wins: 50+ wins

John Hollinger, ESPN: 32 wins

My, that’s some range. To parse, I’ll hold a magnifying glass to three games in three different realities. Here’s how it goes:

Reality #1: Kelly Dwyer: 21 Wins

A disaster. A complete catastrophe brought about by an incomplete, oft-injured band of headless roosters. Playoffs hopes are hopeless in the face of a team that oozes incompetently accommodating defense. Keith Smart’s name grows more ironic by the game. The descent into stink began:

Date      Opp                 Result
11/10    @New York    L 110-93

David Lee’s homecoming gives way to Anthony Randolph’s rim wrecking. The hopping giraffe has captured New York’s imagination by mirroring the city’s intensity. It’s 23-12-5 for the guy whom Nellie was crazy enough to straightjacket. D’Antoni’s crew cruises to a crushing victory, as an impotent David Lee shrugs meekly from the sidelines. He re-injured his wrist prior to the Eastern road trip, the Warriors will drop all five games of the jaunt. Biedrins and Wright solemnly shoulder the dead defense like bereaved relatives carrying a heavy coffin. It’s chaos as rotations collide into each other like planets lacking gravity. Monta Ellis is scowling, sulking, shooting Curry some Medusa stares. Injuries will be milked, bearing a curdled, rotting season.

Date      Opp        Result
12/10    Miami    L 123-98

The drumbeat for Smart’s ouster starts thudding as the Warriors are 5-18. A home game against the league’s hottest commodity might shake loose some ankle-biting critics. Smart pulls out all the tricks, the players summon maximum grit, and…it doesn’t matter because the Warriors suck and teams don’t just win games out of simply wanting to. Stephen Curry is on his second sprained ankle, he injures it again when LeBron lands a universe-melting dunk. As Curry writhes, Bosh snickers and high fives James. Wade points and mockingly asks Steph if he needs to see the middle school nurse. The Heat are taking this villain thing a little too far.

Date    Opp                  Result
4/10    Sacramento    W 110-109

A late season push has pulled in a playoff berth! Not for the Warriors, oh no, but for the mighty Kings. They of the questionable character have an unquestioned hold on the NorCal crown. DeMarcus Cousins is NBA gold, wrapped in a tantrum. Tyreke Evans has passed and lapped the stricken Stephen Curry–now Oklahoma City knows what to regret.

In typical Warriors fashion, they won’t let bad enough be. No, they must win when winning is losing. A last second Reggie Williams buzzer beater is celebrated by the crowd, out of Pavlovian instinct. It costs the number one pick. Keith Smart signs an extension for reason beyond comprehension. Ellis demands a trade. Rumors about Curry and New York float off into another “Zero games in 40 nights” second season.

Reality #2: Jeremy Britton, Wages of Wins: 53 Wins

A triumph so wonderful, it’s a wonder that Spurs/Mavs/Lakers fans would shrug in its direction. Squint and it looks almost plausible: Lee-Curry as a Nash-Stoudemire facsimile. A healthy Biedrins, a relegated Ellis. The rise began like this:

Date     Opp                   Result
11/10    @New York     W 113-94

Behold, the wonder of the pick n’ roll! Curry to Lee hums so beautifully that even a “dump-off” sounds sonorous.The Knicks are a leaky vessel. Anthony Randolph keeps jumping on Lee, landing himself into foul trouble. David punches in a typical 22-11, some of it comes at STAT’s expense. Amare looks tired, the crowd gets on him for the lack of rebounding. He can’t get a board in edgewise between Lee and the Latvian. New Yorkers look at Steph Curry, think “Jordan Hill,” and scream, “Fire Walsh!”

Date      Opp        Result
12/10    Miami    W 112-111

This is the test turned testament–a testament to a newly awesome Oakland attack, a testament to Wins Produced as a predictive metric, a testament to Curry-Ellis as a block to build upon. The little guys shred the big Miami frontcourt. Lee bullies Bosh, Biedrins boards over hapless Haslem. LeBron stuffs stats amid warbling boos. Wade misses the final shot, which leads to a million “Who’s the ALPHA DOG?” sports pundit ravings. Warriors fans feel invincible enough to swim in Lake Merritt, the team’s 18-5. We are all Alpha Dogs.

Date    Opp                  Result
4/10    Sacramento    L 110-109

DeMarcus Cousins seems to only burn calories when yelling at Paul Westphal. Tyreke has turned listless enigma, with a tunnel vision spin move. Reke keeps going to his calling card, only to have it swiped from the table–Monta and Steph rack up the steals. After haftime, the woeful Kings find a spark. Casspi leads a three-point barrage, shocking the Dubs at home. It’s okay though, the Warriors have won 51 games, they’re still making the second season. Evans went 4-17, Curry notched a 26-11-7, Oklahoma City totally knows what to regret.

Reality #3: John Hollinger, ESPN: 31 Wins

Ah, the familiar feel of mediocrity. Far from making the playoffs, far from winning the lottery. It’s like an old, comfortable, stinky shoe. Here’s the recap of our refrain:

Date     Opp                  Result
11/10    @New York    L 110-99

The Warriors try to go two games above .500 against the mysterious Knickerbockers. Anthony Randolph begins by clanking his first five shots, only to salvage the playing stint with a few tip-ins. D’Antoni looks pained until Amare starts tenderizing David Lee down low. Biedrins is of no help, Wright’s shoulder threatens to run away screaming. STAT fills out the sheet with a 29-14. Knicks win, Knicks win.

Date      Opp        Result
12/10    Miami    W 112-111

The mediocre Warriors summon the gods and defeat the Heat. Monta succumbs to the temptations of efficiency–he commits no TOs while piling on points. David Lee hits the game-winner off a pick-and-roll, sending the crowd into ecstasy. An aggrieved Chris Bosh throws his jersey at the crowd. LeBron James shoulders Biedrins on the way out. The Heat are taking this villain thing a little too far.

Date    Opp                 Result
4/10    Sacramento    L 110-109

The playoffs were a pipe dream that died in the dead of winter. All we have at season’s end is a battle of the inconsequential. The Warriors lose the game, but win the war for lottery pole position. Both teams are struggling, carping, and nursing injuries. Ellis sits, Curry starts, Biedrins watches in a suit–he’s been done for months. David Lee is the MVP in this defenseless slop, though Evans makes the game winner. Oklahoma City regrets nothing–James Harden is playing up to his beard’s potential.


5 Responses

  1. Manute Nol

    I say a 42 win season with this roster and a 48-52 win season if the Warriors get Carmelo.

  2. Vincent F

    I think that 47-50 wins is attainable, if we don’t lead the leagues in games lost due to injury agaun. The track records of Wright, Beans, and Ellis don’t favor us in this regard. However, it must be said that this is the most talented team we have had since the Richardson, Jack, Davis days. And, in some ways more talented as an all around unit. We have the size we didn’t have then, and we have the players that can play D. Your not going to see 135-130 finals that much this year. It is actually a good time to be a Ws fan

  3. AshWarrior

    If Lee, Ellis, Curry, ‘Dre, Williams, Wright Bros can stay healthy for most of the season, I see the wins in the range of 45 to 50. Warriors make the playoff being 7th or 8th in the west. THIS IS GOLDEN STATE….. GO WARRIORS, UNITE & FIGHT !!

  4. Andrew

    45 wins best case which is truly attainable, and 37 wins worst case. If this team can play average defense they will make the playoffs. Average!