Warriors renew option on Coach Mark Jackson

July 10, 2013

After leading Golden State on an inspiring postseason run and successfully developing his team's young players, the Warriors have picked up their team option on Head Coach Mark Jackson’s contract for the 2014-15 season.

This past season, Jackson guided his team to a 47-35 regular-season record, finishing second in the Pacific Division and earning the sixth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. This was impressive considering that Golden State had a 23-43 record during Jackson’s first season the previous year.

The jump in wins was the second-highest winning percentage improvement (+.225) in the NBA this past season, bested only by the Brooklyn Nets (+.266).

One of the keys to the Warriors' success was Jackson's use of his rotation, as he defined clear roles for both his young players and vets, and thus, empowered them to perform.

Almost immediately he inserted rookie Harrison Barnes into the starting lineup at the 3. After a season of on-the-job training, Barnes rewarded Jackson's trust with several monster performances in the playoffs.

Jackson also developed his bench into one of the league's more effective second units, utilizing Jarrett Jack as a Sixth Man and watching Jack's game evolve from pass first lead guard to a scoring playmaker off the bench. He also did wonders with energetic bigs Draymond Green and Landry.

In addition, Jackson placed an emphasis on defense and rebounding – two areas where the team has been historically weak.

The result was a departure from the "outscore you" days of Don Nelson, as Golden State saw statistical improvements in several important defensive categories such as opponents’ field goal percentage (fourth in NBA), opponents’ three-point percentage (seventh), defensive rebounding (first) and rebounds per game (third).

But in the 2013 NBA Playoffs, Jackson really made his mark, as his squad posted a First Round victory over the Denver Nuggets in six games, becoming just the second Warriors team to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals in the last 22 years.

In the Semifinals, Golden State fell to the San Antonio Spurs in six games. Considering that the team advanced that far with star forward David Lee limping around with a bad hip, the Warriors postseason performance was one of the big surprises of the NBA season.

By Staff Editor of The Daily Sports Herald and news services

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