Road Warriors find their mojo in dominant three-game sweep


Road Warriors find their mojo in dominant three-game sweep

It didn’t matter to the Warriors that the Nuggets were playing for the second consecutive night and the third time in four nights.

This was about the Warriors continuing to get right with themselves, and their 127-108 clobbering of the Nuggets on Saturday in Denver was another step in the direction in which they want to go.

It was an exquisite way for the defending champs to end a three-game road trip, considering the Warriors departed a week ago wearing the discomfort that came with an Oct. 29 loss to the Pistons at Oracle Arena.

“We just got better,” Draymond Green told reporters in Denver. “We’re starting to put it together on both ends of the floor. We’re taking better care of the ball and we’re playing better defense. That’s the recipe and we know that. It took us a couple weeks to lock into that but I think we’ve gotten there and we need to keep it up.”

When the Warriors opened the season losing two of their first three games and were 4-3 after seven games, there was concern within the fan base. It was a reasonable reaction, too, given they didn’t lose their third game last season until December.

Were the Warriors still feeling the effects of their disruptive preseason, when they spent a week in training camp in Oakland, followed by eight days in China, followed by eight days back in Oakland?

Unquestionably, yes. They appeared physically sluggish and, all too often, imprudent.

The players and coaches recognized the shortcomings and the reasons behind them and were confident adjustments would be made once they took to the road.

“Getting on the road was good for us in terms of planting that fear,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Sometimes you need to get on the road to feel more threatened. A team like (the Warriors), especially that’s used to being successful, I thought we took a couple of those home games for granted and we weren’t defending or bringing energy.”

Though the Warriors never were in real danger while beating the Clippers by 28 in LA, they needed comebacks to trounce the Spurs by 20 and the Nuggets by 19.

“The Clippers always bring the best out in us because we know they’re in our division and they play us tough and we’ve got to bring it,” Kerr said.

After struggling on defense over the first seven games, the Warriors seemed to rediscover that aspect, which has been one of their strengths. They held opponents on the trip to 43.5-percent shooting, 31.5 percent beyond the arc.

As the defense surfaced, the Warriors also continued to shoot well, averaging 55.1 percent from the field over the three games. Moreover, they were incredibly deadly beyond the arc, shooting 47.4 percent.

“The last few games we’ve been shooting hot,” said Kevin Durant, who during the three games shot 59.5 percent and 53.3 percent from deep. “We want to continue to do that and I think we’ve been generating good looks. We’re making the right passes, making the right plays and guys are trusting their work and knocking down their shots. We’ve got to continue that if we want to be successful.”

Kerr said it was a “good week,” and who can argue. The Warriors left Oakland with a 4-3 record. They were 7-3 upon their return.

And now they’ll be home, playing four games over nine days. The physical and mental aspects are coming together. It’s early, yet, but it’s Go Time nonetheless.

Swaggy Champ tries to downplay 'Everybody needs to do cocaine' remark

Swaggy Champ tries to downplay 'Everybody needs to do cocaine' remark

Basking in the glow of winning his first NBA championship last week, Nick Young got himself into a bit of hot water on Tuesday night.

While coming out of a nightclub in Los Angeles, Young was approached by TMZ Sports for comments on Canada legalizing marijuana.

"I want people to pass cocaine. Everybody needs to do cocaine," Young said as he got into the passenger side of a car outside the club.

As you can imagine, that comment caused quite a stir.

More than five hours after TMZ Sports posted the video, Young went on Twitter and Instagram to try and put the fire out.

Chill. You know I was just joking

A post shared by Nick Young (@swaggyp1) on

Adam Silver talks competitive balance: 'Gotta give Golden State their due; on the other hand...'


Adam Silver talks competitive balance: 'Gotta give Golden State their due; on the other hand...'

How dare the Warriors.

They have completely ruined the NBA by...

... executing a plan and winning three of the last four championships.

It's just rude.

On Wednesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver joined the Golic and Wingo show on ESPN and the topic of competitive balance was discussed.

"I get it in terms of Kevin Durant going there. It was a bit of an aberration in our system; we had a spike in our cap, it enabled them to have additional cap room," Silver explained. "The Warriors will tell you they would have figured out a way to get it done anyway. I don't know.

"But even if Kevin Durant hadn't gone to Golden State -- and let's just say he had stayed at Oklahoma City, or let's say he had gone to another team, maybe in the East -- you clearly would have had a third team (in addition to the Cavs) that would have been much better; any team that has Kevin Durant will be -- but then you still have 27 other teams.

"So, you gotta give Golden State their due. I've said repeatedly, let's also celebrate excellence. Ownership, the job Bob Myers has done as a GM, Steve Kerr, of course, one of the great coaches in our league. Steph Curry, drafted; Klay Thompson, drafted; Draymond Green drafted 35th by Golden State.

"I don't think as a league we want to go about breaking up teams just to break them up -- just to force some sort of parity that is kind of unnatural."

In July 2016, Silver said that Durant joining the Warriors  was "not ideal from a league standpoint."

After all, he represents all 30 teams. And as a collective, the league wanted to "smooth the cap" over several years to prevent one giant spike -- which did provide the Warriors the ability to sign Durant.

"I can understand doing some things different in the system that may not have allowed a player like Kevin Durant to go to a team that was already so good.

"There's always a next collective bargaining agreement and over the years we've talked about a harder cap than we have now. The NFL has a much harder cap than we do; ours is somewhat soft. Obviously, it allows teams to go significantly above the cap and the tax level and that's the case with both Golden State and Cleveland. They are significantly above where our tax level is right now.

"So we'll continue to look at it. But in the meantime, hats off to Golden State and Cleveland for that matter. They are competing within the system. I'm still at the stage of celebrating the basketball we have right now.

"But I hear people. Listen, the 28 other teams, you know, they're the biggest complainers in terms of the fact that these two teams have met four times in a row."

Here's an idea -- stop complaining and keep trying to get better.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller