Warriors

Rewind: Warriors 'create chaos' after responding to Draymond

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Rewind: Warriors 'create chaos' after responding to Draymond

OAKLAND – When Draymond Green took the floor Monday night he realized this was the toughest defensive assignment of all. He couldn’t be blamed for putting complete focus on Anthony Davis, the New Orleans star who last month had a 59-point game.

But that’s not how Green processes basketball, and if there were any doubt he reminded his teammates when the Warriors went into the locker room at halftime.

The Warriors, without the glue that is Andre Iguodala, were playing disconnected team defense, which is one of the reasons they were having trouble separating from the depleted roster of the Pelicans. So Green spoke up, as is his custom.

The Warriors, who inflated a two-point lead to nine in the final three minutes of the half, cranked up the defense to another level and went on a 19-5 tear that lifted them to a 125-107 victory before a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

[RECAP: Instant Replay: Curry scores 27 for Warriors on 28th birthday]

“Draymond was brilliant,” coach Steve Kerr said. “His decision-making, his defense, just the way he organized us. He’s taking on some of that role with Andre out.

“He gave a little comment at halftime to our guys about our defensive activity that was really important. And the guys responded.”

The result was the Warriors winning their record 49th consecutive home game and raising their record this season to 60-6, one game ahead of the pace set by the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, whose 72-10 record stands as the league’s all-time best.

What did Draymond say? He urged higher intensity than that which was displayed for the better part of the first half.

“It was basically for us to get more aggressive,” Stephen Curry summarized. “To use our talents and quickness and IQ as a team, defensively, to our advantage, to not be so cut-and-dry, vanilla with our coverages and stuff. Take some chances, have each other’s backs and rotate.

“That’s when we’re at our best, when we can create chaos on that end of the floor.”

And so it was, the Warriors were a different team, holding the Pelicans to 19 points on 5-of-27 shooting (18.5 percent) in the third quarter and entering the fourth quarter in total control, up 94-69.

Davis, 5-of-12 in the first half, was 1-of-8 in the third quarter. He scored 22 points on 6-of-20 shooting.

[POOLE: 'Fun challenge' on defense awaits Draymond this week]

“Our defense wasn’t great in the first half; it hasn’t been great the last couple weeks probably,” center Andrew Bogut said. “We haven’t been as stable defensively as we were last season. (Green) addressed it and said, ‘We’ve got stop playing the matchups in this game, because sometimes we need to actually just go out there and fly around and do what we do to disrupt teams.’

“We were not doing that as much this last couple weeks for some reason, so we need to get that back.”

Whether it’s back for the final month is uncertain, but the defense resurfaced Monday. The Warriors suddenly looked like the Warriors of early season, when they were using defense to launch transition offense and run opponents off the floor.

Though the Warriors forced only nine turnovers, they routinely ran off missed shots, of which there were plenty. The Pelicans (24-42) shot 31.9 percent through the first three quarters before getting some easy buckets in garbage time.

The Warriors through three quarters punished New Orleans on the fast break (19 points to 4) and in the paint (44-28). They led by as much as 26.

There even visible signs of joy. It came from Marreese Speights, of course, who came off the bench to score 14 points in 18 minutes. It came from Bogut, stuck with the ball beyond the arc as the shot clock ticked down, fired up a 3-pointer than splashed through, delighting the crowd and his teammates and himself.

[WATCH: Shot of the Game: Big man Bogut stays perfect from deep range]

Joy, at the end, came from everyone, whether it was Curry celebrating his 28th birthday or Kerr becoming the first coach in NBA history to win at least 60 games in each of his first two seasons.

And for that, Kerr deflected credit to Green.

“Draymond was his usual self,” the coach said. “He was fantastic on the court, and I liked his contribution at halftime, too. It was something we needed to hear.”

Message delivered, followed by the appropriate response.

Warriors chime in on De'Aaron Fox's anti-In-N-Out Burger debate

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USATSI

Warriors chime in on De'Aaron Fox's anti-In-N-Out Burger debate

I am not here for any In-N-Out Burger slander on my timeline. And apparently, Jordan Bell isn't either. 

Kings point guard De'Aaron Fox has sparked quite the debate. After calling In-N-Out "trash," Bell was having none of it and needed answers from the Warriors. 

