Jackson says Warriors still have a lot to play for

March 29, 2012, 4:37 pm
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The Warriors are 20-29 and have 17 games left in theirseason. Two of their best players Stephen Curry and Andrew Bogut are hurt.Theyre not going to make the playoffs.Theyve got six rookies on their roster right now andseveral veterans who have been around the NBA block or two.Theyve also got very little incentive to win, consideringthe better they finish the harder it will be to keep their draft pick.So, what is there really to play for?
Well, thats not a great place to go with Warriors coachMark Jackson.To me, thats a losers mentality, a quitters mentality,Jackson said about just playing out the string for next season. If you allowthat to fester or invite it into the locker room, its going to bite you downthe road. And youll wonder why you gave birth to it duringadversity.Jackson is well aware that a segment of Warriors fans arerooting for the team to lose right now, so as to better their chances ofkeeping their pick. If the Warriors end up with the No. 1 through No.7 pick, theyll get to keep it. If its No. 8 or worse, it will be conveyed toUtah.Jacksons not having it.I know what this does is build character, Jackson said.It builds something that when we get it right people will wonder why. Andyoull have to rewind to these moments that we grabbed the rope and refusedto let go.There are tangible reasons why the last 17 games aremeaningful to the Warriors, too.The more playing time you can get for rookie Klay Thompson,the better. Or, what about getting a gauge on whether or not Charles Jenkinshas a future as the backup point guard?Theres also likely going to be a need for an additionalcenter for the 2012-13 season, so why not get a gander at Jeremy Tyler, MickellGladness and Keith Benson?We know who Klay is, Jackson said. Ive said before, fromDay 1, he couldnt make a move without traveling on this level. He also was notgood at putting the ball on the floor and making a play. Hes come so far wherehes very good at catching and making plays.With him, its continuing to get better. The one thing youdont want is for a young fella to get satisfied and to take his foot off thegas pedal.The way Jackson looks at it, he wouldnt be doing his job ifhe demanded any less of his team now that its out of the playoffrace.Im still looking to win and play our brand of basketball,Jackson said. The mindset is still the same, the principles are still thesame. Were asking a heck of a lot from our team right now. You look at Charles Id be shortchanging him if I asked him to do anything different than I askof Steph or Nate (Robinson).And, of course, theres also the issue of Curry and hisproblematic right ankle. The Warriors announced earlier this week that Currywouldnt play for two more weeks, and there is sentiment for him to remainsidelined for the rest of the season.NEWS: Curry shut down for next two weeks
Jackson is not in that camp; if Curry is healthy, he shouldplay.Hes paid to play, Jackson said. I dont know anybodythats 100 percent that just shuts it down. If thats the case, I dont wanthim on my team. What does David Lee have to gain right now? Hes out thereplaying, doing everything Im asking him to do.Ive seen pros shutting it down when it looks like youreplaying for nothing. Its during these times you make a loud statement, notjust to your teammates but anyone else.

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