Steinmetz: With NFL back, NBA should feel pressure


Steinmetz: With NFL back, NBA should feel pressure

July 25, 2011


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Matt Steinmetz

The NFL lockout appears to be over. Which is bad news for the NBA.It's bad for a couple of reasons. First, the NFL showed that despite significant differences between owners and players, the two sides came together -- and best of all, no regular-season games will be missed. The NBA is going to have to prove it can do that, and so far there are few indications it can.Or even wants to.
Secondly, the jump-starting of the NFL season means all eyes will be on baseball and football for the foreseeable future, and the NBA is out of sight and out of mind. The longer it's in the background, the less and less people will care.Conventional wisdom remains that the NBA is going to miss part or all of the 2011-12 season because of the lockout. That's a very dangerous game for basketball's owners and players. And let's make one thing clear: The NBA is not the NFL.If there's a sport that can survive missed games or even a missed season, it's the NFL. All professional sports must answer to the NFL -- at least in this country. Football is king and that's just the way it is. That the league's sides got something done in a timely manner proves there is at least an acknowledgment of fans.The NBA appears to be heading down a very different road. There are indications that owners are willing to sacrifice a season in order to revamp the system. But if the NBA misses a season, it should be prepared for a backlash of significant proportions.Calling the NBA a niche sport is a little extreme. But believing pro basketball can and will thrive regardless of what happens during this dispute is a gutsy -- and perhaps foolish -- assumption. You see the attendance -- or lack thereof -- in places such as Charlotte, Sacramento, Milwaukee New Jersey, New Orleans, Atlanta, etc?Those teams don't draw, and it will get worse if this thing is protracted. A long lockout would benefit the owners. But they should realize that even if they make gains in the collective bargaining agreement they're going to take losses in public relations and marketing, and that will affect the bottom line.NBA owners believe they need to turn the system upside-down and do it now. But if they do that, it's going to be a while before the NBA gets right-side up.

Kevin Durant takes shot at Zaza Pachulia while center's kid play one-on-one


Kevin Durant takes shot at Zaza Pachulia while center's kid play one-on-one

Kevin Durant doesn't take it easy on anyone. Not even the children of teammate Zaza Pachulia.

After practice on Saturday in Philadelphia, Pachulia's two sons, Davit and Saba, were playing one-on-one at the facility the Warriors were using. Kevin Durant filmed one sequence and posted it to his Instagram Story.

One of Pachulia's sons grabbed the ball and drives around the other without dribbling. As he makes the shot, Durant offers his commentary and took a shot at the Warriors starting center.

"That's a travel. Such a travel. Same thing your pops do," Durant said, taking a shot at Pachulia.

Durant also had another message for Pachulia written on the video.

"Yo, @zazapachulia at some you have to teach the boys how to play off the bounce," Durant wrote.

Gameday: Warriors limited Embiid, Simmons once; Can they do it again?

Gameday: Warriors limited Embiid, Simmons once; Can they do it again?

After losing the biggest test of the season thus far, the Warriors will try to get back to winning Saturday, when they face the 76ers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 3:30, with tipoff scheduled for 4:35.

The Warriors (11-4), who are coming off their first loss in eight games, a 92-88 defeat at Boston on Thursday, laid a 135-114 beating on the 76ers one week ago in Oakland. They shot a season-high 58.5 percent from the field, including 51.9 percent beyond the arc.

The Sixers (8-6) started the season by losing four of their first five games but have recovered nicely, winning seven of their last nine. They rebounded from the loss to the Warriors by sweeping the Clippers and Lakers in Los Angeles earlier this week.

Warriors by 8.5

Draymond Green and Co. vs. Joel Embiid: The Warriors used a tag-team effort to lock down the Philadelphia big man last week, holding Embiid to 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and seven rebounds while forcing seven turnovers. It was a lesson in team defense, and they’ll try to repeat that performance. No fewer than five Warriors -- Zaza Pachulia, Kevin Durant, JaVale McGee, David West and Green -- will get chances to defend Embiid, who responded to a poor game in Oakland by combining for 87 points and 31 rebounds in torching the Clippers and the Lakers in LA.

Warriors: No injuries listed. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

76ers: G Jerryd Bayless (L wrist bruise) is listed as questionable. G/F Justin Anderson (L shin splints), G Markelle Fultz (right shoulder scapular muscle imbalance) and G Nik Stauskas (R ankle sprain) are listed as out.

Tony Brothers (crew chief), Bennie Adams and Lauren Holtkamp.

The Warriors have won the last nine meetings overall, the last four in Philadelphia. Their last loss in Philadelphia was on March 2, 2013.

WHAT ABOUT STEPH? Stephen Curry has fallen into a bit of a shooting rut, and it’s not necessarily related to the thigh bruise sustained last Saturday against 76ers. He is 20-of-61 (32.8 percent) from the field, including 9-of-33 (27.3) from deep, over his last four games; he was 34-of-58 (58.6) and 18-of-32 (56.3) in the four games before that. He’ll get opportunities against the Philly defense. Can he snap out of it?

I-N-T-E-N-S-I-T-Y SPELLS INTENSITY: The Warriors are have a tough time shaking the habit of strolling through too many parts of games. After a first half in which they committed 13 turnovers and allowed Philly to shoot 52 percent, the Warriors last week used a third-quarter barrage to put the game away. After being freshly burned in Boston, expect them to bring some early fire, trying to bury the Sixers early and totally.

BEN SIMMONS PT. II: In sending a variety of defenders at the 6-foot-10 point guard, the Warriors kept Simmons off balance and turned him into a volume shooter. He took 17 shots, his second-highest total of the season, and made six. There is no reason to expect a substantial change, and this time the Warriors will add Andre Iguodala into the defensive mix.