An unstable situation can cause people to do silly or unforgivable or fire-able things.

The Warriors are unstable right now, unquestionably, and the latest example is today's firing of assistant Darren Erman -- considered the top X-and-O guy on staff -- for violating a team policy ...

Which comes not long after assistant Brian Scalabrine was reassigned amid reports of high-level dysfunction involving coach Mark Jackson and team management.

Since then, those reports have been confirmed by everybody I've talked to, by the way. Jackson and several members of the team's front office are not very happy with each other right now and haven't been for months, that is not in much dispute.

And nobody thinks it's going away any time soon.

So, the firing of two assistants in the weeks leading up to a fairly important postseason for Jackson's tenure and the franchise as a whole ... well, that can only add fuel to the chatter that there are a lot of issues here and potentially a growing management-Jackson schism.

Recently -- and into today -- multiple team sources have acknowledged that things have gotten a little screwy, but it's also something that I believe owner Joe Lacob is consciously doing:

He's putting pressure on Jackson, pressure on everybody in the organization -- he wants to see how they all handle it.

Everything everybody does is under intense scrutiny and so far the coaching staff seems to have gone a bit haywire, with only six games left before the playoffs.

Let's put it this way: The San Antonio Spurs never dismiss key assistants on the eve of the playoffs. Seems to work out OK for them that way.

This all is a sign of violent instability, which usually is connected to a major problem between management and the coach, which usually only gets worse, not better, once it starts, and little things turn into big things turn into crisis mode all the time.

As today's news was breaking, I was told by a Warriors source that circumstances of Erman's dismissal are "very, very unfortunate" and made it sound like an isolated incident, but the source also didn't argue that everything that happens now is against the backdrop of a lot of coach/management tension.

Everything is part of the larger story, and it all points to this: The Warriors are not going into the playoffs at full strength and Jackson's tenure will be judged largely based on the team's perceived success or failure in these playoffs.

After the Erman firing, the Warriors are down to three holdover assistants -- Pete Myers, Lindsey Hunter, Ernie DeGregorio -- and now development assistant Joe Boylan presumably will move into an official assistant role. (Boylan did the halftime TV interview last night, a virtual kiss of death lately for Jackson assistants.)

  • By the way, for their sake, I sure hope Erman wasn't the guy assigned the Clippers advance-prep work all season, though I think there's a good chance he was.

  • If he did the prep work, most of it is probably gone with his firing, right in time for the probable first-round matchup with ... the Clippers. Oops.

    How does Jackson survive it, presuming he does want to survive it and coach the Warriors next season? By rallying his players, winning at least one round and playing well into the second round, and proving to Lacob and others that he can produce under whatever amount of pressure they put on him.

    Stephen Curry and the rest of the team leaders support Jackson, now it's on them to show that he's the best coach for them. By winning in the playoffs, despite the roiling atmosphere at GSW HQ.

    That's the gambit now; it's not kumbaya, it's venture-capitalist survive or get dumped. If you don't understand that about this era of the Warriors, you're never going to understand them.

    Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com.