Warriors

Will Warriors target Andre Miller in free agency?

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Will Warriors target Andre Miller in free agency?

Well, next up, freeagency.Thats right. Evenwith the draft barely in the rearview window, the start of free agency comesthis weekend. Late Sunday night to be exact.The Warriors arent going to be majorplayers because theyre over the salary cap, but they will have their mid-levelexception to use worth approximately 5 million.That wont get you astar, but it could get you a really nice player: Like point guard Andre Miller,maybe.RELATED: Andre Miller career stats 2012 game logs Splits News
In the coming day ortwo Ill be putting out the complete free-agent list and obviously over theensuing days well talk about which guys are realistic or not for GoldenState.But for now, just aquick hit on Miller. Im not convinced hed come here for the mid-level, so ifyou really, really want him hed most likely have to agree to a sign-and-tradefrom Denver. And we dont know about any of that yet.We also dont knowhe might feel about possibly coming off the bench, though, in all likelihood,minutes wouldnt be a problem for him because hed be a lock to getplenty.But from abasketball perspective hed be perfect. Miller would serve an abundance ofpurposes for the Warriors, and all of them would be good.First off, hed begreat insurance for Stephen Curry, who is coming off an injury-riddled 2011-12.With questions about Currys ankle heading into the season, it would be huge tohave someone as reliable as Miller behind him.Second, he can playboth guard spots, and hes a better defender than either Curry or Thompson.Guards dont post Miller up. Hes too big, too strong and too smart. Or letsput it this way you cant do it to him consistently. Not even close.On the other end, hedgive the Warriors a legitimate low-post option from the guard position. Hesthe player who goes down to the low post to exploit matchups. And hes a betterpasser than either Curry or Thompson.What Miller doesntdo so well is knock down perimeter jumpers on a consistent basis, though hesnot awful. You know what? Thats fine because youve got Curry and Thompsonwith him and they can both shoot the heck out of it.There are plentymore positives to Miller, but Im just getting conversation started here. Theone knock on him would be his age: Hes 36.Two which I say: Who cares? Id still offer him a four-year contract and yes Imean that. Miller is one of the most durable players in league history. Hesonly missed one game in the past five years alone.Conventional wisdom is that because Miller, who isnt overly athletic, playsclose to the ground, he doesnt get hurt as often. Or how about almost ever:Six missed games over 13 years, for crying out loud.Point is, for a teamthat says injuries ruined their 2011-12 season, an iron man like Miller in thefold for 2012-13 would make sense.

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.