Its no secret that Warriors assistant coach Michael Maloneis going to have some action and already does this offseason when it comesto possibly landing a head coaching job.Hes already interviewed in Charlotte, and his name hassurfaced as a candidate in Portland and Orlando. Forgive Warriors fans if theycare less about where Malone might end up as they do about what will happen if heleaves.And for good reason. Malone is an integral part of Mark Jacksonscoaching staff. He has 10-plus years of experience as an NBA assistant coach,while Jackson just completed his first season as a coach of any kind.But Warriors general manager Bob Myers said on Thursday theteam hadnt decided whether it would replace Malone, if he were to leave, orsimply promote a group of assistants.Were happywith the job (Malone) did this year and were hoping he stays, Myers said. Wefeel like were lucky to have him. Fingers crossed that we can keep him. Wealso know hes revered in coaching circles and hes going to have someopportunities. But until something comes to fruition, we wont act on thespeculation.Well wait and see. He does a great job for us andcontinues to show up at our facility and work hard. Were happy hes aWarriors coach at this time.Maybe Myers hasnt decided, but hes likely thought aboutit. But if he hasnt, he should. What he ends up deciding will turn into one ofthe first glimpses of the kind of GM he might become.And also what kind of control owner Joe Lacob will allow himto exert, and how much control Myers may be able to exert on his own.Jackson has said on more than one occasion that he wouldonly name an assistant to his staff if he believed that assistant could one dayascend to the head coaching level.If thats the case, Jackson would likely want to move upeach of the assistant coaches Pete Myers to lead assistant and then Wes Unseld,Jr., Jerry DeGregorio Darren Erman and Kris Weems all up a spot.But Warriors ownership and the front office might feeldifferently. Its possible they could want Jackson, who has just 66 games underhis belt, to bring in a more experienced tactician and strategist. Myers hasbeen an assistant coach for 10 years and Unseld, Jr., for seven seasons.Malone diagrammed many of the teams plays throughout the2011-12 season, and the perception is that Jackson leans heavily on Malone forXs and Os.Still, Jackson may believe he has enough of the neededknow-how on his existing bench that hell either not want to replace Malone orreplace him with a newcomer he knows.It might be worth keeping an eye on whether ownership andthe front office feel the same way.
Just before the Warriors officially lost the game in Memphis on Saturday night, their superstar point guard lost his cool.
After not getting a foul call with 43 seconds left in the game, Steph Curry chucked his mouthguard in the direction of referee Scott Wall in a fit of rage reminiscent of Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.
Wall immediately ejected Curry, who continued to argue with the officials.
After the game, Curry wanted to make it clear he wasn't trying to his Wall with his mouthguard.
"If I tried to throw it at him and hit him, I've got a pretty good aim," Curry said told reporters after the game. "I've thrown my mouthpiece plenty of times and thrown it on the floor. Probably not the best thing to do, but I've done it. I own up to it.
"If I was trying to throw it at him or hit him, I would have been able to executed that."
Curry explained why he reacted the way he did.
"That last play, I thought I got fouled. My frustration boiled over, did something stupid, deserved to get kicked out and that's what happened. Obviously learn from it and try not to do it again," Curry told reporters.
Now Curry and the Warriors wait to see if the NBA will suspend or fine him. He has an expectation of what the punishment will be.
"Don't think it will be a suspension or anything. My pockets will be a lot lighter," Curry said after the game.
It’s much too early to get legitimately nervous, much less start tumbling into a panic.
The Warriors are going to be fine.
They most certainly are not yet what they will become in about two weeks, when they settle in for a four-game homestand that begins Nov. 6. That’s 10 games into the season, and it’s conceivable the Warriors might be 6-4.
After a 111-101 loss to the ever-tenacious Grizzlies on Saturday in Memphis, the Warriors are 1-2 and, by their lofty standard, looking about as lost as a stray cat in a hurricane.
“We’re obviously not ready. We knew that,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’re not ready to put together a full effort. And I’m not doing a great job of putting together combinations, finding the right motivation to get guys going, to get some joy and laughter in here.
“It’s just one of those rough patches. And, hopefully, we can climb our way out of it. I’m sure we will. It may take some time.”
It will take some time, and of that there is plenty.
Do not blame this lull entirely on China, not when there is so much more. The Warriors are coming off their third consecutive prolonged season, this one followed by the training camp disruption caused by spending eight days in Oakland, eight days in China, followed by eight days in Oakland leading up to opening night.
It’s easy to see the timing is off on an offense that relies on precision. The spacing is off on an offense that requires room to operate. The energy is lacking on a defense that lapses into ordinary without its bedrock intensity. Both body and spirit appear less than peak.
“We’ve been playing hard,” Kevin Durant told reporters at FedEx Forum, “but I think we’ve got to take it up a level.
“We’ll be fine. It’s 79 more games left. I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”
Understand, a team that won an NBA-best 67 games last season and posted a league-record 16-1 postseason doesn’t lose it because opponents load up. When the Warriors are on their game, opponents don’t matter.
For now, though, there is an individual listlessness that results in collective slumber. Stephen Curry has gambled himself in foul trouble in both losses and was booted in Memphis. Andre Iguodala missed an entire game and Draymond Green missed the fourth quarter of the first loss, a game in which the Warriors gave up a 13-point lead over the final 12 minutes.
And Durant’s 4.6 blocks per game is impressive. It also happens to be offset by his 6.3 turnovers per game.
“That’s on me,” he said. “I’m turning the ball over at a high rate right now. I’m really pissed at myself about it. I’ve just got to hold on to the ball. Just make the correct pass. I think I’m just rushing. I just need to calm down, settle down, and that would ignite the whole team. But if I turn the ball over, that’s contagious.”
The Rockets turned 17 Warriors giveaways into 21 points. The Pelicans turned 14 into 20. The Grizzlies turned 17 into 24.
Asked what has to change, Klay Thompson went to exactly the right place, saying “probably our defensive intensity from the jump.”
That’s where it starts, at least on the court. Meanwhile, there is more video work, more group texts about details and the need for more time for their bodies and minds to become one.
“We’ll be better,” Durant said. “We’re still finding a groove with each other. We’re still getting back into shape as far as playing our game, the flow, just the reads off not calling plays. We’ve got to get used to that again.”
Thompson is, however, displaying a modicum of impatience.
“We’ll come out Monday and we’ll play a great game,” he said. “I guarantee it.”
He’s probably right. The Warriors will be playing at Dallas, against a Mavericks team that is built to be devoured by the powerful.
That might be a quick fix. But it won’t be the final fix. That is weeks away.