Warriors

Five reasons NBA lockout is met with apathy

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Five reasons NBA lockout is met with apathy

The NBA lockout has generally been met by apathy and not anger. That should worry the commissioner, owners and players, quite frankly.During the NFL lockout this summer, it seemed fans were upset, and they wanted their game back. That sentiment may have helped create further impetus for the sides to make a deal. The NBA is having its offseason lockout and very few, except those involved in the game and the hardcore, seem to be troubled.Here are five reasons the lockout is not resonating with sports fans:

1. NFL and MLB on center stage: Pro football just started and the Major League playoffs are right around the corner. Those are going to occupy the fans' time, energy and attention. The NHL is also further along in its season than the NBA is. The fact there are NFL and MLB games going on right now means even fewer people will tune into what's going on labor-wise in the NBA.2. Still offseason; no sense of urgency: Some casual fans might not even know the NBA is in a lockout. Who really knows that the Las Vegas Summer League was canceled or that training camps might be? Most people couldn't tell you when training camps start. Plenty of casual NBA fans don't even pay attention till after Christmas.3. Foregone conclusion -- half the season will be missed: Despite all the reported ups and downs during the negotiations over the past few months, the reality is that a large segment of fans are resigned to half the season being missed. Why? Because that's the picture that's been painted, whether owners or players intended to do that. Everyone knows there was a 50-game season during the previous lockout in 1998-99; and everyone knows the sides are further apart this time -- more than they were last time.4. Payback for the Summer of Excess: It is true that by the end of the season, the NBA had gained some momentum with a Dallas-Miami Finals and an intriguing playoffs that included San Antonio, the Lakers and Celtics all getting taken down. But the league is still paying a price for LeBron James' Decision and what was perceived as last summer's overindulgence during free agency.5. Billionaires vs. Millionaires doesn't cut it: During the NFL lockout, there seemed to be a subtle subtext: The disagreement was over how best to split up the money. In the NBA lockout, there seems to be the perception that both sides want more. That's the same thing, you say? Perhaps. But it's a perception the NBA is fighting.

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

Without Green, Iguodala, fourth quarter turns into disaster for Warriors vs Rockets

OAKLAND -- The defending champion Warriors started cracking in the hours before tipoff Tuesday night and broke apart when they usually come together.

The fourth quarter was a disaster area and it cost the Warriors, as the Houston Rockets wiped out a 13-point deficit and tagged them with a 122-121 loss before a stunned sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

So ends, as it should, the spurious notion of a rubber-stamp championship for the Warriors. A strain here and a tweak there and they found themselves on the painful end of the score.

The Warriors learned prior to the game that forward Andre Iguodala, their valuable Sixth Man, would be out nursing a strained back. They were hit with another injury, this one to Draymond Green, who was highly effective, late in the third quarter.

“He was our best player tonight,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was the guy who was bringing the energy and the life.”

Green’s numbers -- 9 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists -- barely hint at his value in this game. Green and Iguodala are the primary defensive communicators, and Green held it down fairly well -- until he, too, was gone.

“Our communication wasn’t very good and we didn’t stick to the game plan; we gave them too many wide-open threes,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 first-quarter points but only 5 over the final three.

“We did a good job in the half-court of keeping them in front,” said Kevin Durant, who also scolded himself for committing eight turnovers. “But in transition we got cross-matched so many times and we just didn’t communicate well enough.”

Games aren’t always lost in the fourth, despite the frequent narrative, but this one most assuredly was. With Green in the locker room accompanied by ice, the Warriors were outscored 34-20 in the fourth quarter.

After shooting 45.8 percent through three quarters, the Rockets took it to 56 percent in the fourth, closing the game on a 13-5 run over the final 4:01.

The Warriors don’t yet know when Green and Iguodala will return, whether it’s as soon as Friday at New Orleans or a matter of weeks. Until they do, Kerr will have to resort to patching things together.

Problem is, aside from the scoring of Nick Young (23 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including 6-of-7 from deep) and Jordan Bell (8 points on 4-of-5 shooting in 12 minutes), the bench did not distinguish itself.

That was particularly true on defense, which happen to be where Iguodala and Green make their greatest impact. The reserves accounted for 13 of the 25 fouls called on the Warriors.

“We’ve got to be better,” Durant said. “We’ve got to be better, and we’re looking forward to practice Wednesday.”

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

D'Antoni claps back at Draymond, Warriors after Rockets' 122-121 win

Draymond Green usually gets the last word.

Not this time.

"Somebody said we don't take it seriously on defense. Well obviously they don't take it seriously either," Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni said after the Rockets knocked off the Warriors 122-121 on Tuesday night., according to Santa Rosa Press Democrat's Phil Barber.

The jab stems from Green's comments after practice on Monday.

"You should believe that. I'm turning over a new leaf. Number 1 -- they want it to be a shootout, which is fine. But we're gonna play some defense. We score pretty well, but we're a damn good defensive team, too. So we're gonna play some defense.

"I don't know how serious they take defense with that comment, but I know they added some good defensive players," Green told reporters Monday.

Green won't get his next shot at D'Antoni and the Rockets until January 4 in Houston.