Let the PR horns boldly announce it from the highest rafters: The second Don Nelson era is off to a flying start.
Last night, the Warriors beat up on Turkish squad Efes Pilsen in their first preseason game of the 2006-2007 season. The final score was 120-66, and it wasn't that close. The Warriors were already up 28 at half time -- ah, that has a nice ring to it. The Brewers, from the vaunted Turkish First Division, aren't a premier European team by any stretch, and that's even if they had key players Baris Ermis, Antonio Granger and Nikola Prkacin, none of whom made the trip from Istanbul. But and yet, they lost by only 16 to Denver on Tuesday, and they did just nab their seventh Presidential Cup, so . . .
. . . so it's better than losing, but let's just keep things in perspective. This is the equivalent of USF scheduling Division II cupcakes like Cal State Stanislaus and Sonoma State to puff up their confidence before heading into conference play. No complaints here -- the Warriors can use all the puffing they can get -- but this game should in no way be used to validate the return of new/old coach Don Nelson or his small-ball system.
Before the game though, Nellie wasn't seeing it that way. "This is called an ass-whooping game" Nellie boasted, "we're going to open up a can of ass whoop and see what happens." (Note to Nellie: We believe the proper phrase is, "open up a can of whoop-ass.") And ass whup they did. Killer Warriors blog Golden State of Mind was in the house last night and reported that team looked sharp and fast, with Monta Ellis, Andres Biedrins, and Dujuan Wagner looking particularly good. Even franchise centerpiece Mike Dunleavy looked competent. In fact, seven Warriors scored in double digits as Nellie used more different combinations and looks in the first half of this game than former coach Mike Montgomery used in the last two years.
If only Efes Pilsen was in the Pacific Division instead of the Suns and Lakers. Image from the Türkiye Radyo Televizyon web site.