The Warriors roster sits at 13 players, if youre includingrestricted free agent forward Brandon Rush. There may be a tweak or two in the next couple of months, but the Warriors are pretty much set heading into the 2012-13 season.They will likely sign a backup power forward and perhaps a multi-position player type, but it's tough to see a significant move happening between now and the start of training camp in early October. Heres a look at the Warriorsroster:Harrison Barnes, 6-foot-8, 210 pounds,SF:Barnes was OK in summer league. He had his moments butoverall he didnt shoot well and he has work to do on his defense, like mostplayers coming into the league. Barnes doesnt look like an immediate star, buthes not without talent, either.Hes athletic and has good size for his position. It seemslike only a matter of time before hes the teams starting small forward. Andwho knows? It could be from Day 1 of training camp.Andris Biedrins, 7-feet, 240 pounds,C:It doesnt really matter anymore what has happened toBiedrins, only that it has and that hes under contract for two more years.Its pretty safe to say most Warriors fans have given up on Biedrins, andsometimes from afar it looks like Biedrins has given up on Biedrins.If Biedrins can help the Warriors in any way in 2012-13 itwould be considered a bonus. From a practical standpoint, Biedrins will becounted on less with Andrew Bogut on the team.Andrew Bogut, 7-feet, 260 pounds,C:He is the single-most important player on the Warriorsroster when it comes to impacting wins and losses. On offense, he gives theWarriors a versatile player who can set up teammates or score a little bit forhimself. On defense, he occupies space, blocks shots and takescharges.Of course with Bogut, it comes down to whether he can puttogether a whole season without injury. If he gets hurt again, its tough tosee the Warriors having a successful season.Stephen Curry, 6-3, 185 pounds,PG:Most Important player No. 1A for the Warriors is Curry, whois coming off a season of injury. Curry played just 26 games in 2011-12 becauseof right ankle issues, and if he has another season like that, the Warriorswill be in trouble.The Warriors are more equipped to sustain a setback toCurry, however, thanks to the acquisition of Jarrett Jack. Still, if theWarriors want to make noise in 2012-13, Currys going to need to be healthy.Festus Ezeli, 7-foot, 270 pounds,C:Ezeli figures to battle Andris Biedrins for backup minutesat the five, but dont expect too much, too soon. Ezeli is still very rawoffensively, and while he can occupy space with his frame, hes prone tocommitting fouls.Still, everyone agrees hes a quick learner so you wouldthink that in the second half of his first season youd start to see sometangible progress here.Draymond Green, 6-7, 230 pounds,PF:The Warriors may very well be in the market for a backuppower forward, but until they sign one, Green is in the mix for minutes behindDavid Lee. The Warriors have talked glowingly of Greens basketball IQ andall-around game. But Green didnt shoot well in Vegas and fouled at an alarmingrate. He did rebound there and he can pass, though, which gives him achance.Jarrett Jack, 6-3, 195 pounds,PG:Jack was the most significant acquisition of the offseasonfor the Warriors, giving them a versatile third guard to go along with StephenCurry and Klay Thompson. Jack can play either guard position, and hes a defensiveupgrade over both Curry and Thompson.Make no mistake, Jack is going to get minutes and hesgoing to get a lot of them.Richard Jefferson, 6-7, 230 pounds, SF:After acquiring Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson in theMonta Ellis trade last March, the Warriors quickly moved Jackson to San Antoniofor Jefferson. The move yielded the No. 30 pick which turned into FestusEzeli but it also left the Warriors with a player a little out of place ontheir roster.Jefferson has two more years remaining on his deal at bigmoney and hes on the downside of his career. Hell be expected to mentorrookie Harrison Barnes, but its easy to see Jefferson wanting more of a rolethan that.Charles Jenkins, 6-3, 220 pounds,PG:At this point, Jenkins appears to be the teams third pointguard, but dont rule out the possibility of him getting minutes. Startingpoint guard Stephen Curry missed most of last season with right ankle issues,and Jarrett Jack, the backup, missed the last 13 games of 2011-12 because of astress fracture in his right foot.David Lee, 6-9, 240 pounds, PF:Lee has his detractors, but he will head into the 2012-13season as the Warriors most-known commodity, and that says something. We allknow Lee isnt your prototypical back-to-the-basket, physical power forward,but his numbers are still his numbers and theyre nothing to scoff at.He averaged 20.1 points and 9.6 rebounds last season for theWarriors. Its possible Lees numbers could take a hit this upcoming season with better players around him but that doesnt necessarily mean Lee canthave a