Warriors general manager Bob Myers met with reporters onThursday in advance of the season. Myers addressed a variety of subjects including the teamshealth, the status of Andris Biedrins and how he thinks Stephen Curry willadjust to being a point guard without Monta Ellis.Here is some of what Myers said:On what kind of offseason he thought he and theWarriors front office had:Myers: "I keep getting asked that. I finallysettled on a response and the response is: Ask me at the end of the season andIll tell you what kind of offseason we had.On where Andrew Bogut is health-wise:Myers: "Hes making good strides. Hes onschedule. The schedule is for him to progress each day. Whether its lateralmoves one day, jumping another day. He hasnt begun five-on-five contact, butthats something we expect to happen in October. The reason I cant tell youanything with 100 percent certainly is that its based on how hes feeling."If he decides to play one-on-one and experiencesdiscomfort, well pull him back. But thus far he has not experienced anysetbacks. Were being cautious with the things hes doing on the court. But weare encouraged, as is he, that things are progressing well. We expect if itcontinues that way hell be playing five-on-five, and were hoping to get himsome preseason games."On Andris Biedrins being the only player who didntshow up for voluntary workouts:Myers: "Ill say that Im happy the players thatwere here were here and commend them for their effort. Because its a result-driven business, Andris will be allowed to compete for his position. Hes aprofessional and Ill leave it to the coach to decide what his role will be."Im going to try to be neutral on whether he came or didntcome. Im going to be positive on the guys who did come. But hes shown he canbe an effective player in the NBA. Im going to let it play out with Andris andIm hoping that, like any player we have, hes ready to go."Im not going to judge him until weve seen him in thepreseason and see what he can do. But Im very happy the other 14 were here.For our organization, thats important."On the organization downplaying expectations asopposed to a year ago: Myers: "Because, unfortunately, we have not had aculture of winning and until we actually go do that, it doesnt matter what Isay, what coach says or what anybody says. It matters what we do, what our teamdoes."What Im trying to say is, I think if we employ the rightprocess in how we go about what were doing, working hard, doing things theright way, then the results will come. Theres a quote: 'You cannot ensuresuccess, but you can deserve it.'"I just want this team to deserve to be successful. Whateverresult that means. I think if we put in the time and employ the right process,well be happy with the result. But to turn it on its head and say this is whatthe result is going to be, I dont know that thats productive."Unless we actually go do it, and the results are there,which is winning Were not an organization that has a history of winning eachyear, so its almost that Id rather go do it and let the results speak forthemselves as opposed to saying its going to happen."On Stephen Curry being the focal point as a pointguard and his role without Monta Ellis:Myers: "In the offseason, I talked to Stephen and I said: I dontknow and I dont want to know, but whatever you did think (in the past) or whateverencumbrances you think might have existed, its your team. So go be the pointguard of this team. Thats coming from our coach, too. But hes our pointguard. If that was an excuse (playing alongside Ellis) or was in the past,whether it was right or wrong, it doesnt exist anymore.Hes playing alongside a very traditional point guard, whoisnt a player who has the ball in his hands that often. So lets find out.Were confident he can do the job."
The Warriors left Utah with a 106-99 victory over the Jazz.
With 9.3 seconds remaining and the Warriors up by eight points, Kevin Durant was hit with a technical foul.
Draymond Green walked over to Durant and started laughing. Why?
Warriors up 8 with 9.3 seconds remaining, and Draymond is enjoying a laugh with Durant pic.twitter.com/wk5ZYja1BM— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) December 9, 2016
"We were laughing at Quinn Snyder who kept calling timeouts," Draymond told reporters after the game. "Like bro, you're down 10 with six seconds left, it's kinda over my man."
After Zaza Pachulia missed two free throws with the Warriors ahead by 11 and 1:05 remaining, the Jazz got the rebound and immediately called timeout.
After Draymond made one of two free throws with 49.4 seconds left to make it 104-94, Utah called another timeout.
After Steph Curry made a free throw to give the Warriors an eight-point lead with 9.3 seconds left, Quin Snyder used his final timeout.
Warriors play-by-play broadcaster Bob Fitzgerald said: "Utah is gonna use another time out. Quin Snyder is just practicing game-ending situations."
Analyst Jim Barnett responded with: "Absolutely, that's what he's doing."
"Just let us go to the restaurant and have a good dinner; just chill," Draymond added. "That's what we were laughing at. Nothing about the tech ... that was funny. But that's all it was."
The Warriors smelled trouble from the moment they left Los Angeles for their overnight flight to Salt Lake City, where on Thursday night, precisely 20 hours after they disposed of the Clippers in LA, they would face the Utah Jazz.
The Jazz announced Wednesday that four players – including three starters – would be out with injuries.
Trap Game, eh? It’s not a cliché, not in today’s NBA, where the schedule is both unforgiving and remorseless.
And then on Thursday morning the Warriors received information that a fourth Utah starter, leading scorer Gordon Hayward, also would not be available.
With one healthy Jazz starter greeting the hottest team in the league, the Warriors caught a slight whiff of Eau de Upset. Acutely aware they were facing a severely shorthanded squad the Warriors swallowed hard and went immediately for the blowout.
They failed. Though they would win their 16th of 17 games and run their record to 20-3 by silencing the Jazz, 106-99, the Warriors also got a reminder that severely patchwork teams tend to bring the fight.
“It wasn’t pretty,” Stephen Curry told reporters at Vivint Smart Home Arena, “but got a win.”
Oh, it was beautiful early. The Warriors running and gunning and smothering Utah, taking a 29-5 lead barely eight minutes into the game and holding a 65-46 advantage at the half. They were achieving their goal of quickly opening this gift of a game to allow their starters to watch most of the second half.
Rarely is it that easy under these circumstances, and this would not be an exception. When patchwork NBA teams accept that winning is not an option, they set about avoiding embarrassment.
With a 12-0 run in the middle of the third quarter, the Jazz cut the deficit to nine (73-64), and when the Warriors steadied themselves to go up 14 (80-66) with 2:45 left in the third, the Jazz fashioned a 13-4 run to narrow it to 84-79.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr blamed it on a “lack of focus,” which is a symptom of presuming victory.
“Our first quarter was great; we pushed the ball. Our defensive intensity was fantastic and then we let down,” Kerr said. “We started turning it over with some careless, purposeless plays. We didn’t really have an idea of what we were trying to accomplish and then some defensive mistakes like not getting out on their shooters, and they took advantage.”
Outscoring the Warriors 53-41 in the second half, the Jazz – playing without Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood and George Hill – made the vastly superior team sweat.
“They obviously played with a lot of energy,” said Curry, who scored a game-high 26 points. “They didn’t fold and we got a little stagnant on offense, it happens, but you just got to be able to finish the game out. The way we started gave us an opportunity to withstand their run and never really have the game out of hand.”
Kevin Durant ensured there would be no upset, performing the closeout with an 11-point fourth quarter. He scored 17 of his 21 points in the second half.
“Just tried to be aggressive,” Durant said. “I didn’t do a good job attacking throughout the game. I thought that was a good opportunity for me to attack. I got to the free throw line and that got me going. I got some dunks, a few cuts and Steph [Curry] helped me out as well.
“It was a weird game. It was a grind out game. We started off so well and then a three-pointer got them back in the game. They played physical later on the game and were able to take us out of our game a little bit, but we kept fighting and we got a good win on a back-to-back.”
In defeating the Jazz, the Warriors also held off two more formidable foes: fatigue and complacency. There are nights, and this was one of them, when the path to victory requires beating all three.