Warriors

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the Warriors' All-Oracle Arena team

Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and the Warriors' All-Oracle Arena team

Less than two months after the final game there by the team that made it famous, Oracle Arena went to sleep for good. The bright red signage was removed, one letter at a time, on Thursday. There was no ceremony.

But because the building known by many as "Roaracle" provided 13 years of Warriors hoops (2006-2019), it is proper to review the high highs and low lows under the Oracle banner.

In keeping with life span of Oracle Arena and the traditional size of an active NBA roster, we are moved to select 13 Warriors on the All-Oracle team – with random additional honors/dishonors to follow:

CENTERS

Andris Biedrins: Call him “Goose” or “Beans,” or any of his various nicknames, but he had a solid three seasons (2007-09), averaging a double-double (10.5 points, 10.0 rebounds), with at least 15 rebounds in 42 games, at least 15 points in 50 games and shooting 62 percent from the field. Among his career highs: 31 points, 26 rebounds and seven blocks. Sadly, he peaked at 22.

Andrew Bogut: Though acquiring him in March 2012 was unpopular because Monta Ellis was sacrificed, Bogut’s arrival was one of several key moves lifting the franchise from NBA swampland. He played four full seasons, all of which resulted in playoff appearances. His defensive mentality changed attitudes – and was a factor in his return for the Oracle finale.

FORWARDS

Matt Barnes: He brought a team-first approach and a fire sorely needed by a club that had spent 12 years fumbling in the dark. He also provided a legit 3-point threat. His association with the “We Believe” Warriors in Year 1 of Oracle ensures eternal popularity in the Bay Area. He returned in 2017 as a role player and earned a ring. He’s the only player to span both eras.

Kevin Durant: No one brought a bigger spotlight to the team, as his signing in July 2016 took the franchise to an unprecedented level of recognition. He brought another dimension to a great team, making the Warriors the odds-on title favorite in each of his three seasons. With two Finals MVP awards, KD had a very productive layover on his way to the Hall of Fame.

Draymond Green: It can reasonably be argued that the Warriors, without him, would not have a single championship. The three-time All-Star and 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year sets the defense, sets the intensity, sets the overall temperature and galvanizes the offense. He’s not the team’s best player, but no one may be more essential to its winning recipe.

Andre Iguodala: Although he was a starter for only one of his six seasons as a Warrior, this was an easy call. Iguodala is equal parts savvy defender, effective offensive player and locker-room sage. His acceptance of a Sixth Man role was another key move for the franchise. His 2015 Finals MVP award recognized his impact. Don’t measure his stats. Simply spell them w-i-n-n-e-r.

Stephen Jackson: The Draymond of the “We Believe” team. Pugnacious, embracing peril and unaffected by pressure, Jack’s vaporization of the great Dirk Nowitzki in the 2007 playoffs was astonishing – and absolutely necessary for the underdog Warriors to have a chance against the No. 1 seed. (He also was clever enough to con a fat contract out of former executive Bob Rowell.)

David Lee: Don’t be surprised -- he snapped a 16-year streak of the Warriors not being represented at the All-Star Gane. D-Lee was never going to play a key role on a championship team; his defense was much too leaky. But he was a key scorer for a rising team. His penchant for double-doubles – and fondness of counting them – was ridiculed but indicative of production.

GUARDS

Baron Davis: Former general manager Chris Mullin’s February 2005 theft of BD from Charlotte was the kind of coup that always escaped previous GMs. The Warriors added an impact player with the credibility to lead. If only he could stay healthy. He mostly did. There is no better snapshot of Oracle at its best than his demolition dunk of Andrei Kirilenko in the ’07 playoffs.

Stephen Curry: No one has stronger credentials. This 21st-century hoops revolutionary changed the dynamics of the game. Six-time All-Star and two-time MVP – the only unanimous MVP is league history. Any questions? Didn’t think so.

Monta Ellis: The Warriors don’t have much history with drafting players out of high school, but Ellis was the gamble that paid off. A second-round pick, his combination of quicks and creativity from inside 15 feet were sheer artistry. At his worst, Monta was a headache for his teammates. At his best, he was a quarter-rung below All-Star level and a nightmare for opponents.

Jason Richardson: All those seasons without an All-Star were somewhat interrupted by the exploits of J-Rich in 2001 and 2002, as he won the Slam Dunk contest during both of those All-Star Weekends. He wasn’t a bad player, either, averaging 18.3 points per game as a Warrior. He’s No. 3 on the team’s all-time list of 3-pointers made.

Klay Thompson: Five-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA, he has spent most of his eight-year career as conceivably the league’s best two-way guard. Nobody scores faster than Klay when he’s on one of his trademark binges. And, oh yeah, he also holds NBA records for most points in a quarter (37), most points in less than 30 minutes (60) and most triples in a game (14).

[RELATED: Rick Welts calls Chase Center 'second beginning' for Warriors]

13 RANDOM CATEGORIES

Two-way contracts go to: Jamal Crawford and Jarrett Jack, quality men and terrific teammates.

Best moment: At the buzzer, Game 5 2017 NBA Finals. The only Warriors championship won in Oakland.

Most dichotomous moment: Prince sitting courtside next to CEO Joe Lacob in March 2016.

Best rookie: Harrison Barnes (2012-13). He slid rather seamlessly into the starting lineup of a team that won 47 games was pulled an upset in the first round of the playoffs.

Most exciting player not on the All-Oracle roster: Nate Robinson (2011-12). A fearless 5-foot-7 highlight factory.

Best irrelevant season: Brandon Rush (2011-12). Dude played wicked defense, shot 50.1 percent from the field, and his 45.2 percent from deep tops any single season by either Mullin or Thompson.

