NBA Rankings: W's look to '12-'13


NBA Rankings: W's look to '12-'13

Now that that the NBA trade deadline as come and gone, Matt Steinmetz takes a look at every team and what direction they are heading in.

Unfortunately, for the Warriors, they have essentially thrown in the towel and are looking ahead to next season.

As for the Kings, they are as likely to blow out the Celtics and Timberwolves back-to-back, as they are to losing five in a row.

1 (1) Chicago Bulls Everything depends on when Derrick Rose returns 2 (3) Miami Heat Heat and Bulls on collision course for Eastern Conference finals 3 (2) Oklahoma City Thunder
Backup point guard in postseason likely James Harden 4 (4) San Antonio Spurs Will Stephen Jackson acquisition be postive or negative? 5 (6) L.A. Lakers Nothing shows NBA a business more than Derek Fisher trade 6 (5) Orlando Magic Are Magic good enough to make a run in the East? 7 (10) L.A. Clippers Nick Young Not perfect but a nice acquisition 8 (7) Memphis Grizzlies Grizzlies' goal now is to try to get homecourt advantage 9 (13) Dallas Mavericks Lamar Odom's numbers are just plain awful 10 (11) Denver Nuggets JaVale McGee now George Karl's problem 11 (15) Philadelphia 76ers
Significant improvement from Evan Turner this season
12 (12) Indiana Pacers Leandro Barbosa gives Pacers nice weapon off bench 13 (16) Phoenix Suns Look who's knocking on playoff door? 14 (15) Houston Rockets Rockets, like Warriors, had interest in Andrew Bogut 15 (9) Atlanta Hawks Josh Smith stays put 16 (19) Utah Jazz Jazz still one of best home teams in Western Conference 17 (17) Boston Celtics Not pretty but Celtics surviving brutal 8-game trip 18 (22) Milwaukee Bucks Bucks and Knicks will battle for No. 8 playoff spot in East 19 (21) New York Knicks Mike Woodson yet to lose as head coach of New York 20 (14) Minnesota Timberwolves Love-Barea have to be separated in huddle 21 (18) Portland Trail Blazers Now that's how you waive a white flag 22 (20) Warriors It's all about 2012-13 for Golden State at this point 23 (23) Cleveland Cavaliers Cavs gift Ramon Sessions to L.A. Lakers 24 (25) Sacramento Kings Kings as up and down as any team in NBA 25 (24) Detroit Pistons Pistons playing better of late 26 (27) Toronto Raptors Some maintaining Raptors have made strides. That's a stretch 27 (26) New Jersey Nets
Nets do nothing to jeopardize possible Williams-Howard pairing 28 (28) New Orleans Hornets
Chris Kaman, someone everyone figured would be traded, stays 29 (29) Washington Wizards Only player they wanted to move but couldn't: Andray Blatche 30 (30) Charlotte Bobcats Can Bobcats get to 10 wins?

Suns' Watson counters Kerr, preaches caution with marijuana rhetoric

Suns' Watson counters Kerr, preaches caution with marijuana rhetoric

While players like Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut offered support for Steve Kerr on Saturday, one NBA coach wants to pump the breaks on the conversation surrounding marijuana use.

Suns coach Earl Watson preached caution during an interview with ESPN after the Warriors beat Phoenix 138-109 on Saturday night.

"I think our rhetoric on it has to be very careful because you have a lot of kids where I'm from that's reading this, and they think [marijuana use is] cool. It's not cool. Where I'm from, you don't get six fouls to foul out. You get three strikes. One strike leads to another. I'm just being honest with you, so you have to be very careful with your rhetoric," Watson told Chris Haynes.

Watson doesn't appear to be a fan of Kerr advocating for the use of marijuana.

"I think it would have to come from a physician -- not a coach. And for me, I've lived in that other life [of crime and drugs]. I'm from that area, so I've seen a lot of guys go through that experience of using it and doing other things with that were both illegal. And a lot of those times, those guys never make it to the NBA, they never make it to college, and somehow it leads to something else, and they never make it past 18," Watson told Haynes.

