Warriors

What to do with the Warriors? Fans chime in

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What to do with the Warriors? Fans chime in

Well, I asked for some ideas about what you would do about the Warriors and I got plenty of responses. Thanks for all of them. Ill throw out some of my ideas and incorporate many of your suggestions.First off, here are some of my big-picture thoughts about the Warriors, now 6-11 Im at the point where I think you have to break up the trio of Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis and David Lee. Each has a lot to offer individually, but I dont think collectively they complement each other well enough and Im not convinced they bring out the best in each other.
If youre going to go forward with that threesome, I think the only way you get significantly better then is to acquire a player that is better than each of those three -- without giving up any of them. And I believe that is unlikely to occur.Those are very general thoughts, and now lets got onto some of yours -- with my replies to a few of them. Camby411 wrote: The problem with the Warriors has nothing to do with Steph and Monta and has everything to do with the center position. This team gets killed by bigs inside and on the boards every possession. Biedrins has lost it and Udoh will never find it.My take: How can I disagree with that? The center position has been a killer for the Warriors in recent years and this year is no exception. Biedrins has been marginal, at best, and coach Mark Jackson hasnt helped him with limited playing time.If theres one thing I dont understand its that Jackson maintains Biedrins is having a good year but then he doesnt play him very much. Jackson typically cites matchups as the reason why.Regardless, I think its been proven that the Warriors are a better team when either Biedrins or Udoh plays the five and not David Lee. But Jackson likes to play Lee at the five especially when the other team has a perimeter shooting big men on the floor.I dont think Biedrins will ever again be a factor in a Warriors uniform. I think hell have to go to another team in order to recapture part or all of his game. I disagree with you on Udoh, however. He might not ever be a star, but hes the kind of player teams need to be successful: Hard-working types whose numbers dont show up in the boxscore.Michael Saltzman wrote: Look to move the starters. The starters we have dont mix well together. We have talent off the bench at every position, and we can get more for the starters in return anyway.John Fike agrees, saying: Blow it up. Move Monta for anything. Rebuild from scratch.My take: Theres certainly no doubt you could get more for a Curry or Ellis, but as you know the real question is: What do you get in return. Thats why the notion of trading Lee is dicey. Lee makes so much money that you are unlikely to get anything of significant value back for him. Its not that Lee isnt a skilled NBA player and doesnt have value, its that his contract is so prohibitive that you would get little bang for the buck if you tried to trade him.I think, in essence, when youre talking about trading the starters, the only ones with real value are Curry and Ellis.Ernest Smalls writes: Give them a chance.My take: I dont necessarily agree with this idea, but its every bit as valid as wanting to break up the team. On a practical level, were talking about a Warriors team that has a first-year coach and core (Curry, Ellis, Dorell Wright and Lee) that has only played together a little over a year.That core helped the Warriors win 10 more games last season than the one before. Yes, theyre off to a little bit of a rough start, but there are worse things you could do than play out the season and then assess what youve got.Like I said, Im not crazy about putting off the idea of changes, but its a school of thought thats out there and has merit behind it.DJ_ILLusive wrote: Id start Brandon Rush over Wright, trade away some of the offensive talent for some tougher, defensive-minded players. If it means Monta or Steph or Lee, DO IT. Have you seen Mark Jackson bench any of his regular rotation players for lack of effort? NOPE. Make a public apology for using amnesty of Charlie Bell instead of Biedrins. Nuff said.My take: I disagree on starting Rush over Wright and heres the reason. Right now Rush is producing and Wright is struggling. But I think Wright is slowly but surely coming around. Id keep Rush coming off the bench because hes giving you something on a consistent basis, but I would keep having him cut into Wrights minutes if things continue like they are. I think that if you move Wright to the bench, you risk losing any production from him for the rest of the season.As for the apologizing about the amnesty aint gonna happen. However, not that time has passed, I have to agree that using the amnesty provision on Bell was a monumental blunder. Not just because they failed to land DeAndre Jordan, which they had hoped. But because they ended up using the amnesty provision on a player with an expiring contract. In other words, they got rid of an asset for absolutely nothing. Terrible.Carlosanimals wrote: All I know is that, as a fan, Im sick of hearing excuses. Whether its blaming the teams failures on the various coaches or pointing out how young the roster is or, this year, pointing out how close the losses are. All these amount to nothing.My take: Im with you. The excuses are pathetic and counterproductive. The Warriors have failed to make the playoffs for 16 of the past 17 seasons. Quite simply, there are no excuses for that.Qtlaw881 wrote: Quite playing small-ball. The Warriors got hammered by the Grizzlies late because the Warriors were going with LeeDominic McGuire vs. Marc GasolMarreese Speights. Plus Ellis-Curry-Wright are not great rebounders, either. Grizz were getting shots from two feet away. Get some bigs who can play.My take: I agree with you. I dont like David Lee playing the five, not even a little bit and particularly in the fourth quarters of games when by doing that youre making certain you dont have your best defensive lineup on the floor.Im also with you on getting some bigs who can play, but those bigs dont grow on trees. The fact of the matter is the Warriors brought in Kwame Brown, who is by no means considered a star. And yet when Brown played, it was obvious how much better the Warriors defense was when he was in there.Hometownfan wrote: Gotta build around Ellis. Curry has what seems to be a lingering, career-killing injury. Lee is a keeper but everyone else is really a piece player. If we could trade Curry, Id do it in a heartbeat, as much as I like the guy. He is damaged goods.My take: Im not ready to go that far with Curry yet that hes damaged goods. Hed never had a history of ankle problems before last year and Im going to go under the assumption this is not a long-term thing. Obviously if it is, thats a game-changer.In any event, at this point the Warriors are going to have to let Curry get games under his belt, if for no other reason than to show the league and themselves that hes fine.One issue regarding trading Curry, though, is that he is still on a rookie contract and if you want a legitimate player back, youre going to have to pair Curry with one of your big contract guys either Biedrins or Lee, most likely. And the addition of either of those guys would water down the trade and not yield what youd likely get for Curry and Curry alone.Parkerhmb1 wrote: Please let them continue to lose. Seriously. This team will do nothing as constructed. They have to get a first-rounder this year or they will remain mired in mediocrity for another four years. It actually irritates me more when they win than when they lose. TANK IT.Brandonhaha and Wolfman are in agreement when it comes to finishing poorly so that the Warriors dont lose their first-round draft pick, which is protected, Nos. 1 through 7.My take: Id like to get into the word tanking. Tanking is when you purposely try to lose. No player or any self-respecting coach would ever do that, nor should they.However, a very rational basketball mind, thinking long-term, could do worse than deciding to shut down Curry in order for him to get completely healthy. Give Charles Jenkins a chance to run point guard for the rest of the year with Nate Robinson backing him up. At the end of the season, I guarantee youll know whether hes a starting point guard, backup point guard or third point guard at the end of the season.Also, nobodys going to get mad if you start playing Klay Thompson more. Thirdly, I think its time to think about trading Biedrins. Although Biedrins value is severely diminished, there are many contending teams always looking for big-man help. Maybe its time to see if you can get anything for Biedrins, even if its a player on a shorter deal or a second-round pick.These type of moves might not yield as successful a season as if you dont do them, but you could make the case these moves are better for your long-term viability as a franchise.

