Jackson defends playing small, Lee's defense

November 13, 2012, 1:51 am
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OAKLAND -- When you lose an agonizing game like the Warriorsdid to Denver on Saturday night, and its followed by three off-days, itsimpossible not to look back at that game and get into a detail or two.
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There were a lot of things going on. Had a chance to talk toWarriors coach Mark Jackson about some of them including going small, hisbest defensive lineup and whether or not David Lee is hurting the teamdefensively.On being critical of his own teams rebounding andyet playing without a center much of the game, and going with David Lee andCarl Landry:Jackson: (Andris) Biedrins is a very goodrebounder. Carl Landry and David Lee are better rebounders than Festus Ezelitoday. Everything you look at tells us that. Even though hes (Ezeli) biggerhes not the rebounder we need him to be today. Thats the first answer to that.The second answer is they were small. They played (Kenneth)Faried at the five with (Danilo)Gallinari at the four. So that waspart of it. Even looking back, were up five with two minutes to go. So thatdidnt cost us the game. Missed free throws, missed assignments cost us thegame. Carl Landry and David Lee are my two best big men. That cant be debated.Thats just the way I was thinking in that situation.On whether Lee and Landry up front is Warriorsbest defensive unit right now: Jackson: Look at the numbers, we are a very gooddefensive team. Somehow were stopping people. Somehow were getting it done.Overall, weve done a great job of defending. Once again, up five with twominutes to go breakdowns hurt us, missed free throws hurt us, not fouling whenwe had a foul to give hurt us, not closing out the shooters. We were very gooddefensively.Youre asking your defense to stop a team twice when yougive up second-shot opportunities. They were small and they spread the floorand made it tough to play with a big guy out there. When were forced to have abig guy out there, hell be out there. I can take a wild guess and say thatAndrew Bogut is going to be finishing games for us no matter what lineup theother team goes to.Because if you decide to play a smaller guy, youre goingto pay the price. Were going to post himup. But our big guys today, were not going to post them up closing outballgames. So its advantage opposing team.On whether the struggling David Lee is hurting theteam defensively: Jackson: I wouldnt think that hes hurting usdefensively at all. Has he played his best basketball? No. Hes played well inspurts. There have been nights when hes been very good. Hes got to reboundbetter. We need him to rebound better. Theres no question about that.And Im going to put pressure on him to be that go-to guy,finishing out possessions by rebounding the basketball. I would definitely sayhes not playing his best basketball. But Im not concerned. Because I know howhard he works, hes not pointing the finger at anybody else and he willrespond.

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