The Golden State Warriors have picked up the team option on Head Coach Mark Jackson's contract for the 2014-15 season, the team announced today.
This past season, his second as head coach of the Warriors, 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. In doing so, he became just the fourth Warriors head coach since 1970 to lead a team into the postseason, joining Alvin Attles, George Karl and Don Nelson. Additionally, Jackson became the first Warriors coach to win at least 47 games in his second full campaign at the helm since 1971-72, when Attles directed Golden State to a 51-31 record during his second full season as head coach.
After finishing 2011-12 with a 23-43 record during Jackson's debut campaign, the Warriors posted the second-highest winning percentage improvement in the NBA this past season, improving from .348 to .573 in 2012-13 - an improvement of +.225 that was bested only by the Brooklyn Nets (+.266). This winning percentage improvement also marks the third-largest year-over-year improvement in franchise history, trailing only the +.280 improvement made from 1987-88 (.244) to 1988-89 (.524) and the +.229 improvement made from 1952-53 (.174) to 1953-54 (.403).
Since being named head coach of the Warriors on June 6, 2011, Jackson has placed an emphasis on defense and rebounding - two areas where the team had been traditionally weak. To that end, Golden State saw major statistical improvements this past season in several important defensive categories, including opponents' field goal percentage (fourth in NBA; 20th in 2011-12), opponents' three-point percentage (seventh; 28th in 2011-12), defensive rebounding (first; 24th in 2011-12) and rebounds per game (third; 28th in 2011-12).
In the 2013 NBA Playoffs, Jackson's 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 won two of the first four games of the best-of-seven series against the San Antonio Spurs before falling to the eventual Western Conference Champions in six games, 4-2. In the Spurs series, the Warriors earned multiple wins in the Semifinals for the first time since 1977 and, in Game 2, posted their first road victory over the Spurs since February of 1997, snapping a 30-game losing streak in San Antonio.