In his second season leading the Warriors, Jackson has completely turned around a team that been in disarray for the past few years.
The Warriors get zero national attention or respect, but they are a very good team that not only should make the playoffs, but also have a chance to make some noise when they get there.
If the season ended today, the Warriors would be the fourth seed, and would have home court advantage in the first round. No one predicted that type of success for this team when the season began, and Warriors aren’t getting much national attention yet.
The Warriors have a lot of good young talent along with some good veterans, but they also had that on past teams that lost a lot more games than they won. Jackson deserves a lot of credit for the Warrior success this year.
In recent years, the Warriors have always had players who could score well, and Jackson has kept the team at high level on the offensive end. The team currently ranks ninth in the NBA in points per game, pouring in an average of 100.8 each game.
One big change for the Warriors is that they have become a much better defensive group, and a lot of that can be attributed to Jackson’s coaching. The team has also become an excellent rebounding group and currently is the third-best rebounding team in the league, pulling down an average of 45.3 per game.
When Jackson was named the head coach in 2011, some questioned the move because he did not have any head coaching experience. Jackson’s 17-year NBA career gave him a wealth of playing experience and knowledge, but some questioned how it would translate into coaching today’s NBA players. Many of those questions have been answered, and the players seem to be completely buying in to his system.
Many people also looked at last year’s record of 36-46 as a disappointment for the Warriors, and Jackson also said that he had expected the team finish with more wins. The team did improve last year, though, and it was a great learning experience for the players and for Jackson. With the foundation he put in last year and with the new players on the team this year such as Harrison Barnes, the team has made great strides.
It will be interesting to see if the team fades in the second half of the season, or if Jackson can keep them playing at this high level. Even if the Warriors do fall back in the second half of the year, though, they should make the playoffs and should be a team on the rise.
The young players on the Warriors are going to continue to get better in the next few years, and the Warriors are going to continue to be a team that can win a lot of games and have a chance to go far in the playoffs. Jackson deserves a lot of credit for the success, and should be the NBA Coach of the Year this season.