Warriors

Mark Jackson still has no doubt about Warriors

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Mark Jackson still has no doubt about Warriors

The Warriors are 5-10, but make no mistake: Coach MarkJackson continues to believe. While many fans are saying this season is nodifferent than many of the past seasons, Jackson says youre wrong.Jackson predicted the playoffs, and he still thinks theWarriors will get there. No ifs, ands or buts. You dont believe me? Heres atranscript of some of Jacksons post-practice interview on Saturday:Question: Are you still as optimisticabout this team now as you were a month ago or when you took the job?Jackson: Havent changed.Question: Would that ever change, even ifthe season continues to go like its going?
Jackson: Were going to continue tobattle, grind and get better every single day. Our thought process has notchanged and were excited about the rest of the way. Weve lost 10 games and Iwould say two teams beat us: the Philadelphia 76ers and the Charlotte Bobcats.Every other game we were in control with a real opportunity of closing the doorand we did not. So that is extremely encouraging.Question: If you guys are going to haveto have a successful season the kind of season youve talked about -- thenyou guys are going to have to start winning games and that has to starthappening soon. So, you still believe thats going to happen?Jackson: I would have to believe thatswhats going to happen if my answer to you is nothing has changed(laughter).Question: Is there a point when it couldchange or you dont allow yourself to think that way?Jackson: I dont think that way. Ibelieve in our system, I believe in our guys. Were going to turn it around.Question: Could there be a point when youstart thinking about that (protected) draft pick and that might play into theseason?Jackson: I dont think that way. Thatsnot my thought process at all. When we play the way were capable of playing,execute the game plan and take care of the basketball and defend, were a verygood basketball team. And until I see otherwise, Im going to continue tobelieve it.Question: But cant every team say that,that when they do that theyre a good team?Jackson: No. No. No. Some teams donthave principles like we have, some teams dont buy in and some teams are goingthrough the motions. Some teams make excuses. Everything I see if we do what were supposed to dowere going to be just fine.Question: Somebody asked me the other dayabout you and I said that reality might be setting in with this team, that youmight be realizing this team isnt as good as you thought. Would that beincorrect?Jackson: I guess you lied to them. Whatis reality?Question: That this team isnt as good asyou thought That this team cant be as good as you thought.Jackson: No, thats not true. In myopinion we have the best backcourt in the business, we have an all-star caliberpower forward, we have solid role players, and we are a defensive-mindedbasketball team. We are grinding and weve been in position to win in eight ofour 10 losses and weve beaten some of the best in the land. The reality isthat were very close to being who I am convinced we are. Tell your friend Isaid hi. You are trying today.Question: Not at all, lets cut to the chase.Youve been optimistic about this team but youre 5-10. This is a region thathas seen it and heard it all before and you talking like this is like a salmonswimming upstream. Youre fighting conventional wisdom. Some fans are sayingthis is no different than before. Jackson: I havent heard a fan say itsno different. Clearly, its different. Clearly its different. Question: Why do you say that? Its notapparent. Jackson: Were getting after it. Werebattling, were a defensive-minded basketball team. Were a professionalbasketball team and we have no quit. Were a no-excuses team even when excuseshave been there for the taking. It is a different basketball team, no questionabout it. Very easily we could make excuses. Even that salmon swimming upstreamwould tell you that its different. Question: There are probably a lot ofpeople out there, seeing the way the season is going, and at some point theysay you will have to acknowledge you were wrong about this team. But obviously,you dont even think about that at all, right?Jackson: No. Now, would you like anotherattempt at it? I think youre asking the same question six different ways untilyou get whats not coming. Were excited about watching film. Were excitedabout the direction were headed. There is evidence that we are very, veryclose to being that team I envisioned. Question: I think you believe that, butwhat Im saying is there is a segment of people out there saying weve heardall this before.Jackson: The reality is Ive got a bunchof guys that have never won that are playing winning basketball that havechanged their ways from an offensive juggernaut to defensive principles wherewe battle, compete and give ourselves a chance. Winning in this league is aprocess and in that process youve got to be extremely patient to see the otherside. It gets tough being that salmon swimming upstream. But as long as yourpersistent and dont quit, you will get to the other side.

