Bringing in point guard a must for the Warriors


Bringing in point guard a must for the Warriors

The other night after the NBA draft lottery, in which theWarriors secured their No. 7 pick, owner Joe Lacob was asked what kind ofplayer his team needed. He gave a well-reasoned, general answer and touched onvirtually every position.When it came to point guard, he said maybe (the Warriors)could use an additional one.Give Lacob credit for being purposefully vague there. Because,make no mistake, the Warriors need a point guard. It is their biggest area ofneed along with another big body up front.RELATED: Lacob: "We're going to look at everything"
When people talk about the Warriors acquiring a smallforward or looking to upgrade at the three spot, theyre not necessarily wrong.But priorities being what they are the Warriors absolutely should look to thoseother two areas first.You might like to do better than Richard Jefferson andDorell Wright at small forward, but its the most experienced and deepestposition on the team. And when you assess the entire Warriors roster, gettingbetter at the small forward is more a luxury than a necessity.So, for now, lets concentrate on the point guard position.Theyve got Stephen Curry, who missed most of the year with a very problematicright ankle. After that, theres Charles Jenkins, with one season under hisbelt (actually less, if you factor in the lockout). He is improving but stilllearning the position. Nate Robinson doesn't figure to be back, nor is he the type of backcourt player the Warriors need for next season.In short, the Warriors dont have a true point guard undercontract.In addition, keep in mind the Warriors are prepared to startKlay Thompson at shooting guard, a second-year player who showed promise butsomeone who only started getting big minutes the last 30 games of theseason.In other words, theres a lot of unknown and inexperience inyour starting backcourt right now.Lets all keep our fingers crossed and hope Curry is healthyin 2012-13. He played just 23 games last year. But one way to try to keep Curryhealthy would be to limit his minutes.Fact is, it simply wouldnt be responsible to expect ordemand or want to play Curry 36 minutes a game. How about not evenclose?The Warriors owe it to themselves and to Curry __ to reallywatch his minutes, particularly early in the season ... Maybe something like 28or 30 or possibly 32 minutes per game.You see how he does for a while not to mention see how heproduces and you go from there. But it just doesnt make sense to run Curryout there on opening night for 38 or 40 minutes.One way to sneak in some extra minutes for Curry and takea little stress off the ankle, too would be to play him a little more atshooting guard. Thats a little less pounding, not to mention youre involvedin fewer plays and in less traffic at the offensive end.At this point, you dont know if youre going to haveBrandon Rush to back up Thompson, but even if you do, there could be times whenyou could find stretches of shooting guard minutes for Curry.After all, he is the best shooter on the team and one ofthe best in the NBA, quite frankly so it might be nice if the Warriors had aguy to set him up every once in a while.Point is, the Warriors have to get another playmaker inhere, and youve got to believe Lacob and his front office knows it. Otherwise,theyre really rolling the dice.RELATED: Seven options at No. 7Its not that Jenkins might not turn out to be a competentbackup point guard down the line, its that youre really taking a chance if youreready to give him heavy and consistent minutes and perhaps the biggest role ofall the substitutes.You could make a case that a backup point a third guard,in other words shouldcould play upwards of 25 minutes per game for theWarriors next year. Think about it, youve got the 16 or 18 minutes Curryshouldnt be playing every night and another six to 10 minutes at shootingguard.Jenkins, like Thompson, had some nice moments during anabbreviated stint in 2011-12. But Jenkins has even farther to go than Thompson.Thats why it would be a real leap of faith for the Warriors to hand over thosekinds of minutes to Jenkins.After all, Jenkins has played only 51 total NBA games and in19 of those games, he logged 10 minutes or less.Look, nobody is saying that Curry still cant be the pointguard of the future, and nobody is even saying Jenkins cant be your backup intime. But at least heading into the upcoming season, you better believe theWarriors are going to bring in another point guard.Theyd be foolish if they didnt, right?So now that Ive convinced you the Warriors need a pointguard, which of the following free agents ones would you pursue: Andre Miller,Kirk Hinrich, Steve Nash, Jason Kidd, Delonte West, Goran Dragic, Raymond Feltonor Randy Foye?Or do you have someone else in mind?

Rewind: Opener brings painful reminder nothing's given for Warriors

Rewind: Opener brings painful reminder nothing's given for Warriors

OAKLAND – Kevin Durant drove to Oracle Arena for his Warriors debut Tuesday night, walked in feeling good and quickly got quite the horrific surprise.

The San Antonio Spurs started knocking on the door to the place and didn’t stop until they owned it.

The Spurs barged in and took what they wanted, everything from points and rebounds to wine and shaving cream. And the Warriors, as if bound and gagged, mostly watched helplessly in taking a 129-100 beating.

“A nice little slap in the face,” Steph Curry summarized.

“We got punched in the mouth,” Draymond Green acknowledged before adding the real takeaway line, “which I don’t know if it was quite a bad thing for us.”

This brutal flogging ends talk of a historically great start resembling that which the Warriors managed last season in winning their first 24 games. This puts to rest any cloak of invincibility for which they might have been being fitted, whether in their minds of those of their fans.

The Warriors were mugged on the glass, losing the rebounding battle 54-35, with San Antonio snatching 21 on offense and turning them into 26-4 advantage in second-chance points. The bigger, slower Spurs even outscored the Warriors 24-20 on the fast break.

