Stephen Jackson

Why Stephen Jackson believes Blazers will beat Warriors in West finals

Why Stephen Jackson believes Blazers will beat Warriors in West finals

Despite the injury to Kevin Durant's right calf, most people expect the Warriors to be able to handle their business in the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers. 

The Warriors proved they are still a force to be reckoned with -- even without KD -- by beating the Houston Rockets in Game 6 of their second-round NBA playoff series to send their rivals packing.

So, a Blazers team without Jusuf Nurkic and potentially Rodney Hood shouldn't pose much of a threat to the two-time defending champions, right? 

One former Warrior couldn't disagree more.

Stephen Jackson was a guest on Tuesday's edition of FOX Sports 1's "Undisputed" and shot down the idea that the Warriors are still a championship-caliber team if Durant can't return. In fact, Jackson picked the Blazers to win the series in six games. 

Talk about zigging when everyone else is zagging.

Saying the Blazers will win Game 1 or 2 isn't a stretch but picking them to win the series outright seems like a bit much.

[RELATED: Previewing Warriors-Blazers with NBC Sports Northwest]

While Durant will miss Game 1 and most likely Game 2, the star forward could return later on in the series should the Dubs find themselves in another battle.

Stack Jack certainly seems crazy now, but don't be surprised if this series goes the distance.

Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have been playing on another level in the playoffs, and if the Blazers can find a way to slow down Steph Curry, they'll have a puncher's chance to knock off the king. Portland has been a feel-good story of the playoffs, but unfortunately, this isn't a Disney movie.

NBA rumors: Ex-Warrior Sarunas Jasikevicius Grizzlies coach candidate

NBA rumors: Ex-Warrior Sarunas Jasikevicius Grizzlies coach candidate

The Warriors are going for their third consecutive NBA championship. A former member of the franchise, who never experienced anywhere close to that degree of team success with Golden State, might be on his way back to the league the Dubs have been dominating the last handful of years.

Sarunas Jasikevicius.

Yeah, remember him? The Memphis Grizzlies are considering Jasikevicius as a candidate to be their next head coach, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Brian Windhorst reported Wednesday.

Jasikevicius spent part of one season with the Warriors, appearing in 26 regular-season and four playoff games during the famed 'We Believe' 2006-07 campaign after an illustrious career in Europe. The Lithuanian guard came to Golden State in the same trade with the Pacers that netted the Warriors Stephen Jackson, Al Harrington and Josh Powell.

He returned to Europe the following season, and played there until formally retiring in July of 2013 as a member of Zalgiris in Lithuania, at which time he joined the coaching staff. Jasikevicius has remained on that staff ever since, and was named the head coach in January of 2016.

Ever since, Jasikevicius has developed a reputation as a bonafide NBA head-coaching candidate, "known for a strong-willed leadership style and teams that exhibit elite ball movement and offensive execution." He previously interviewed with Toronto general manager Masai Ujiri for the Raptors' head-coaching job last year, and it appears he's still on at least one other franchise's radar.

[RELATED: KD explains why he's having so much fun with Dubs right now]

We're used to seeing current Golden State assistants mentioned in the running for vacant head coach openings. Perhaps Jasikevicius can add a little more Warriors flavor to the NBA coaching ranks as well.

Stephen Jackson believes Warriors 'got too cocky' in Game 2 collapse

Stephen Jackson believes Warriors 'got too cocky' in Game 2 collapse

Meltdown. Collapse. Embarrassment.

Look up any of those words in the dictionary, and the Warriors' Game 2 performance against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night should come to mind.

The two-time defending NBA champions held a 31-point lead with eight minutes to go in the third quarter, but they weren't able to finish the deal and take a 2-0 series lead to Los Angeles.

Instead, the Clippers ended the third quarter on a 36-12 run and trailed by just 14 heading into the fourth.

Out of their rhythm and lacking focus, the Warriors continued to turn the ball over and leave the door open for the Clippers. It was an opportunity Doc Rivers' club was all too happy to take advantage of, with Landry Shamet knocking down a game-winning 3-pointer with 16 seconds to play to give the Clippers a 135-131 win.

So, how exactly did the Warriors blow the biggest lead in NBA playoff history? One word: Arrogance. 

Former Warrior Stephen Jackson went on FOX Sports 1's "First Things First" and explained how the team's cockiness allowed the Clippers to hang around, and LA's collection of gritty role players did the rest.

Stack Jack has a point.

The Warriors are well aware of the talent disparity in the series, and it's caused them to play careless basketball for long stretches of both Games 1 and 2, believing that, in the end, their talent will win out. 

It likely will in this series, but the Dubs must clean up their play and find renewed focus as the playoffs wear on.

[RELATED:  Steph explains how Warriors unraveled in Game 2]

The Warriors' first task should be to dispatch the pesky Clippers as soon as possible.

Blowing the 31-point lead already made sure the series will go three days longer, and the Warriors need to make sure it goes no further than Game 5. With the Houston Rockets potentially waiting in the wings in the Western Conference semifinals, the Warriors will want all the rest they can before that slugfest.