How Dwight Howard to Lakers doesn't affect Warriors


How Dwight Howard to Lakers doesn't affect Warriors

The Los Angeles Lakers get Dwight Howard, Earl Clark and Chris Duhon.

The Denver Nuggets get Andre Iguodala.

The Philadelphia 76ers get Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. Yes, that Jason Richardson.

The Orlando Magic get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and protected first round picks from Los Angeles, Denver and Philadelphia in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

And thats when you know youve either made it in the NBA or are hopelessly screwed when you have to bring in a lot of partners either to get or shed a player.

The multi-team deal, though, never happens to the Warriors. They either never have anyone someone covets beyond all reason, are poised to challenge for a title, or need to bottom out and start again.

Indeed, it is the story of the Warriors, stuck in an amorphous and dull sub-middle because in their history, theyve only been involved in one multi-team ever 20 years ago next month. And heres that blockbuster:

The Dallas Mavericks got Rodney McCray from the Warriors.

The Chicago Bulls got two conditional second-round draft picks from Dallas.

And the Warriors got Byron Houston.

Byron Houston. Let that one roll around in your head awhile.

I mean, it violates the spirit of the multi-team deal, in that McCray was at the end of his career, Houston played for three teams in four years and averaged 10 minutes per game, and the Bulls extra picks resulted in no NBA players.

It was the antithesis of the blockbuster. In that way, it was so perfectly Warrioresque, just as the fact that they hadnt been involved in a multi-team before or since is equally Warriortastic.

They are in no position to do such a deal now, as theyve just reconstructed their team again, this time around Andrew Bogut. Bogut is the person who is being asked to make the Warriors relevant enough to be asked to be a multi-team deal down the road, but you have to walk before you can conference call.

As for how the trade that did happen impacts the Warriors, well, it doesnt. The Lakers, who were better than them , got slightly better. The Nuggets, who were better than the Warriors as well, got slightly better.

STEINMETZ: How does Dwight Howard to Lakers affect Warriors?

Now if the deal had involved Dallas, or Utah, or Phoenix, or Portland, or Houston, or Minnesota, then this would matter to Warrior fans. Those are the teams the Warriors need to pass to get from 28 wins (the equivalent in 82 games of the 23 they won 66) to 48 and become a playoff team.

Or go from 28 wins to 15, and have to back up the truck yet again.

But being the relentlessly local optimist that I am, lets all keep the happy thought instead. The point is, this trade didnt materially affect the Warriors except the eight games they play the Lakers or Nuggets, or the four times they play the Sixers or freshly expansionist Magic.

But some day, theyll be big kids too, and be part of one of those multi-piece headbanging trades that get rumored forever and then happen in a flash, with big names going hither and yon in a seeming blur.

They just need to get a big name.

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.