2009-10 Season In Review


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Season-Ending Thank You

Don Nelson Feature

GM Larry Riley Interview

Stephen Curry's Top 10 Plays

Don Nelson Record-Breaking Tribute

Warriors Defeat OKC - 4/11/10

Warriors Defeat ATL - 2/21/10

Curry Notches Triple-Double vs. LAC - 2/10/10

Ellis Scores 46 vs. DAL - 2/3/10

Warriors Defeat BOS - 12/28/09

Warriors Defeat PHX - 12/26/09

Ellis Scores 45 vs. IND - 11/30/09

Warriors Use 6 Players and win vs. DAL - 11/24/09

Don Nelson
Career Retrospective

Monta Ellis Interview - 4/8/10

Reggie Williams Interview - 3/29/10

Movie Time With Ronny Turiaf - 3/22/10

Tolliver/Hunter Interviews - 3/15/10

Corey Maggette Interview - 3/1/10

All-Star Weekend Recap - 2/22/10

Curry At All-Star Weekend - 3/15/10

Morrow At All-Star Weekend - 3/15/10

Golfing With Stephen Curry - 2/8/10

Stephen Curry Interview - 2/1/10

Anthony Morrow Interview - 1/25/10

Anthony Randolph Interview - 12/15/09

Andris Biedrins Interview - 11/16/09

Warriors Road Trip - 10/26/09

Media Day With Ronny Turiaf - 10/19/09

Young, exciting and resilient – that about sums up the 2009-10 Warriors. Throughout the course of the season, the Warriors proved to be a dangerous team with multiple offensive weapons, ranking second in the NBA with 108.8 points per game. While a consistent flow of injuries certainly had a role in the team going only 26-56, they also opened the door for other players to become major contributors for the Warriors.

Despite playing shorthanded for the entire season, the Warriors continued to compete night in and night out. On November 24, the Warriors used just six players to beat the Mavericks, a team that would wind up with the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference Playoffs, in Dallas. That marked the first time an NBA team has won a regulation game using just six players since February 10, 1952, when the Baltimore Bullets defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons.

With different players available on almost a nightly basis, the Warriors stayed competitive throughout the season but never really came together on the floor until the final month of the season, when few new injuries surfaced. In fact, from March 24 through the rest of the season, the Warriors had the seventh best record (7-5) in the Western Conference. Not only did Golden State post its first winning month of the season in April (5-3), but the team also made some NBA history in the process.

Although the team fell far short of a playoff berth, the Warriors did get enough victories for Don Nelson to break the record for the most NBA regular season wins as a head coach. Nelson tied the record in Toronto on April 4th and tallied career win No. 1,333 three days later in Minnesota.

During Nellie’s 31st season as an NBA head coach, he had the opportunity to coach perhaps the top guard tandem in the NBA. Rookie Stephen Curry played alongside rising star Monta Ellis and the two combined to average the most points, rebounds, assists and steals out of any guard duo in the NBA.

(Must have started at least 60 games each and average 28+ combined points)






Combined Total
Golden State (Curry/Ellis)
Phoenix (Nash, Richardson)
Houston (Brooks, Ariza)
Boston (Rondo, Allen)
L.A. Lakers (Fisher, Bryant)
Atlanta (Bibby, Johnson)

Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry were the NBA's most productive guard duo during the 2009-10 season. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)

Ellis further solidified himself as one of the top guards in the NBA and in the process emerged as the team’s true leader. His 25.5 points per game was second among Western Conference guards and he also ranked among the NBA leaders in steals (2nd, 2.23 spg) and minutes played (1st, 41.4 mpg). Throughout the course of his five-year NBA career, Ellis has continuously expanded his game, and this year was no different. He extended his range to become a threat as a three-point shooter (33.8 percent) and took on the responsibility of guarding the opposing team’s best guard. Whether it was Kobe Bryant, Brandon Roy or Kevin Durant, Ellis didn’t back down from guarding anyone and he ended the season with a reputation as a credible defender.

As Ellis moved toward NBA stardom, Curry joined him on the fast track to success in the NBA. After a bit of an adjustment period to start the season, Curry finished the campaign as one of the top candidates for Rookie of the Year. He was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for both January and March, and he ranked in the top two of six of the major rookie stat categories (see table below). Curry, the Warriors’ first-round pick and seventh overall in the 2009 NBA Draft, had five games this season in which he had at least 30 points and 10 assists, fewer only than LeBron James (8) and Dwyane Wade (6). In fact, Curry’s five 30-10 games were the most by a rookie since Michael Jordan (1984-85) and tied for the second most all-time (Oscar Robertson 25, 1960-61).