Former coach takes epic shot at Cavs after they gave up 148 points to OKC

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USATSI

Former coach takes epic shot at Cavs after they gave up 148 points to OKC

When it rains, it pours for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After starting the season 24-9, they have cratered. Including two losses to the Warriors and one to the Kings, the Cavs are 3-8 over their last 11 games.

During the stretch, they suffered through a four-game losing streak and nearly blew a 23-point lead against the Magic on Thursday.

But nothing was worse than what happened in front of a national TV audience on Saturday. The visiting Oklahoma City Thunder strolled into Quicken Loans Arena and hung 148 points on the defending Eastern Conference champs and won by 24 points.

Saturday's performance was so bad, former Cavs head coach David Blatt took a shot at them before coaching the Team Europe in the Turkish Basketball Super League All-Star Game in Instabul.

Asked by a sideline reporter for his thoughts on the game he was about to coach, Blatt offered this:

"Well, I don't think we're going to have any problem scoring. I'm just wondering if we're going to defend anybody. That's what I'm worried about," Blatt said.

The reporter followed up by asking for his expectation of the final score. That's when Blatt threw a haymaker at the team that fired him during the 2015-16 season despite a 30-11 record.

"Well, I hope we don't give up as many points as the Cavaliers did last night," Blatt said.

Ouch.

Unfortunately for Blatt, Team Europe lost 151-142 to Team Asia.

Clint Capela claims Rockets are better than Warriors; champs not worried

Clint Capela claims Rockets are better than Warriors; champs not worried

The Rockets are riding high after their 116-108 win over the Warriors on Saturday night.

Maybe a little too high.

After the game, starting center Clint Capela had some bold things to say about the rivalry.

"We're confident because we know if we're doing what we're supposed to do, we're going to beat them. We've got to keep playing. We know that they're going to come back if we have the lead, and we've just got to keep that mindset. Sometimes I feel like, in the past, we were all dragging down after mistakes. But today, we were ready. I think that if we're doing what we're supposed to do on defense -- all the switches, the weak side -- and keep playing our offense by keeping that mentality all game long, we have the weapons to beat them. We are better than them," Capela told ESPN after the game in Houston.

The young big man doubled down.

"We're definitely the best in the league with everybody healthy. We've definitely got a chance to get that 1-seed back. The thing is, of course, we're excited because it's the Warriors, but Monday is an important game, too. If we lose and the [Warriors] win their game, what was the point? The next game, every single time, is going to be the key to go get the No. 1, first seed," Capela told ESPN.

Guard Eric Gordon didn't go as far, but still compared the Rockets favorably to the Warriors.

"Offensively, we're just as good as them, no question. Defensively, they're a championship team. They're consistent, whether they win or lose. Us, we still have peaks and valleys. We just can't have those. That's why we've got to play well the next game, because we just have to sustain the same effort," Gordon said via ESPN.

The Rockets won the season-series with the Warriors by taking two out of the three meetings. They now trail the Warriors by 3.5 games in the race for the top spot in the Western Conference.

But are they really better than the defending NBA champs? Are the Warriors worried at all about the Rockets?

"The season starts over when you're in the playoffs anyway, so it doesn't matter. You're going to have to get through these teams to get to where you want to go. You have to play at home and on the road, so it really doesn't matter. We just want to be playing good basketball when it comes down to that point," Warriors forward Kevin Durant told ESPN after the game.

Draymond Green really didn't want to hear about home-court advantage.

"It's game 40-what? Seven, eight? Who we play on Tuesday? We just got to get ready for [New York]. Home court will take care of itself down the road," told reporters after the game.

With no more meetings during the regular season, the next time the two teams could meet, assuming they finish with the top two seeds, is in the Western Conference Finals. So we'll have to wait until May to see if the Rockets can back up the tough talk.