Warriors fast start not a valid season indicator

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Warriors fast start not a valid season indicator

The Warriors are off to a 2-1 start and there seems to be atangible optimism among fans. Its not just that the Warriors bounced back froma disappointing opening night loss to the Clippers with two wins, its how theywon those two games: With defense.But how the Warriors start a season sometimes has no bearingon how they finish a season. Heres a look at some interesting starts theWarriors have had over the past several years and what ended up happening tothose teams.If you think this year will be different, tell uswhy.2010-11: Warriors begin season 6-2.
This was just last season, for goodness sakes, and we knowhow last season turned out: 36-46 and not even sniffing a playoff berth. Yes,the David Lee injury had something to do with the subsequent slide theydropped 12 of 13 during a NovemberDecember stretch but there was a lot ofoptimism about last years team early. And quite simply, they werent goodenough to sustain it.2007-08: Warriors begin season 0-6. This was the season after We Believe and Stephen Jacksonwas suspended at the start of the season. By December, the Warriors were above.500 and heading toward an unrewarded 48-34 season. But 2007-08 just goes toshow you that how you start a season doesnt necessarily translate to how youfinish one.2006-07: Warriors begin season 7-3. This turned into the Warriors only playoff appearance inthe past 17 seasons. But that 7-3 start slipped to below .500, and the Warriorsended up trading for Mike Dunleavy and Troy Murphy for Stephen Jackson and AlHarrington, among others. Sixteen wins in the teams final 21 games translatedto a 42-40 record and We Believe ensued.2005-06: Warriors begin the season 12-6. This was Mike Montomerys second and last season and hehung tough early. But Baron Davis couldnt stay healthy and Dunleavy and Murphyand Jason Richardson couldnt keep the team afloat. The Warriors ended upfinishing 34-48, helping usher in the Don Nelson Phase II Era.2001-02: Warriors begin season5-3. This team had Larry Hughes, Danny Fortson and Erick Dampierand there was hope after the season was two weeks old. But it fizzled andfizzled in a hurry, with coach Dave Cowens being fired by Christmas and theteam finishing the season with a 21-61 record.1994-95: Warriors start 5-0 7-1. Thats the year that many people believe started the Warriorson their huge downward trend. The Warriors, coming off a 50-win season, tradedChris Webber after he feuded with Nelson, and Bob Lanier ended up coaching theteam that season. It finished 26-56.

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

Warriors pushed late by Jazz, still come out on top in Utah

BOX SCORE

SALT LAKE CITY — The Golden State Warriors needed less than nine minutes to open a 24-point lead over the short-handed Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

Stephen Curry scored 26 points and the Warriors controlled the Jazz from start to finish in a 106-99 victory.

Curry had 14 points during a 29-1 run that made it 29-5. The Jazz's only lead of the game was 4-2.

"Loss of focus," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about the second half. "Our first quarter was great, we pushed the ball and our defensive intensity was fantastic. I think we let down. We started turning it over some careless, purposeless plays.

"We didn't really have an idea of what we were trying to accomplish. Some defensive mistakes not getting out on shooters and they took advantage."

Kevin Durant added 21 points and 11 rebounds for Golden State.

Jazz center Rudy Gobert had 20 points and 17 rebounds, Joe Ingles scored a career-high 21 points, and Shelvin Mack added a season-high 19.

The Jazz have four starters sidelined by injuries, including their top three scorers.

"I didn't do a good job of attacking throughout the game and I thought that was a good opportunity for me to attack," Durant said about the fourth quarter.

Golden State led 65-46 at halftime as the second unit allowed the Jazz to hang around and, technically, remain within striking distance. The urgency from the first quarter disappeared in the second half and the Jazz crept within five in the fourth quarter thanks to buckets from Mack and Ingles, but Durant closed the game with 11 in the final period.

"What we've discussed is just roles," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said about surviving the injuries. "They can morph. They widen, they can narrow, they can do anything. Hopefully, on a team, guys are willing to evolve and adjust to what the team needs. That's really all we emphasized."

TIP-INS

Warriors: Rookie Patrick McCaw scored a career-high 10 points, all in the first half. ... Shaun Livingston took the night off to rest. ... Draymond Green was two assists shy of his 15th career triple-double. ... Green tweaked his ankle, but he and Kerr didn't seem overly concerned.

Jazz: Utah started the combination of Joe Johnson, Mack, Dante Exum, Gobert and Boris Diaw for the first time this season. ... Ingles hit a career-high five 3-pointers.

INJURED JAZZ

The Jazz were without four starters — Gordon Hayward (finger), Rodney Hood (hamstring), George Hill (toe) and Derrick Favors (knee). Utah has been dealing with injuries all season, but Thursday was their most depleted lineup to date.

"It's easy to be frustrated," Snyder said. "That's something you have to just fight against and make a decision to do the best with where we are.

"It's a credit to our guys really. We've got a group that has character. Over a longer period of time it becomes more challenging. ... Hopefully, there's a silver lining. We've got some guys that are getting minutes that may not be getting otherwise."

QUOTABLE

"This team, my first year was kind of a surprise and everybody seemed to love us. Now maybe it's changed a little bit. It honestly makes no difference to us." — Kerr.

ROLES

Snyder said roles morph, but Joe Johnson added that shouldn't be a difficult thing night-to-night.

"This is our profession, man," Johnson said. "This is what we signed up for. This is what we do. When you're number's called, you've got to be ready regardless of the circumstances."

UP NEXT

Warriors: Golden State travels to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday in the third game of a five-game trip.

Jazz: Utah hosts a Sacramento Kings team on Saturday that has lost eight of 12 on the road.

Warriors recall first-round pick Damian Jones from Santa Cruz

Warriors recall first-round pick Damian Jones from Santa Cruz

The Warriors recalled center Damian Jones from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced on Thursday.                             

During his most recent assignment, which began Nov. 30, Jones averaged 2.7 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.00 blocks in 19.3 minutes over three games with the Warriors’ D-League affiliate.

The Vanderbilt product, who was selected 30th overall by Golden State in the 2016 NBA Draft, grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds in 17 minutes on Dec. 3 at Maine.

The 7’0”, 245-pound center has appeared in five games (two starts) with Santa Cruz this season, holding averages of 2.8 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.20 blocks in 19.0 minutes.

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