Jackson not making good on guarantees


Jackson not making good on guarantees

All things being equal, you could make a case that Mark Jackson is doing a nice job for the Warriors in his initial season as coach. He has the team at 13-17 at the break, and by and large that record is pretty indicative of the type of talent and team they have.But all things are not equal.The reality is that Jackson should be held to a higher standard because he promised the standard would be raised. Guaranteed it as a matter of fact. So did owner Joe Lacob.
From the day Jackson was hired on June 6, he has talked in a big way about things such as accountability, changing the culture, doing things the right way and even making the playoffs. Jackson said things were going to be different.RELATED: Warriors midseason player grades
But the facts on the court say the Warriors are largely the same. Oh, they might be a little better defensively than they were last year, but overall Jackson has not gotten the Warriors to win at a higher rate than Keith Smart did a year ago.And, if anything, the Warriors have more talent on the roster this season. Theyre starting five is the same, but most acknowledge the bench in 2011-12 is a strength and superior to the substitutes of last season.Under Smart, the Warriors went 36-46 last season, a winning percentage of .439. This year under Jackson, the Warriors are winning at a .433 clip.In other words, Jacksons assurance on the day he was hired that things be changing in the Bay Area with the Warriors hasnt come to fruition.Now, on the one hand, Jackson has only coached 30 games and thats not a large sample size. On the other, the Warriors have had a very favorable first part of the schedule and thats about to change for the worse. There is a very real scenario in which the Warriors fall out of touch with .500.The Warriors finished 12th in the conference a year ago; theyre No. 12 in the conference right now.During interviews, Lacob frequently says that one of the areas where the Warriors are improved is in the coaching department. Again, that might be true, but there is no proof.Notwithstanding some nuance of style, you cant tell me the 2011-12 Warriors are noticeably better than the 2010-11 Warriors. And thats on Jackson.Because he promised better. There is still no evidence the Warriors are a playoff team, despite Jackson continuing to maintain they are. Truth be told, Jacksons bold words -- on the playoffs and other matters -- seem to be greeted with more and more skepticism, and that is not working in his favor.Of course, there is still time for the Warriors to make a second-half run and get into the postseason. But with each passing loss it seems to become more obvious that this is not a playoff team.For example, most playoff teams are better than 2-6 when it comes to three-point games and thats what the Warriors are. In some circles, that is a direct indictment of coaching.Now, nobody ever said the Warriors had the closers to win consistently in tight games, but thats not the point. Its that Jackson and this team should be judged as a playoff-type team because thats what Jackson said theyd be.But Jackson steadfastly maintaining the Warriors are a playoff team is only one of the things hes said this season that strains credulity.Hes also said the Warriors backcourt of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis is the best in the business and that hes content with what center Andris Biedrins has given the team this year.After Warriors rookie Klay Thompson failed to make the Rising Stars Challenge game, Jackson mocked the snub. He said there werent nine first-year players better than Thompson. And yet, the reality is that Thompson is 22nd among rookies in minutes played, indicating that Jackson, himself, might not believe in Thompson as much as he says.Jackson has said repeatedly that defense is the most important thing in his system and yet no player on the roster is favored more than David Lee, perhaps the teams most defensively challenged player. And yet Jacksons been hardest on Ekpe Udoh, the teams best interior defender.Jackson has begun to say more and more that making the Warriors better is a process. But anybody who has watched the Warriors in the past few years knew that already.Jackson came here and confidently proclaimed that the Warriors were a playoff team, and he did that on the day he was hired. But the bottom line is they dont look like one and their record, if anything, proves they arent.And thats on Jackson.

Acrimonious? Draymond opens up about his relationship with Kerr

Acrimonious? Draymond opens up about his relationship with Kerr

Does Draymond Green have a good relationship with Steve Kerr?

Are people overblowing the idea there may be acrimony between the two? The Warriors' power forward addressed that issue on Wednedsay evening.

"I don't really get into whether someone is overblowing something or not because at the end of the day I think their opinion is their opinion. And there's not much you can really do with their opinion," Draymond told 95.7 The Game's Damon Bruce. "One thing I've learned over the course of the last couple years is people are very opinionated, and their opinion is their opinion and there's not much you can really do to change their opinion.

