Warriors

Does Lamar Odom make sense for the Warriors?

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Does Lamar Odom make sense for the Warriors?

Programming note: Warriors-Blazers tip off tonight at 7:30 p.m., and Warriors Postgame Live follows after the final buzzer, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!

Hey if theres a talented player out there and availablethen the Warriors obviously have interest in that player, right? Well, thatsthe way its gone for a few months now.Whether its been Dwight Howard or Chris Paul or now LamarOdom, it seems apparent the Warriors are more than willing to have their namein on things.Odom is still the property of the Dallas Mavericks, but hewas sent home recently by owner Mark Cuban. Odom never responded in a positiveway to the trade that sent him from the Lakers to the Mavericks, and Cubaneventually had had enough.RELATED: Lamar Odom done in Dallas after exchange with Cuban
Now, the Warriors are said to have Odom on their radar,nevermind the fact that he cant be dealt until after the Mavericks season isover if they move him at all.Lets take a look at some challenges involved in acquiringOdom, and whether or not the Warriors would even want to:Small forward glut: Before the Warriorsmade a run at Odom, theyd have to clear out some personnel to make room forhim. As of right now, the Warriors have Dorell Wright under contract throughnext season and Richard Jefferson under contract through 2013-14. Thats almost14 million committed to that twosome at the small forward position nextseason.The Warriors also have decisions to make on Brandon Rush andDominic McGuire, two players who performed very well for Golden State thisseason. If the Warriors want Odom, theres no way they can have either Rush orMcGuire back.Odom is poised to earn 8.2 million next season, although hecould be bought out by Dallas. In that case, the Warriors would likely have touse their mid-level exception to sign Odom, but there is hardly a guaranteehed come for that.Talent vs. Inconsistency: Odom is moretalented than any small forward the Warriors have on their current roster. Buthes also coming off a terrible season and there are concerns about whetherhell ever return to the player he was.It would be one thing for an elite NBA team to take a chanceon Odom. But it would be far more risky for a team like the Warriors to acquirehim. The last thing the Warriors can afford on their roster is for a well-paidplayer to be unproductive. They already have Andris Biedrins doing that and themore players you have like that, the worse off you are.In short, the Warriors need sure things right now, and thatsnot what Odom is.The trade risk: Theres a big differencein the Warriors inquiring about Odom as a free agent as opposed to the Warriorsinquiring about Odom as a member of the Mavericks.Odom just had a miserable year after he was traded to aplace he didnt want to be. If youre the Warriors, do you really want to giveup assets in a trade and take the chance Odom would be unhappy in GoldenState?Thats what it would take if you traded for him. Now, ifOdom is waived and becomes a free agent, and shows interest in Golden State,well, thats another story.Still, the Warriors would have to offer Odom the fullmid-level exception, and, again, there would be no assurance he wouldcome.Distraction issue: There is little doubtthat the Warriors believe next year is their year. The Warriors front officeand coaching staff thinks that with Andrew Bogut, David Lee and Stephen Currythey can be a playoff team.But for that to happen, they need to have good chemistry andeveryone needs to be on the same page. Can the Warriors afford to have adisengaged Odom on their team? Probably not.For a team like the Warriors, bringing in Odom would be moreof a risk than it would be for a team that is further along in the winningprocess.

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

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AP

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

Warriors rookie Jordan Bell made an instant impact for the team this season. But as of late, his playing time has dwindled. In four of the Warriors' last five games, Bell has been inactive. 

“It's just the life of a rookie,” Bell said to The Athletic. “That's what Steve Kerr always tells me. It's not because I'm playing bad. Just gotta be professional about it and stay ready. It's like being a freshman all over again.”

While Bell wants to be on the court with his teammates, what he appreciates most from Steve Kerr is his communication. Kerr is always honest about when he won't play Bell and he keeps the former Oregon Duck encouraged. 

“He talks to me about it every time he sees me,” Bell said. “Lets me know I'm not going to be active. Keep doing what you're doing, you're doing good. But it still f------ sucks. You're playing well and it doesn't mean anything because you're younger. It sucks, but you got to be professional about it.”

