Long lockout would hurt Warriors more than most


Long lockout would hurt Warriors more than most

June 30, 2011


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Matt Steinmetz

The day after the Warriors introduced their draft-night acquisitions, the three of them -- Klay Thompson, Jeremy Tyler and Charles Jenkins -- got in a workout at the team's downtown Oakland practice facility. That was back on Tuesday.It was probably a nice little thrill.They likely won't see the inside of that gym again for a long time, as the league's owners announced on Thursday that they were locking out the players as of July 1. One of the many byproducts of that move is that the players can't work out at team facilities, nor with any of the team's staff.
The lockout isn't going to be good for anybody, but an extended lockout could be particularly unkind to the Warriors. They have a new coach, an entirely new coaching staff and no doubt a new philosophy. They have new ownership and a young team with at least three first-year players.RELATED: Warriors roster
If any team needs a summer of get-to-know-yous and rigorous and detailed training camp it's the Warriors. But if this lockout goes anything like the one in 1998-99 -- and that one lingered into January -- it will mean truncated training camps for NBA teams.That would clearly seem to favor veteran teams with established systems in place. Warriors coach Mark Jackson visited with David Lee, Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry in St. Louis, Memphis and Charlotte, respectively, but he won't be able to communicate with any of his players come Friday.What the Warriors are realistically looking at is a long period without any contact with their players, and then an abbreviated training camp, likely two weeks or so. There's going to be a learning curve at the start for the Warriors, and the shorter the preseason, the longer issues and deficiencies will linger into the regular season.In 1998-99, the league played just a 50-game schedule, and teams sometimes had to play three consecutive nights. Regardless of whether this season is the full 82 games or something short of that, it doesn't change the fact the Warriors (36-46) were the 12th-best team in the conference last year and had 10 fewer wins than Memphis, the No. 8 seed.On other words, the last thing the Warriors need is a long lockout.

Warriors spend day reviewing Rockets' horror show, focus on one area of concern


Warriors spend day reviewing Rockets' horror show, focus on one area of concern

OAKLAND -- Sidelined with a back strain, Andre Iguodala spent Tuesday night “yelling at the TV more than I normally do” as the Warriors labored through an uneven performance before blowing a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.

So there was Iguodala, this time with his teammates, sitting before a monitor Wednesday as coach Steve Kerr review the horror show that was a 122-121 loss to the Houston Rockets.

“We only did about a half-hour on the floor, mostly skill work,” Kerr said after the light practice. “Watched a lot of video.

“That game was a weird game because we were shooting the ball well and scoring enough to win. But we never had control of it the way we normally have control of a game, with defense and toughness.”

Though the Warriors were hampered by injuries -- Iguodala being out, while Draymond Green and Omri Casspi were hurt during the game -- beyond their control, there was at least one thing they believe they can fix immediately.

They can avoid some of the fouls, particularly those that are mindless.

That’s the trap Stephen Curry fell into, picking up three fouls in the first four minutes. That he was limited to 30 minutes, and only 18 through the first three quarters, had an impact on the playing rotation and was a factor in the loss.

“The only thing I’m worried about with him is just those little fouls,” Iguodala said. “Because when he’s on the court, no matter if he’s scoring or not, he’s making life easier for everyone else.”

Kerr after the game cited conditioning as an issue and elaborated on the subject Wednesday.

“Conditioning is not just physical. It’s mental, too,” he said. “We were not ready, mentally, to play that game, even when we weren’t tired early in the game.

“There were other lapses, too. After made baskets, transition threes for them we neglected to pick up. That’s not physical conditioning. That’s mental conditioning. That’s where we need to get better. And we will.”

The Warriors will be wounded in more ways than one when they board their flight to New Orleans Thursday morning. They’ll have some achy players, for sure, but they’ll also have a 0-1 record.

“I feel like losses have this huge effect on us that usually benefits us,” Iguodala said.

After leaving season opener early, Draymond, Casspi miss Warriors practice


After leaving season opener early, Draymond, Casspi miss Warriors practice

The Warriors opened their season Tuesday night with a loss in which they looked considerably worse than what is expected of a defending champion.

What’s worse is that they also feel it.

Though Andre Iguodala’s back strain recovered enough for him to participate in practice for the first time in a week, Draymond Green’s right knee sprain and Omri Casspi’s left ankle sprain kept them on the sideline Wednesday.

While Green awaits the results of an MRI test, Casspi was limited to individual shooting drills. The availability of both is in doubt for the game Friday night against the Pelicans in New Orleans.

Casspi, a reserve forward, has sustained injuries to both ankles in a five-day span and even if he’s able to play he won’t be at full strength.

Green simply will not return to the lineup until he’s able, though Kerr sounded optimistic about his chances this weekend.

“I don’t think it’s serious,” Kerr said. “But we’ll see.”

If Casspi can’t play, the bench thins along the front line. It would mean more minutes for the likes of Kevon Looney and Pat McCaw.

If Green can’t play, well, that makes a massive impact that runs from the starting lineup all the way through the reserves. His intensity, production and communication are important to the Warriors at both ends of the court.

Some of that would be mitigated by the return of Iguodala, who may be more optimistic than Kerr about his chances of playing Friday.

“If Andre is banged up, he won’t play,” Kerr said. We’ll just make do with what we have.

“Hopefully, Andre will be OK. He’s been getter better every day. He’s pretty confident that he’s on the right track. So hopefully, he’ll play.”

Considering there is a game against the Grizzlies in Memphis less than 20 hours after the final buzzer in New Orleans, the issue is not whether the defending champs will have their roster taxed but to what degree.