A place for me to talk about San Francisco Bay Area sports.

Monday, January 31, 2005

War-Oh No-iors again

What is jinxing the Warriors? Oh yeah, Cohan! What idiot would exercise his option before the prior owners had secured the services of Chris Webber to a long-term contract? Then the long years of quiet incompetence from Dave Dwardzik and Garry Saint Jean, and the string of head coaches. I guess Adelman has shown that it was the personnel and not his coaching that was the problem. Ironically, he has done it with Chris Webber as his star...

I thought perhaps Mully would be the cure for what ails them with the moves he had been pulling over the past year before he officially took over. However, signing Foyle to that contract?!? I like Adonal but really, that much for a career backup? And now he's sitting on the bench, still a backup but paid like a starter?

With the season pretty much blown by JRich's injury, they should start preparing for the future as Rick Barry suggested on his talk show. Rick suggested that we find out what we got by playing Biedrins more and I agree. He's not going to get better on the bench. Give him more playing time over the guys who are getting the big salaries but who will be gone at the end of the season. He probably should also attend that famous annual "Big Man" training that is held every year by that old Cal coach, Pete Newell, to help develop him.

But the main point is that we gain nothing for the future from playing the established forwards instead of Biedrins. Playing the vets means more wins (don't laugh, potentially, :^) which would mean a worse draft pick. However, the vets will probably be gone after the season so anything that they learn will accrue to the next team. Meanwhile, Biedrins would learn to sit on the bench rather play and perhaps learn something.

I will grant that perhaps he is so overmatched that he would lose his confidence if he played regularly. But he has been in only 4 games for a TOTAL of 21 minutes for the season. Is Dale Davis or Clifford Robinson doing that much more for the Warriors? On a per-minute basis, not much more. And they are the vets, perhaps he would do better with regular playing time. And his learning will pay off in future years whereas these others are short-timers.

Monday, January 24, 2005

49ers Hire Mike Nolan

As a 49er fan from the days of Dick Nolan, I viewed the 5 Super Bowl wins as exorcising the crushing losses suffered during Nolan's tenure, kind of like how I viewed Barry's career as validation for his father's. Now we get Nolan, the Next Generation, as redemption for the 49ers and the Nolan clan. I dig the hire from that viewpoint, much like I would have been happier with the Warriors hiring Rick Barry instead of Musselman (who I nonetheless liked and had no problems with, just I wanted Barry if I was going to put up with Cohan as an owner).

I really don't know much about football strategy (my cousin used to kick my ass when I played that popular football slideshow game of the 70's) but I knew the players and coaches and just root for the team. So I cannot get into how Nolan might help the Niners other than what I've read about his achievements.

The main impressive thing I noticed was that he oversaw, basically, the wholesale change of the Ravens' defense (except for the star, Ray Lewis) and kept it humming at a high performance level despite all the new faces and rookie talents. Given that the Niners' main talent and strength right now is on defense, especially in the linebacker area, I would expect the defense to leap towards the top of the league, else his hiring would be a disappointment in my eyes.

The question now is "who will run the offense"? Not a lot of good established talents there, only Ken Dorsey, to me, has the potential to be pretty good, I think, gut feeling. Barlow couldn't play much worse so hopefully the offense will rebound some due to that. I am hoping that they go for an offensive innovator, of course using a BILL WALSH derivative offense, who would be confident enough to hire back Walsh as Senior Assistant Emeritus or whatever fancy title they want to give him.

The only name to have caught my eye so far is Norm Chow of USC, who has developed a lot of NFL-ready QBs. Plus that would adversely affect the Trojan's offense, a plus for a Cal alum like me. In any case, it a focking shame that Bill Walsh does not have an emeritus title and life-time employment with the 49ers. If somebody is intimidated by Walsh, GOOD!, we have a high bar here at the Niners and if you don't think you are worthy, don't bother signing on as a coach. Only someone timorous would, as an owner or coach, not hire Walsh, because Walsh epitomizes all that has gone well with the Niners. Not that he was perfect, but I cannot see how you cannot bring him on so that he can at least opine on his thoughts and provide the benefits of his experience.

It's not like he's Al Davis, fossilized in his past glory. I credit him with the rebirth of the recent winning team when he had some hand in selecting players and generally helping out. Some blame him for some of the problems with the current team but he's never been perfect. What he has been has been an excellent talent evaluator and risk-taker plus he knew when to cut his losses (usually, hello James Owens and Renaldo Nehemiah). It is totally idiotic that he is not a part of the team; hopefully Nolan or the new offensive coordinator will bring Walsh back into the fold.