So, are the champs Team Whataburger or Team In-N-Out? Warning: NSFW 

Did DeMarcus Cousins say In-N-Out is "Hall of Fame?" Yeah, I've always been a fan of Boogie. 

[RELATED: Kings' rise to playoff contention should resonate with true Warriors fans]

But Five Guys? Shake Shack? Nah, I'm sticking with what I always made my first purchase whenever I flew home from college. 

Here's to Team In-N-Out.

Kings' rise to playoff contention should resonate with true Warriors fans

Kings' rise to playoff contention should resonate with true Warriors fans

OAKLAND – Much of the Now Generation barely knows how the Warriors lived before being plucked from the trash bin by an ambitious ownership group actually sincere in its vow to pursue greatness.

Before becoming the super team that “broke” the NBA a few years ago, the Warriors spent the better part of 20 years wearing the league’s brightest clown suit. They were submerged in such a toxic stew of instability, ineptitude and avarice that 42 wins was all it took for their fans to express full-throated “We Believe” euphoria.

Belief meant snapping a 13-year playoff drought.

The Warriors were, at that time, about where the Sacramento Kings were at the start of this season. By coincidence, the Kings are trying to put an end to a 13-year playoff drought.

Even for the Warriors fan that would like to crush the Kings into a fine purple powder, it is refreshing to see the Kings making themselves significant. They come into Oracle Arena on Thursday night with a 30-27 record – already more wins than they’ve achieved in eight of the last 10 seasons. They’re a part of a postseason race for the first time since

“Great story, great for Northern California, great for Sacramento,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr says.

There’s a buzz in Sacramento that should be somewhat familiar to the Warriors fan of a dozen years ago – or to those that remember the 61-win Kings of Chris Webber, Peja Stojakovic, Vlade Divic, Mike Bibby, Doug Christie and Bobby Jackson.

The dazzling point guard, De’Aaron Fox is 21. The sharpshooter, Buddy Hield, is 26. Marvin Bagley III is 19, Harry Giles 20. Coach Dave Joerger is in the Coach of the Year discussion.

There are reasons why the Warriors have had difficulty shaking these dudes. After splitting four games with Sacramento last season, the champs this season are 3-0 – but with a win margin of 3.3 points.

“I love watching them play,” Kerr says. “Dave has done a fantastic job with the team. They’re exciting, they’re young and fun and full of energy. They’re tough to beat.”

Such talented youth is why the Kings have a future that can’t compare to the current Warriors, but is considerably much brighter than the “We Believe” bunch.

When Kerr was asked about a potential Warriors-Kings playoff series, he politely, and wisely, steered clear. His prerogative.

Here, though, we think a Warriors-Kings series in the first round would be great fun to watch. It wouldn’t be terribly competitive, but the Warriors could benefit from facing a team that out to change its status within the NBA.

Indeed, the Kings and the Lakers are the two most captivating first-round opponents for the Warriors. Any time LeBron James steps on the court to face the Warriors, it’s an event. And the idea of a team on the rise and only 80 miles away – and the former home of DeMarcus Cousins – ensures electricity.

To be sure, the appeal of either far outshines that of, say, the Spurs or the Timberwolves.

As someone eager for playoff hoops the Warriors were not able to provide, I often drove up to Sacramento in April and May. I saw and heard a man run out of Arco Arena sobbing and screaming after the Shaq-Kobe Lakers came back for an overtime win in Game 7 of the 2002 Western Conference Finals. It was the third consecutive postseason that the Kings were ousted by the Lakers.

When the Kings were contenders, their fans were annoyingly loud and profoundly engaged. The equivalent of Warriors fans at their most vociferous.

[RELATED: Five issues Warriors must confront to clear path to another championship]

“That place has always had great fans,” Kerr said. “I remember back in the day, going into Arco. So I’m happy for their fans because it’s been a while since they’ve been able to really connect with their team. And this team is easy to connect with.”

It seems somehow appropriate that on Thursday the Warriors will honor the “We Believe” team, with coach Don Nelson will be joined by Stephen Jackson, Jason Richardson and Kelenna Azubuike at Oracle Arena.

If any fan can identify with the despair of those following the “Kangz,” it is the Warriors fan that remembers Keith Jennings and Bill Curley, endured Jason Caffey and Tony Farmer, and once saw Larry Hughes is the savior.