"So I don't even try to change people's opinion. I don't refute stories anymore, I don't try to tell my side of the story because at the end of the day it really doesn't matter ... I know what our relationship is, Coach Kerr knows what our relationship is, this organization and team knows what our relationship is and that's good enough for me. That's all that really matters at the end of the day ... everything else is irrelevant to me. That's how I look at it, that's how I roll with it, and just keep it moving."

A recent article by ESPN's Ethan Sherwood Strauss (Draymond declined comment for the story) detailed the relationship between Green and Kerr, highlighting the moment at the Warriors' 2015 championship parade when Draymond put his arm around Kerr and said the following:

"This my guy. From the start of training camp, he hated me. That's no lie. He probably still hates me. That's no lie. But we going to keep winning these championships -- and that's no lie."

The feature also sheds light on the confrontation the two had in the Warriors' locker room in Oklahoma City last February.

Despite any possible lingering friction, at his Coach of the Year press conference in April, Kerr delivered the following message to the team's "heartbeat."

"Draymond -- don't ever change, if you're watching this," Kerr started. "Keep yelling at me, I'm gonna keep yelling at you. It's the best. He provides the edge that this team needs. Without Draymond, we'd be in trouble. We would be too quiet, and too nice.

"We need that edge. And when he brings it every day, and we have all that emotion, and that fire, it literally ignites the team."

So everything is good between the two?

"For those who want to know, our relationship is pretty, pretty ... I can't even use the word I wanted to use ... really good," Draymond answered. "We talk every day. We talk about things basketball wise, life, families. So it's good. But like I said, I don't really care what someone else thinks about it."

Warriors GM Myers shares the one aspect that stood out in loss to Spurs

Warriors GM Myers shares the one aspect that stood out in loss to Spurs

In case you missed it, the Warriors' season opener did not go well.

Final score: San Antonio 129, Golden State 100.

"That was a rough one," Warriors GM Bob Myers said on 95.7 The Game on Wednesday afternoon. "It's hard to evaluate. And I don't want to be critical of the players -- we're all part of it -- but I think effort stands out. I think we were out-competed a little bit. I don't think anybody is gonna run from that statement.

"As you watch any sports event, there are plays that shift the momentum of a game, where it seemed like we were trying to get back in it. And every time we would, they would hit a shot to kind of break our back again, or we would turn it over or there would be a rebound we didn't grab. Some of it is effort, some of it's being ready to play, and then some of it's the Spurs.

"They're good. They don't beat themselves. They never have. You have to beat them ... they earned it, we didn't. And if you wanted a wakeup call, that is about as good of a one as you can get."

The Spurs won the rebounding battle 55-35. They turned 21 offensive rebounds into 26 second-chance points.

San Antonio won the turnover battle (13 to 16), scored more fast break points (24 to 20) and shot eight more free throws (26 to 18) than the Warriors.

Golden State certainly did not look like the overwhelming favorite to win the title, but Myers understands that the team is a work in progress.

"This is the analogy that I think fits the best for me -- may not fit for you guys or the players -- you spend the last 9-10 months trying to climb a mountain, and you're there. You can see it. And you're at the summit, and you can actually see the pole; you can see the flag. And then someone tells you you gotta go back down. And you say, 'Come on, man. It's right there. Can't I just take these last few steps?' And they say it's closed, you gotta go home.

"So we walk down, you spend the whole offseason and you're off that mountain. And now somebody says, 'All right. Let's go.' Those first few steps, sometimes you're not looking at the feet in front of you. You're looking at the top of the mountain and you're thinking, 'Man. I gotta get all the way back up there.' You can't do it that way. You can't look at the top. You have to look at one foot in front of the other.

"And I think some of that will have to be overcome by us -- a team that went to the Finals two years in a row -- recognizing that this is the NBA; you have to play hard; every game does matter; you have to get better. But I think that game last night -- I hope, I think -- reminded our players of that. You can't talk about the playoffs right now. You gotta talk about the regular season. You gotta talk about Friday night in New Orleans."