With lofty win total unlikely this year, here's a number the Warriors can chase

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AP

With lofty win total unlikely this year, here's a number the Warriors can chase

OAKLAND -- Getting to 73 wins is impossible for the Warriors, and the pursuit of it never entered their minds.

Reaching 69 wins, their average in three seasons under coach Steve Kerr, is highly improbable.

Even winning 67 games, the lowest total under Kerr, is extremely unlikely.

There is, however, a number the Warriors are aiming for that also happens to be within their grasp -- but only if they can fight through the regular-season malaise and break an unhealthy tendency.

They can get to 35 victories at Oracle Arena. Currently 16-6 at home, the Warriors would have to go 19-0 to reach 35, and it’s possible insofar as they are less than two years removed from posting an NBA-record 54 consecutive wins at home.

Can a team that once went 14 months without losing at Oracle summon a three-month stretch of perfection at home?

The schedule invites the possibility, but it’s still up to the Warriors and how they cope with tug of three long seasons and that tendency to float a bit in front of their home fans, two factors that have had more effect at home than on the road.

“In general, the appropriate fear we always talk about, it’s there on the road for most games and it’s not there as much at home,” Kerr conceded Monday.

Kevin Durant used different phrasing but echoed the comments of the coach.

“You tend to relax a bit when you’re at home because you’ve got your home crowd,” he acknowledged. “You’re just comfortable in that situation. You can go home and go to sleep in your own bed after the game. So you relax a bit.

“On the road, it just feels like this is the last game of your career. It just feels that way, especially when you’re playing a tough opponent and somewhere with a crowd that’s going to be really, really into it.”

Having gone 39-2, 39-2 and 36-5 over the last three seasons, the Warriors are assured of having their worst home record under Kerr. Still, 35 is not impossible.

The drop is not unanticipated, as Kerr experienced something similar as a member of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, when they won three straight championships as their regular-season wins steadily dropped, from 72 to 69 to 62.

“Where it has truly been the most tangible and palpable is home games against lesser opponents,” Kerr said. “We’ve lost six. Maybe two of those are playoff teams.

“We didn’t lose those games the last the last three years. We dominated the home floor. That’s where it really shows.”

The Warriors have lost at home to the Rockets, Pistons, Kings, Nuggets, Hornets and Clippers. Only Houston is a playoff lock. Detroit, Denver and the Clippers are on the fringe of the postseason race. Charlotte is a longshot, Sacramento a no-shot.

The Warriors, in every home loss, have started drowsily or played too carelessly or were self-destructive enough to give back a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter.

“This is the first year in my four years where we’ve lost a lot of home games that we shouldn’t,” Kerr said. “That just points to emotional fatigue. Trying to get up for 82 games is a difficult thing, especially in Year 4 of a quest to get back to The Finals.”

Coming off a successful road trip during which they won four of five games, the Warriors this week face the Knicks, Timberwolves and Celtics -- the latter two being playoff locks.

A home sweep is difficult, of course, but hardly inconceivable. And if the Warriors can pull that off, they’d have only four remaining home games against teams fighting for a top-four playoff slot: the Thunder and Spurs twice each.

Oklahoma City appears to be getting their act together. The Spurs, while still formidable, are starting to look like a team in decline.

They’re also the two teams most likely to get the full attention of the Warriors, who began the week by sitting through video of their last three games, during which they committed numerous hideous errors.

The message: Their unforced mistakes are the surest route to defeat.

“There are key points of the year where we have to hit the reset button in terms of our priorities,” Kerr said. “Right now is one of those times. This is an important week for us. We need to take care of the ball. We need to be smart and make good decisions. If we do that, we’re really, really hard to beat.”

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.