Is Mark Jackson a good head coach?
That's the most important question the Warriors face this All-Star Break. Is Jackson the right coach for them, or should they replace him at the end of this season? Some coaches can only bring a coach just so far, and they need another coach to seal the deal. We'll soon find out if Jackson is that kind of coach.
Let's assess Jackson's season by the numbers.
The Warriors' record. Not bad. Not as good as they expected they would be before the season began.
The Warriors' standing in their conference. They currently hold the eighth and final spot for the Western Conference playoffs. 9 would be very bad.
The Warriors' tiny little lead over the Memphis Grizzlies for the last playoff spot in the West.
The Warriors' record when they beat the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 7. After that game, the Warriors were tied with the Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth-best record in the West.
The Warriors' record after the Bucks game — the past 16 games. It's like they turned into a completely different team, call them the Bad Warriors. Only 10 teams had worse records during the past 16 games, and the Grizzlies were not one of them. They were 12-4.
The field goal percentage opponents shot during the first half against the Good Warriors (Oct. 30-Jan. 7). That's great defense, seventh-best in the NBA. Mark Jackson always says the Warriors are a “defensive-minded team,” and they proved him right the first half of the season. They played good, tough defense all game.
A troubling number. That is the field goal percentage opponents shot during the first half against the Bad Warriors (since Jan. 8). That ranks second-worst in the NBA. Defense mostly comes down to effort, and the Bad Warriors don't give the effort during the first half. After halftime when they're desperate, they give the effort – opponents shot just 41.2 percent in the second half against the Bad Warriors, fourth-best defense in the NBA. The Warriors shouldn't have to be desperate before they play defense. A good head coach prepares his team to play hard from the opening tip to the final buzzer. Mark Jackson got those results from his team until about five weeks ago. Now, his team comes out flat.