Warriors fast start not a valid season indicator


Warriors fast start not a valid season indicator

The Warriors are off to a 2-1 start and there seems to be atangible optimism among fans. Its not just that the Warriors bounced back froma disappointing opening night loss to the Clippers with two wins, its how theywon those two games: With defense.But how the Warriors start a season sometimes has no bearingon how they finish a season. Heres a look at some interesting starts theWarriors have had over the past several years and what ended up happening tothose teams.If you think this year will be different, tell uswhy.2010-11: Warriors begin season 6-2.
This was just last season, for goodness sakes, and we knowhow last season turned out: 36-46 and not even sniffing a playoff berth. Yes,the David Lee injury had something to do with the subsequent slide theydropped 12 of 13 during a NovemberDecember stretch but there was a lot ofoptimism about last years team early. And quite simply, they werent goodenough to sustain it.2007-08: Warriors begin season 0-6. This was the season after We Believe and Stephen Jacksonwas suspended at the start of the season. By December, the Warriors were above.500 and heading toward an unrewarded 48-34 season. But 2007-08 just goes toshow you that how you start a season doesnt necessarily translate to how youfinish one.2006-07: Warriors begin season 7-3. This turned into the Warriors only playoff appearance inthe past 17 seasons. But that 7-3 start slipped to below .500, and the Warriorsended up trading for Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy for Stephen Jackson and AlHarrington, among others. Sixteen wins in the teams final 21 games translatedto a 42-40 record and We Believe ensued.2005-06: Warriors begin the season 12-6. This was Mike Montomerys second and last season and hehung tough early. But Baron Davis couldnt stay healthy and Dunleavy and Murphyand Jason Richardson couldnt keep the team afloat. The Warriors ended upfinishing 34-48, helping usher in the Don Nelson Phase II Era.2001-02: Warriors begin season5-3. This team had Larry Hughes, Danny Fortson and Erick Dampierand there was hope after the season was two weeks old. But it fizzled andfizzled in a hurry, with coach Dave Cowens being fired by Christmas and theteam finishing the season with a 21-61 record.1994-95: Warriors start 5-0 7-1. Thats the year that many people believe started the Warriorson their huge downward trend. The Warriors, coming off a 50-win season, tradedChris Webber after he feuded with Nelson, and Bob Lanier ended up coaching theteam that season. It finished 26-56.

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.