Field Goal %
Three-Point %
Free Throw %

Take a quick look at Curry’s numbers and it’s obvious that he had plenty of highlights throughout the season. There was his triple-double against the Clippers in February and his career-high 42-point night in the season finale put the final stamp on his Rookie of the Year candidacy.

Curry wound up setting an NBA rookie record with 166 three-point field goals, and he also competed in the Foot Locker Three-Point Shootout during All-Star Weekend in Dallas. Curry finished second to Boston’s Paul Pierce in the Shootout, but he did emerge victorious in the Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam over a sophomore squad that featured his Warriors teammate Anthony Morrow. For more on Curry’s and Morrow’s experiences over All-Star Weekend, including behind-the-scenes videos and blogs, click here.

Curry and Morrow were among the top-10 three-point shooters in the NBA, but the Warriors were filled with offensive threats throughout the roster. Ellis ranked sixth in the league in scoring, Corey Maggette shot 51.6 percent from the field and averaged 19.8 points per game, the most of anybody who averaged fewer than 30 minutes a game. C.J. Watson proved he could be a scorer as well, as evidenced by his 40-point outburst against the Kings on Feb. 17. In total, there were seven different Warriors who scored at least 30 points in a game, more than any other team in the league.

Each member of the D-Leage trio became a valuable piece to the 2009-10 Warriors. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)

And then there are the D-Leaguers. The Warriors called up five players from the NBA D-League, tying the record for the most call-ups by a team in a season, and three of them wound up sticking around for a good chunk of the season. Chris Hunter gave the team a much-needed inside presence when injuries hampered the team’s front line, and the same can be said for Anthony Tolliver, who started 29 games and finished the season tied with Curry for the team lead with 13 double-doubles. Reggie Williams was the last player to sign with Golden State from the D-League, but he had perhaps the biggest impact of them all. Williams played in 24 games, averaged 15.2 points on 49.5 percent shooting and wound up being one of the team’s go-to players in crunch time. Perhaps the top highlight from the D-League trio this season came on March 17 when the Warriors came back from a 21-point deficit to beat the Hornets. Tolliver, Hunter and Williams played critical roles in the comeback with a combined 69 points, including four three-pointers in the fourth quarter from Williams.

Overcoming large deficits was one of the staples of the 2009-10 Warriors. The team rallied from double-digit deficits in half of their wins this season, including five times in which they trailed by 18 or more points. Among the most memorable of those contests was the December 28 home game against the Boston Celtics. Two days after the Warriors beat the Suns in a 132-127 thriller, a sold out crowd at Oracle Arena witnessed Monta Ellis dominate a fourth quarter and finish with 37 points against a Boston team with several future Hall of Famers. Another signature comeback came on February 21 when the Warriors recovered from an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit and beat the Hawks. Last but certainly not least, the Warriors came back from 20 points down to beat the Thunder on April 11 in a game that would ultimately drop Oklahoma City into the eighth and final playoff slot.

The Warriors won five of their last eight games and in the process made Don Nelson the winningest head coach in NBA history. (Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty)

Injuries likely prevented more signature wins like those throughout the season. During the 2009-10 campaign, Warriors players combined to miss 503 games due to injury, an average of 6.1 players out per contest. It started with losing Brandan Wright (torn labrum, left shoulder) in training camp and the injuries became all too common from there. Kelenna Azubuike (torn tendon, left knee) and Anthony Randolph suffered season-ending injuries early in the season and Ronny Turiaf, Vladimir Radmanovic and Andris Biedrins, who underwent surgery in March, all dealt with a variety of ailments that kept them out of action for most of the season. For the second-consecutive campaign, the Warriors did not play a single game at full strength, and only three times this season did the team have three or fewer players out with injuries.

Although the team finished with a losing record, there were still several highlights throughout the season. More importantly, the team is expected to be in full health when training camp for the 2010-11 season opens in October. With two rising stars in the backcourt, a proven surrounding cast and a lottery pick soon to join in on the action, the 2010-11 Warriors are already looking to be in very good shape.


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