“I’m sure we’ll be motivated for our next game,” coach Steve Kerr said. “I think our guys were embarrassed. I know I was.”

If embarrassing seems a bit strong, this surely was nothing less than a night of utter public humility. The curtain came up on opening night and there was CEO Joe Lacob shifting and twisting in his courtside seat, like a man getting teeth extracted without anesthesia, watching his Dream Team was destroyed.

“I didn’t have them ready to play, obviously,” Kerr said.

“The first game, you want to come out and protect your home court with the energy of the home opener to live throughout the game,” Curry said. “And we didn’t do anything to let that happen.”

Curry's numbers were not awful, at least not in the grand scheme of things. He posted 26 points, four assists and three rebounds – but added four turnovers.

And Durant, who started the game 4-of-4, delighting a crowd that had visions of 3-pointers raining from above, also submitted a glossy stat line, finishing with 27 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks.

But the Warriors were dragged across their own floor. Oracle Arena has been their sanctuary for two full seasons, during which they posted a 78-4 record.

The best they can do now is 40-1.

“No one is satisfied with the way they played tonight, especially myself,” said Klay Thompson, who scored 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting. “In the long run, this will benefit us. It’s a long season, and not everything is going to be perfect from the jump.”

So, no, the season is not over. Not even close. Remember, LeBron James’ debut with the Miami Heat six years ago ended with an 88-80 loss, followed by seven more losses in the next 16 games.

But it’s always alarming when someone storms into your house, looks you in the eye and takes what they want.

Opening night for the Warriors delivered a painful reminder that regardless of how imposing they might be or how many All-Stars are on the payroll, nothing will be given. Effort and desire, as they discovered, can be more than a great equalizer.

The Warriors now know that victory is not preordained, that if they want the glory and the spoils they believe to be theirs, they will have to prove it. Every night.

Spurs show early superiority over Warriors with sum of their parts

Spurs show early superiority over Warriors with sum of their parts

The Golden State Warriors wasted no time dismissing one of the 95 Narratives for this season – namely, the one that has them gunning secretly for 82 wins.
In a game very reminiscent of last January’s 120-90 win over San Antonio, the Warriors played the role of “90,” or to be more specific, “100” in a richly deserved 129-100 mauling. They provided a fiercely anticipatory and Beyonce/Jay-Z-enriched crowd everything they came to see – in the Spurs.
Kevin Durant? Did swell. Won a lot of hearts. Draymond Green? Had bursts of good and moments of not. Stephen Curry? Numbers but not a lot of impact. Klay Thompson? Didn’t shoot well, and didn’t do much else to mitigate that fact.
But the real failures came not from the individual components but the sum of their parts. A disrhythmic offense that highlight moments obscured too infrequently, an undistinguished defensive effort across the board, no bench presence of any kind, a casual attitude toward possessions in general and an almost dogmatic refusal to engage in rebounding skirmishes – in sum, they exhibited a severe pre-title hangover nine months before the fact.
So with all that as prelude, coach Steve Kerr attacked the media horde with a squinty-eyed “Anyone got any good jokes?”
And knowing that nobody did – at least none better than the game that had just been concluded -- he got down to the duties of the postgame presser. He broke the ice with the throwaway platitude (“I didn’t have them ready to play, obviously”), the dismissive swat (“I think they were embarrassed tonight. I know I was”), the quick nuts-and-bolts analysis (“We missed easy shots, didn’t get a lot of loose balls, second efforts, third efforts, and we didn’t play with much physicality”), said the collective performance was massively inadequate at best (“’Strength In Numbers,’ it’s got to be about the group”), and the one dagger that will be the emphasis of Wednesday’s unpleasantness (“We didn’t really look engaged, like we were taking for granted that things were going to go well”).
Which brings us to the box score, where the locals were outrebounded, 54-35 (20-8 on the offensive end), outscored on second chances (24-4), and crushed by the non-starters (54-16 points, 24-6 rebounds). Durant had a less effective game than Kawhi Leonard, Green had a less impactful game than LaMarcus Aldridge, and Curry and Thompson were not as dynamic as second-year shooting guard Jonathon Simmons, local deadeye Patty Mills and the forever-young Manu Ginobili.
In short, it was not a coming-out party for the new dynasty, but a reminder that this is not last year, or the year before, and the Warriors are not nearly the finished product they seemed to present in 2014-5 or 15-6.
Their rotation is still a work in progress, and their combinations are even further away still. Kerr has been saying as much all summer and fall, and logic supports the fact that all teams take time to coalesce.
This is not to say they are going to be minus-29 bad; that would be, well, typical morning-after media analysis, for all fetid air that is worth.
But tonight was a good bucket full of icy well water to everyone’s sensibilities. Just as a year ago, the Warriors have been crowned champions by far too many amateurs before the rite of succession has even begun, and Kerr just received all the fodder he needs to drive home an early-season rebuttal to the ones most in need of hearing it: His players.
As for anyone else who needs to hear such a lesson – well, narratives don’t die that easily. The Warriors are the most covered team in NBA history (imagine the Bird Celtics or the Showtime Lakers in this era), and their failures will resound as much as their triumphs, and it’s all background noise come April 15.
You know, when the season actually starts.