How Dwight Howard to Lakers doesn't affect Warriors


How Dwight Howard to Lakers doesn't affect Warriors

The Los Angeles Lakers get Dwight Howard, Earl Clark and Chris Duhon.

The Denver Nuggets get Andre Iguodala.

The Philadelphia 76ers get Andrew Bynum and Jason Richardson. Yes, that Jason Richardson.

The Orlando Magic get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and protected first round picks from Los Angeles, Denver and Philadelphia in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

And thats when you know youve either made it in the NBA or are hopelessly screwed when you have to bring in a lot of partners either to get or shed a player.

The multi-team deal, though, never happens to the Warriors. They either never have anyone someone covets beyond all reason, are poised to challenge for a title, or need to bottom out and start again.

Indeed, it is the story of the Warriors, stuck in an amorphous and dull sub-middle because in their history, theyve only been involved in one multi-team ever 20 years ago next month. And heres that blockbuster:

The Dallas Mavericks got Rodney McCray from the Warriors.

The Chicago Bulls got two conditional second-round draft picks from Dallas.

And the Warriors got Byron Houston.

Byron Houston. Let that one roll around in your head awhile.

I mean, it violates the spirit of the multi-team deal, in that McCray was at the end of his career, Houston played for three teams in four years and averaged 10 minutes per game, and the Bulls extra picks resulted in no NBA players.

It was the antithesis of the blockbuster. In that way, it was so perfectly Warrioresque, just as the fact that they hadnt been involved in a multi-team before or since is equally Warriortastic.

They are in no position to do such a deal now, as theyve just reconstructed their team again, this time around Andrew Bogut. Bogut is the person who is being asked to make the Warriors relevant enough to be asked to be a multi-team deal down the road, but you have to walk before you can conference call.

As for how the trade that did happen impacts the Warriors, well, it doesnt. The Lakers, who were better than them , got slightly better. The Nuggets, who were better than the Warriors as well, got slightly better.

STEINMETZ: How does Dwight Howard to Lakers affect Warriors?

Now if the deal had involved Dallas, or Utah, or Phoenix, or Portland, or Houston, or Minnesota, then this would matter to Warrior fans. Those are the teams the Warriors need to pass to get from 28 wins (the equivalent in 82 games of the 23 they won 66) to 48 and become a playoff team.

Or go from 28 wins to 15, and have to back up the truck yet again.

But being the relentlessly local optimist that I am, lets all keep the happy thought instead. The point is, this trade didnt materially affect the Warriors except the eight games they play the Lakers or Nuggets, or the four times they play the Sixers or freshly expansionist Magic.

But some day, theyll be big kids too, and be part of one of those multi-piece headbanging trades that get rumored forever and then happen in a flash, with big names going hither and yon in a seeming blur.

They just need to get a big name.

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

Warriors as healthy as ever while playing waiting game for next opponent

OAKLAND -- Now that the Warriors have gone through a full-squad scrimmage for the first time in three weeks, there is only one issue to be resolved before they get back to the business of the playoffs.

Whom to play? And when?

As of Friday afternoon, the Warriors had no idea of either.

They will face the winner of the Clippers-Jazz first-round series, in which Utah took a 3-2 lead into Game 6 Friday night in Salt Lake City.

“Why are we talking about Utah like the Clippers are done?” Draymond Green wondered after fielding several Jazz-related questions after scrimmaging.

Well, because the Jazz won Games 4 and 5 and is favored to win Game 6 at home. If they win, they’ll come into Oracle Arena Sunday afternoon to meet the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals.

If the Clippers win Game 6 to even the series, those teams will meet for Game 7 Sunday in Los Angeles, with the winner advancing to face the Warriors in Game 1 of the conference semifinals next Tuesday night in Oakland.

In any case, the Warriors appear about as healthy has they have been at any time since February.

Veteran guard Shaun Livingston, out with a finger/hand injury since Game 1 (April 16) of the first-round series against Portland, participated in the scrimmage, as did veteran forward Matt Barnes, who last played on April 8, when he sustained a bone bruise atop his right foot.

“They practiced today and they even went through the scrimmage,” acting head coach Mike Brown said. “But we’ll wait for our training staff to clear them, after they see how they feel today and (Saturday).”

In short, if swelling is minimal, both will be available for Game 1, regardless of when.

So, too, will Kevin Durant. After a strained left calf kept him out of Games 2 and 3 against the Trail Blazers, he started and played 20 minutes in decisive Game 4 without any ill effects.

Nothing changed during the scrimmage Friday.

“It felt great out there,” he said. “Nothing bothered me. It was definitely good. I’m just trying to hopefully put that injury stuff behind.”

Durant conceded that he continues to receive treatment and ice, but mostly to minimize potential swelling.

Durant makes plea to NBA officials: 'S--- talking is part of the game'

Durant makes plea to NBA officials: 'S--- talking is part of the game'

OAKLAND -- Kevin Durant wishes more NBA officials had a better grasp of the language of the game.

They don’t seem to understand that “trash talk” almost always is little more than an act in which healthy emotions are released. It’s as much of the game on the court as pointing out a bad haircut or a fashion error in the locker room.

“I was raised that if you weren’t talking on the court, then something (bad) is going on,” Durant said after Warriors practice on Friday.

Durant caught a glimpse of the chatter earlier this week between former Oklahoma City teammate Russell Westbrook and Houston guard Patrick Beverley in decisive Game 5 of the Thunder-Rockets series and was disappointed when the officials slapped each with a technical foul.

“I was like, ‘Man, just play on. It’s a part of the game,’” Durant said.

Though Durant himself is not a premier trash-talker, he plays alongside one in fellow forward Draymond Green.

“That’s why we started playing, to talk a little s--- here and there,” said Durant, who grew up in the Washington D.C. area. “Draymond is really good at it. There are a lot of guys in the league that are good. More guys are quiet now than before.

“But s--- talking is a part of the game. I love it. It’s fun when you’re on the same team as a guy that does it. And then, when you’re playing against it, it’s even better because it brings the best out of you.”

For Durant, there always will be a place for trash talk on the court. Not only did he experience it while growing up but he also was indoctrinated in the practice from the moment he arrived in the NBA in 2007.

He recalls, with fondness, being targeted as a rookie by Kevin Garnett and a few other Celtics.

“When I came into the league, that’s when the Celtics had just got together,” Durant said. “Paul Pierce and KG and those guys talked bad to me as a rookie. I was 19. And they talked so bad to me. And I was talking right back. It was just a fun exchange. That’s what basketball is about.”

Now if only he could get officials to realize this.