Bell has played in 12 of the Warriors' 18 games this season. The 22-year-old is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game over 8.3 minutes per game. 

The Warriors bought the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Chicago Bulls and selected Bell. On Friday night, the Warriors, and perhaps Bell, play the Bulls for the first time this season. 

One thing is pretty clear about these Warriors after 2-2 road trip

One thing is pretty clear about these Warriors after 2-2 road trip

The Warriors are not ready to flip their seek-and-destroy switch. Not yet.

They’re closer to being ready than, say, their longtime rivals in Cleveland, but in going 2-2 on this four-game road trip the Warriors showed they are nowhere near full annihilation mode.

They went into Oklahoma City Wednesday night and, in gulping down a 108-91 loss on national TV, came away looking more vulnerable than they have in any game this season. The 17-point loss was their largest margin of defeat and this was awful close to being a wire-to-wire rout.

The Warriors defense, so splendid during the seven-game win streak they took out of town last week, was inconsistent throughout and downright atrocious by their standards as they concluded the trip.

Their offense, which had begun reducing the turnovers to acceptable levels, came apart like a pair of $3 sneakers.

Even their body language, aside from two well-deserved technical fouls, seemed to mostly vacillate between whispers and a whimpers.

“We didn’t have any focus or concentration,” coach Steve Kerr said. “The ‘millennials’ couldn’t lock in tonight. And their coach couldn’t do much either. Long night for us.”

These were not the Warriors who posted seven consecutive double-digit wins, and they’re certainly not the team that found its competitive blowtorches last April. They weren’t visible in this game, nor were they seen for most of this road trip.

This, ahem, regular-season road trip.

That’s the catch. Last April is when the playoffs got underway, and next April is when the 2018 playoffs begin. The time between now and then is for experimenting, fine-tuning and fighting through the monotonous joys of victory -- a factor on vivid display Wednesday night.

“We played with some decent energy,” Stephen Curry said. “We just didn’t play smart.”

“They completely outplayed us, outcoached us,” Kerr said. “It was just their night. It was absolutely their night. They brought the energy, they brought the juice, they brought the intelligence. And we didn’t bring any of that.”

The Warriors entered the game after studying video and stats that illustrated OKC’s ability to disrupt an offense. The Thunder leads the NBA in steals, deflections and -- this one punches the Warriors in the gut -- forcing turnovers.

The Warriors committed 22 giveaways, leading directly to 34 Thunder points.

“Thirty-four points off turnovers, you can’t win like that,” Draymond Green said.

“I’ve got to do a better job of getting them ready to play,” Kerr said. “We have a pretty loose, fun atmosphere around here. That’s great, but there are certain times where it’s like, ‘All right guys. Let’s throw it to our team. Let’s execute the play. Let’s remember the play.’ ”

Kevin Durant bemoaned the “silly turnovers” that were such a factor in the game, blaming it players rather than Kerr and his staff.

“For the most part he can’t control that type of stuff,” said Durant, whose four turnovers were second to Curry’s team-high six. “We’ve got to be better at keeping the ball in our hands, shooting more shots than our opponents and playing defense.”

Added Green: “We were pretty well-prepared. We just played bad.”

That happens to even the best of teams, a category in which the defending champions fit quite snugly. No team, not even the Chicago Bulls of the maniacally competitive Michael Jordan, is able to bring its best for 82 games a season.

The Warriors blew two 17-point leads, one in second quarter and another in the third, in losing at Boston.

They fell behind by 24 in the third quarter to the 76ers before coming back to win in Philadelphia before recovering the next night to submit their best performance of the trip in routing Brooklyn.

And in OKC, against a Thunder team that would seem to get their full attention, the Warriors were outhustled, outsmarted and played with considerably less fury.

“Right now, we’re just in a little bit of rut, where we’ve got to focus,” Kerr said. “And I know we will. We’ve done this many times in the past and bounced back. And we’ll bounce back. We need to lock in and tighten up everything.”

They will, eventually. It could happen next week, or next month, or after the calendar turns to 2018. They’ll turn it on and become the team of terror, punishing all before them. It might be April, though.

This road game indicated some truth, though, which is there will be games over the next four months in which they will lose the battle with themselves.