Watson highlighted a potential problem of leagues legalizing the use of marijuana.

"So when we really talk about it and we open up that, I call it that slippery slope. We have to be very careful on the rhetoric and how we speak on it and how we express it and explain it to the youth," Watson said.

Watson finished the interview with a message for the kids who might have been emboldened by Kerr's comments.

"I've never been a fan of the use, but I'm also not a medical doctor. So for the kids who are reading this and they might take the headlines and run with it, don't run anywhere with it. Understand that if you're from an environment or social area where a lot of luck and a lot of blessings is your only way out, you cannot risk that opportunity ever. Ever. It's just the way it is. It's not the same everywhere. I don't know as far as the pain [and how marijuana could help], but I think we have to be careful how we present that to the public," Watson said.

Rewind: Warriors continue to show why they are masters of self-correction

Rewind: Warriors continue to show why they are masters of self-correction

OAKLAND – Stephen Curry paused, scanning his memory, and came up empty.

Draymond Green sank into deep thought, taking even more time before conceding he was “stumped.”

Neither could remember the last time the Warriors lost consecutive regular-season games, perhaps because it was 19 months ago.

The Warriors are specialists at self-correction, and that was the case again Saturday night when, following a tough loss two nights earlier, they stepped onto the floor at Oracle Arena and played one of their more effective games this season.

Their 138-109 smacking of the Phoenix Suns was a rather comprehensive effort, with some players performing superbly and others merely well. The scoring load was shared among Curry (31 points), Klay Thompson (26) and Kevin Durant (20), while everyone brought something useful to the proceedings.

“It didn’t turn out to be a great night on the stat sheet,” coach Steve Kerr said, noting the Warriors committed 17 turnovers, off which the Suns scored 25 points. “But maybe around the nine-minute mark in the first quarter until about two minutes of the second quarter, we were fantastic.”

The Warriors (17-3) trailed by as much as six in the first before going on a 25-4 run, taking an 18-point lead, and taking command early in the second quarter. Though they stumbled enough for Phoenix to get as close as eight in the second half, there never was a sense the Warriors were facing real trouble.

With Curry and Thompson leading the scoring charge, forwards Draymond Green and Durant excelled in playmaking roles, combining for 21 assists, the most in a game by two Warriors starting forwards since 1970, when Elias Sports Bureau began tracking starters.

“It’s a little unorthodox, but our guards are great shooters, so playing them off the ball and getting the ball to KD and Draymond seems to work well,” Kerr said. “And those guys seem to enjoy playing that way.”

The victory extended to 106 their NBA-record number of regular-season games without consecutive losses. The Warriors last lost back-to-back regular-season games in April 2015, dropping games at San Antonio and then New Orleans.

So long ago that neither Curry nor Green could remember.

“Um . . . let’s see . . . I think it was my second year in the league,” Green finally guessed, wrongly.

It was his third season, and the first under Kerr.

“There’s a resiliency to our team that, obviously in this league, anything can happen,” Curry said. “So for us to be able to correct mistakes and find ways to bounce back quickly and not have multiple games in a row where we don’t show up to play says a lot about the character we have on this team.”

Though Green cited the team’s heightened focus after a loss, there is one thread that runs through Curry and Thompson and Green. All three have been dismissed at some point and, therefore, carry a burning desire to validate their status.

Perhaps no one on the team carries that edge more than Curry.

“I’d be interested the see the numbers of Steph, after we lost,” Green said. “He has incredible games after we lost. It’s just a focus level, guys really lock in and come out and do what it takes to win the next game.

“I think guys do get a little pissed off as well, which definitely helps. That is probably the biggest thing. Guys get mad about it, and it carries over.”

Perhaps feeling Phoenix was poised for a run in the third quarter, Curry rang up 20 points in that 12-minute stretch, hiking the lead beyond the reach of the Suns. It was the 16th time he has scored at least 20 points in a quarter.

There would be no ending of this underappreciated streak. Not on this night, and not with Curry and his friends on watch.