Questions without answers: How good might Kelenna Azubuike (2007-10) have been had he not wrecked his left knee? How good might Festus Ezeli (2012-16) have been had both knees not been cursed?

Quickest trigger off the bench: Jordan Crawford (2014), who jacked 16 shots in 19 minutes in a game against the Kings.

Oversized cult figure: JaVale McGee (2016-17). He was a part-time player whose ability to catch and dunk lobs brought crazy levels of joy from Oracle crowds.

Oversized cult figure II: Marreese Speights (2013-16). There was something charming about a 6-foot-10, 260-pound man grinning while dropping bombs from beyond the arc. Oracle loved it.

Biggest tease: Anthony Randolph (2008-10), because he was vastly superior to Patrick O’Bryant (2006-08).

Kindest odd gesture: Don Nelson inviting a gimpy Chris Webber, a one-time arch enemy, to finish his career as a Warrior with nine games in 2007-08.

Saddest moment: At the buzzer, Game 6 of the 2019 Finals, series-ending loss to the Raptors that brought down the curtain at Oracle.

Warriors follow Draymond Green's lead in willing team to win vs. Bulls

Warriors follow Draymond Green's lead in willing team to win vs. Bulls

Throughout his career, Draymond Green simultaneously has been Golden State's emotional leader and one of its best players. 

On teams featuring Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, Green consistently was the team's emotional heartbeat, occasionally willing his squads to unforeseen victories in standout performances that didn't necessarily reflect on the stat sheet. 

The latest example of Green's impact came in the last 12 minutes of Friday's 100-98 win over the Bulls, when he passed, defended and guided the Warriors to their fifth win of the season. 

A glimpse of Green's impact came four seconds before the final frame began when Golden State coach Steve Kerr substituted Green for Jordan Poole. On the next play, Green switched onto Bulls guard Coby White, forcing an off-balance miss. Four minutes into the fourth quarter -- with Golden State down 89-84 -- he successfully contested a Tomas Satoransky jump shot, leading to a fastbreak opportunity. Four minutes later, Green received a pass from guard D'Angelo Russell, drove the lane and found center Willie Cauley Stein for a dunk. With a minute left and the game tied at 98, he found Glenn Robinson III for another lob dunk to help seal the victory. 

Green -- who finished with nine points, five rebounds and four steals -- was responsible for 10 of the team's 23 fourth-quarter points, helping the Warriors outscore Chicago by eight points in the final frame. 

"Our defensive pressure picked up," Green explained after the win. "I think down the stretch in games, you have to do that. There have been games this year where teams have put pressure on us and we didn't respond well. I think tonight we were the aggressors and it worked out in our favor."

"He made great plays down the stretch," Robinson said of Green. "He got down on the floor for loose balls. He got us going, his talk, his communication. You always want a player like that the floor, directing things."

Green's performance came at a particular time of peril for Golden State. With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson out of the lineup, the Warriors are one of the league's worst teams. In their last four games entering Friday night, they had been outscored by 61 points, including a 106-91 blowout loss to Charlotte on Wednesday. 

[RELATED: Sources: Steph has surgery to remove pins from hand]

Worse, Green's play has followed suit. Over his previous nine appearances, he had shot just 38.5 percent from the field while dealing with a myriad of injuries. On Friday, both he and his team found their stride. 

"We played the whole game hard," Warriors forward Eric Paschall said. "I felt like as a team, that's a big step for us after the last two games. We felt like we didn't compete at a high level. I felt like it was real good for us just in terms of coming out with a win."

Golden State's season has been new territory for Green. Since entering the NBA, he has never missed the playoffs, but with the Warriors' star-studded cast out for an extended time, that streak is expected to end. That makes Friday's act of leadership all the more important going forward. 

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in inspiring 100-98 win over Bulls

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in inspiring 100-98 win over Bulls

BOX SCORE

Too bad the Warriors can't play the Bulls every night. 

In their latest outing, the Warriors beat Chicago 100-98, sweeping the season series against Chicago while avoiding a winless five-game road trip. 

After Warriors coach Steve Kerr lamented his team's uninspired play, Golden State put together its best effort in nearly a week. 

The Warriors aren't going to beat most teams on talent like recent years. In order to have a chance on a nightly basis, they'll have to play as hard as they did Friday night at United Center. 

Here are the takeaways:

All heart

In the days leading up Chicago, Kerr was critical of his team's hustle and spirit. Against the Bulls, the Warriors got the hint, highlighted by a 16-5 run to start the second quarter. Golden State shot 57 percent from the field in the frame, helping the team get within one point at halftime. 

Similar efforts were littered throughout the game. When the Bulls went up seven, the Warriors went on a 14-5 run to take a brief lead. Eric Paschall continued his stellar rookie season, scoring 13 points, adding three rebounds and two assists. 

As they grow, the Warriors will continue to learn lessons during their transition. The one constant will have to be the effort they showed Friday. 

Too many miscues

Golden State's response to Kerr's demand would've been smoother with better control of the basketball. The Warriors committed 11 of their game-high 19 turnovers in the first half. 

Entering Friday, Chicago was among the stingiest teams in the league, forcing 18 turnovers per game.

Turnovers are a function of undisciplined play. The Warriors' youth was on display, and they were fortunate to get the win.

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: Why Warriors' focus is on player development]

Robinson drilling III's

In a game the Warriors needed an extra scoring punch, they got it from Robinson, who scored 20 points, including two 3-pointers. After struggling at the beginning of the season, Robinson has come alive in recent games. 

Over his last eight outings, he's averaging 13.6 points while shooting 41.4 percent from 3-point range. 

If Robinson can keep this up, he will force his way into Golden State's future plans.