Warriors fans won't be sending Don Nelson chicken soup anytime soon. The Warriors are 3-8 under Nelson and they are now 1-0 without him. Tuesday night, the Warriors handed the Mavericks just their fourth loss of the season while Nelson was sick at home (Nellie has pneumonia and didn't travel with the team).
In his absence, Keith Smart took over, and so did Monta Ellis. Ellis had a season-high 37 points and added eight assists and four steals. Rookie Stephen Curry also had one of his best games as a pro, pouring in 11 points in the final four minutes of the game. The Warriors dressed only eight players and played just six but still managed to polish off the Mavs, outscoring them 33-21 in the fourth quarter.
While it's just one win, it makes you wonder whether the Warriors are better without Don Nelson. The team has been a mess this season with many of the team's best players having had problems with the coach. To be fair though, the team has played much better since trading Stephen Jackson. But Nelson has been critical of his players and doesn't seem fit to run this team at this stage of his career. He's too old to be taking on a reclamation project. The problem is it might be difficult to get rid of him. He still has another year on his contract and he most likely has his sights set on the all-time wins record. He is just 19 wins short of Lenny Wilkens' mark.
The Warriors should think about what is best for the team and get rid of Nelson. They need some fresh blood to reinvigorate the organization and show fans that they are moving in the right direction.