very productive season.Brandon Rush, 6-6, 210 pounds,SF:The Warriors have made it clear theyre likely to match anyoffer sheet Rush might sign. That is no doubt inhibiting other teams frommaking offers to Rush. Assuming the Warriors bring back Rush, and theres noreason to believe they wont, hell likely be the first swingman off thebench.Rush averaged a career-high 9.8 points per game last seasonand shot 45 percent from beyond the arc. But as good as Rush was last season,the Warriors would like to see him chip in more when it comes to defense andrebounding.Klay Thompson, 6-7, 205 pounds,SF:Thompson had an encouraging second half of last season forthe Warriors, scoring in double figures in 31 of the final 32 games. TheWarriors are hoping Thompson takes the next step in 2012-13, both improving onhis defense and his ability to get to the rim.Thompson had carte blanche offensively in the last six or soweeks of the season for the Warriors. He wont have as much free reign thisyear; but more efficiency will be expected.Jeremy Tyler, 6-10, 260 pounds,PF:While general manager Bob Myers and coach Mark Jacksoncontinue to support Tyler, it seems obvious theyd like to see more out of him.The teams No. 1 area of need right now is backup power forward, and yet Tylerhasnt been mentioned very much as a candidate to assume that role.Tylers contract is guaranteed for the 2012-13 season, butTylers role on the team is not.
Months after the Cavs overcame a 3-1 series deficit in the 2016 NBA Finals to stun the 73-win Warriors, images surfaced from a Halloween party hosted by LeBron James.
In the images, cookies in the shape of tombstones with the names of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson could be seen on a plate. The date "2015-16" was written on the cookies, apparently signifying the year the Warriors stars "died."
It was the height of the bitterness between the two teams that have met in three straight NBA Finals. The Cavs didn't care much for the Warriors.
But now, more than a year later, one of the players that was at the party to trying to take the blame off LeBron.
"I was at the Halloween party. Usually, [LeBron's] trolls are funny, but that was not from him, that was from the catering company. That’s why he doesn’t speak of it because the catering company put that together. If you think that LeBron James throws a party and does everything from the cookies to the decorations, then you’re kind of insane, that he has a season to prepare for and he’s party planning as well," former Cavs forward Dahntay Jones said Friday on The Russillo Show on ESPN. "But that was the company that they hired. It just happened to be funny at that point in time."
Jones, who is currently unsigned, has played one game for the Cavs each of the last two regular seasons. He did play in the first six games of the 2015-16 NBA Finals and averaged 1.3 points per game.
Captured as we are in the amber jar of Small Sample Size Theatre, there is something about the Warriors worth chewing on as they head for Philadelphia and a date with the precocious Philadelphia 76ers Saturday evening.
They now seem to disregard large leads as beneath them.
I’m not prepared to say what this means, but three of their losses this year (out of four, of course) have featured them hurling up a double-digit lead – 17 in the second quarter and 16 in the third quarter against Houston,
13 against Detroit and 17 in the second and third quarters against Boston Thursday night.
This is more games in which they have done so than all of last season, in which they blew a 14-point lead Christmas Day in Cleveland and a 17-point lead at home to Memphis 13 days later.
In other words, this could just be a phase they are going through as the team that knows it can produce at will and believes the other teams will cower in fear at the mere sight of their power and fold like 200-thread towels.
But three times in four weeks would be enough for head coach Steve Kerr to find a new way to put foot to hinder at future practices. It suggests that the Warriors, having outgrown their early weariness from a fun-filled summer (hey, they went to China and didn’t get busted for anything, so there’s that), maybe take themselves a bit for granted, and Kerr and team lecturers Draymond Green, David West and Andre Iguodala will now have something to help them all correct in Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Oklahoma City and then home again.
I mean, what’s the point of having a big lead if you can’t enjoy it by making it bigger and bigger? What’s the value of leading by 17 and calling it a night when you can lead by 29 and THEN put your feet up? I mean, Houston did it last night and took the whole second half off.
Anyway, that’s today’s Warriors Gristle – what to do when you think you’ve won enough hands and find out you haven’t. Tomorrow, we’ll touch on what they need to do about keeping those old Kevin-Durant-back-in-OKC story lines tired and repetitive.