Warriors

Wilt's record safe with evolved NBA coaching

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Wilt's record safe with evolved NBA coaching

Fifty one years ago, Philadelphia Warriors center Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in an NBA game.

He did it at Hershey Park Arena in Hershey, PA, and his performance helped the Warriors beat the New York Knickerbockers that night 169-147. Chamberlain's 100-point game is considered one of the greatest achievements in all of sport and many believe it is a record that will never be broken. But could it happen?

[RELATED: Honoring 'The Stilt's' record]

Former Warrior Tom Meschery, who was on the court that night Chamberlain scored 100 points, said it could, but then again, probably not.

"Possibly," Meschery said last year about Chamberlain's record being eclipsed. "If you just let LeBron (James) go and said OK, that's it, all you get to do is score. But I don't think (opposing) coaches would allow that anymore. The coaches would stop it. At some point it would be destructive and it wouldn't help the team. So, I doubt very seriously they'd (coaches) allow it."

On the night Chamberlain scored 100 points, he went 36-for-63 from the field and 28-for-32 from the foul line. Those 28 free throws were key for Chamberlain. He knocked down 87.5 percent of his foul shots that game, but he was only a 51-percenter from the line over the course of his career.

His quantity of free throws might suggest the Knicks were employing the Hack-A-Wilt strategy, but that wasn't the case at all. In fact, what the Knicks tried to do for much of the fourth period of that game was to foul everybody but Chamberlain.

"It was a scramble on their part to foul anybody except Wilt after a certain point," Meschery said. "They were just trying to get the game over with as quickly as possible without Wilt scoring 100. So they were willing to put anybody on the line. I always thought the most comical part of that game was how frantic the Knicks were trying to foul everybody. Looked like a bunch of rats running around, scurrying around trying to foul somebody except Wilt."

Meschery actually believes there is something far more impressive about Chamberlain than his 100-point game. And that was the fact that Chamberlain averaged 50.4 points that season. The closest anyone has come to Chamberlain's record was when Kobe Bryant scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 22, 2006. Bryant had 55 points in the second half of that game and overall went 28-for-46 from the field, including 7-of-13 from 3-point range. He also went 18-for-20 from the line.

Over the years, plenty of NBA players have put up big numbers. David Thompson scored 73 points one night, Elgin Baylor 71, David Robinson 71, Michael Jordan 69, Pete Maravich 68 and even Tracy McGrady had 62 once. But 100 seems out of the question.

One thing that worked in Chamberlain's favor that night was the Knicks never used the strategy of a double-team. According to Warriors ambassador and legend Al Attles, who was on the court with Chamberlain that game, double-teaming was not a big part of basketball back then.

"I don't think anyone is physically able to do that (score 100 points now)," said Attles. "Plus, the other reason I don't think it will happen is I don't think other coaches would allow it. The only other team that had a man play in front of Wilt and a man play in back of Wilt was Red Auerbach and the Boston Celtics. If you talk to any of the Knickerbockers, I don't think many teams had an organized double-team back then other than the Celtics. To get 100 points in a game, that was unheard of. Again, when you were around Wilt Chamberlain and saw what he did on a nightly basis, nothing was beyond his reach. Would he score 100 points today? I don't think so. Because if you double-team someone -- like the Celtics used to do with (Bill) Russell and (Jim) Loscutoff -- what do you do? You pass the ball to someone else because someone else is open. So I don't think it will happen."

Another reason why both men believe it is unlikely to be matched is because Chamberlain's coach, Frank McGuire, had incentive to keep Chamberlain in the entire game. Months earlier, McGuire had predicted that one day Chamberlain would accomplish the feat of scoring 100.

Attles and Meschery also made a point of saying Chamberlain wanted out of that game, and had asked to come out after the game had been decided. But Attles said McGuire wouldn't acknowledge the request.

So, will it ever happen again -- an NBA player scoring 100 points? Attles thinks there's one way it's possible. If they start giving four points for baskets, five points for baskets if you shoot it beyond a certain point, he said. (Or) if you throw it the length of the court and it goes in you get 10 points or whatever. But to get 100 points in a game, were talking about Wilt Chamberlain here. Were talking about Wilt Chamberlain.

DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

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DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

Following Toronto's 127-125 loss to the Warriors on Saturday night, Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan wasn't happy.

His team had almost erased a 27-point deficit and he felt like the officials were helping the Warriors.

"It's frustrating being out there feeling like you're playing 5-on-8. Some of those calls were terrible, period," DeRozan told reporters after the game.

As you might imagine, the NBA wasn't thrilled with thoses comments and fined DeRozan $15,000 on Tuesday for public criticism of the officiating.

DeRozan's incident is the latest in a long list of greivances between the players and the officials. The two sides met face-to-face in late December and plan to meet again during All-Star weekend in February to discuss the growing tension.

Warriors tease in first half, then torture Cavs

Warriors tease in first half, then torture Cavs

After all the battles over the past three years, the exchanging of championships and champagne celebrations, the Warriors truly respect the Cavaliers and give honest props to LeBron James for being a great player.

But the Warriors have moved beyond the days of considering the Cavs a legitimate threat to rob them of their goals. That much was evident in the first half of their 118-108 victory Monday night in Cleveland.

“I was a little upset at halftime just because we weren’t guarding anybody,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters at Quicken Loans Arena. “We didn’t play with much intensity.”

The Warriors spent the first quarter lounging about at scrimmage speed. They could’ve wearing robes and smoking pipes. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry combined for six shots. There wasn’t much sweat at all, yet the offense was effective: 35 points, 56.5-percent shooting and 11 assists on their 13 buckets.

The offense slowed to a crawl in the second quarter, as the Warriors managed only eight field goals while shooting 36.4 percent.

And Warriors defense was a rumor throughout the half, during which Cleveland shot 56.5 percent.

“We kind of let them do whatever they wanted in that first half,” Klay Thompson said.

That’s not the way Cavs big man Kevin Love saw it.

“We played well in the first half,” he summarized.

Fools gold. Cleveland went into the locker room with a seven-point lead, 64-57, in part because a Kevin Durant live-ball turnover in the final seconds resulted in at least a four-point swing.

Once the Warriors actually arrived in the second half, the blowout was on. They poured in 56 points in a little more than 20 minutes, during which time Cleveland managed only 35 points.

“We just started focusing more,” Durant said.

“In the first half, we were just out there,” Draymond Green conceded. “We played with more force in the second half.”

Put another way, the Warriors spent 24 minutes toying around, skipping and shrugging and whistling, before operating on the team they have faced in the last three NBA Finals.

The team widely considered No. 2 in the NBA despite its current 26-17 record.

When the Warriors pulled away for good early in the fourth quarter, Durant and Curry were sitting on the bench, peeking out from beneath hoods. They’d crushed it in the third quarter, combining for 27 points to equal Cleveland’s total for the quarter. Now they were watching Green and Thompson and the Vet Platoon -- Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and David West -- bury the Cavs under a ton of defense.

“Seemed like the rim got smaller and smaller,” James said.

“That group that was out there, they have hung their hats on being a defensive unit and getting stops and that’s what they did the first four minutes,” Curry said. “I don’t think they gave Cleveland any daylight.”

Leading by two entering the fourth quarter, the Warriors needed about six minutes to push it to 10. They were up eight, 105-97, when Curry and Durant returned with 5:29 remaining to deliver the goodnight kiss.

The Warriors well into that stage that most great teams experience. They know that if they do what they’re capable of doing, the competition is irrelevant.

They also are aware that if they are too careless or complacent, they can lose to any team. Five of their nine losses are to teams simply hoping to make the playoffs.

The Cavs aren’t hoping. They’ll be there. The question is will they be there in June.

“I don’t think this game was any indication of what’s going to happen with this team down the line,” Durant said of the Cavs. “They’re going to be much better than what they are right now. And we all know that.”

Durant is right. The Cavs will be better in April than they are in January. Isaiah Thomas, who missed the first 11 weeks before taking the court on Jan. 2, will have shaken off the rust long before the playoffs. James will be in championship-or-bust mode. Whether there is a trade or not, Cleveland’s rotations will be set.

But the Warriors know they’re the better team, able to keep up with the Cavs even while snoozing. When the defending champs decide to work at it, they know Cleveland is helpless, even if it’s not something said in public.