Jackson defends playing small, Lee's defense

745116.jpg

Jackson defends playing small, Lee's defense

OAKLAND -- When you lose an agonizing game like the Warriorsdid to Denver on Saturday night, and its followed by three off-days, itsimpossible not to look back at that game and get into a detail or two.
RELATED: Klay Thompson talks about forgettable game
There were a lot of things going on. Had a chance to talk toWarriors coach Mark Jackson about some of them including going small, hisbest defensive lineup and whether or not David Lee is hurting the teamdefensively.On being critical of his own teams rebounding andyet playing without a center much of the game, and going with David Lee andCarl Landry:Jackson: (Andris) Biedrins is a very goodrebounder. Carl Landry and David Lee are better rebounders than Festus Ezelitoday. Everything you look at tells us that. Even though hes (Ezeli) biggerhes not the rebounder we need him to be today. Thats the first answer to that.The second answer is they were small. They played (Kenneth)Faried at the five with (Danilo)Gallinari at the four. So that waspart of it. Even looking back, were up five with two minutes to go. So thatdidnt cost us the game. Missed free throws, missed assignments cost us thegame. Carl Landry and David Lee are my two best big men. That cant be debated.Thats just the way I was thinking in that situation.On whether Lee and Landry up front is Warriorsbest defensive unit right now: Jackson: Look at the numbers, we are a very gooddefensive team. Somehow were stopping people. Somehow were getting it done.Overall, weve done a great job of defending. Once again, up five with twominutes to go breakdowns hurt us, missed free throws hurt us, not fouling whenwe had a foul to give hurt us, not closing out the shooters. We were very gooddefensively.Youre asking your defense to stop a team twice when yougive up second-shot opportunities. They were small and they spread the floorand made it tough to play with a big guy out there. When were forced to have abig guy out there, hell be out there. I can take a wild guess and say thatAndrew Bogut is going to be finishing games for us no matter what lineup theother team goes to.Because if you decide to play a smaller guy, youre goingto pay the price. Were going to post himup. But our big guys today, were not going to post them up closing outballgames. So its advantage opposing team.On whether the struggling David Lee is hurting theteam defensively: Jackson: I wouldnt think that hes hurting usdefensively at all. Has he played his best basketball? No. Hes played well inspurts. There have been nights when hes been very good. Hes got to reboundbetter. We need him to rebound better. Theres no question about that.And Im going to put pressure on him to be that go-to guy,finishing out possessions by rebounding the basketball. I would definitely sayhes not playing his best basketball. But Im not concerned. Because I know howhard he works, hes not pointing the finger at anybody else and he willrespond.

Report: W's encouraged by KD's rehab, hopeful for regular season return

Report: W's encouraged by KD's rehab, hopeful for regular season return

When the Warriors announced the severity of Kevin Durant's knee injury, they did not rule out a return before the end of the regular season.

And based on the progress of his rehab, the team is "hopeful" but "cautiously optimistic" that Durant will indeed play before the end of the regular season, according to ESPN.

The Warriors have 11 games remaining on their schedule and their final regular season game is April 12 against the Lakers.

On Tuesday, prior to the Warriors game against Dallas, Durant was seen working out on the court and putting up jump shots.

Just a day earlier, Durant worked up a good sweat while riding a stationary bike in Oklahoma City.

Durant is expected to be re-evaluated by the Warriors' medical staff next week.

After initially struggling without Durant, the Warriors have won five straight games. Durant sat on the bench for the road wins in Oklahoma City and Dallas.

Over the weekend, Warriors PG Stephen Curry and PF Draymond Green addressed Durant's recovery.

“You can tell he’s making improvements and following the game plan,” Curry told the media. “I see him in the weight room doing cardio stuff trying to stay as close to game shape as he can while he’s hurt. You like to see improvements every day. We still don’t know when he’ll be back.”

“When he’s ready, we’ll know,” Green told the media. “But it’s not really our job to try to figure out every day how he’s doing. You can kind of see he’s getting better and you just leave it at that.”

 

Adonal Foyle recalls brutal first talk with Don Nelson

adonal-foyle-don-nelson.jpg
USATSI

Adonal Foyle recalls brutal first talk with Don Nelson

SAN FRANCISCO -- He is among the greatest basketball coaches ever to walk a sideline. Creative and abrasive, accomplished yet unfulfilled, all wrapped in a 6-foot-7 package of Svengali.

Some say Don Nelson, who served two stints coaching the Warriors, was brutally honest, others insist needlessly cruel. There is little dispute, though, that “Nellie” could be as subjective as the sun is hot.

If you were one of “his guys,” you could do little wrong.

If you weren’t, you knew it early and you heard it often -- as former Warriors center Adonal Foyle, who was on the roster for 10 seasons, discovered in 2006.

“Don Nelson told me the first day he showed up at the gym: ‘You suck. You’ll never play for me. You make too much money.’ That was it,“ Foyle recalled Tuesday on the Warriors Insider Podcast.

“And he was having a cigar when he did it.”

Foyle, who returned to the Warriors in 2014 to serves as a Community Ambassador, clearly enjoyed his time with the “We Believe” Warriors, despite and because of the presence of Nelson. Foyle quickly learned about the two sides of Nellie.

Nelson had favorites. There was, in his first stint coaching the Warriors, Chris Mullin and Tim Hardaway, to name two. In his second stint, there was Baron Davis and Stephen Jackson.

Yet the list of those who could not seem to escape Nelson’s doghouse may have been longer, including the likes of Terry Teagle, Tyrone Hill, Sarunas Marciulionis and, later, Al Harrington, Ike Diogu, Marco Belinelli. Nelson’s most famous object of disgust was, of course, Chris Webber.

Foyle, who logged 1,824 minutes before Nelson’s arrival in 2006, played only 475 minutes in 2006-07.

“I knew I wasn’t going to play, because he made it clear,” Foyle recalled. “So I could be pissed off. I could be angry.

“I’m just going to be there. I’m just going to do my job the best way I could for that year. And I’m just going to learn. And I’m just going to help our where I can. I’ll help my teammates out. I’ll do the job that I’m paid to do.”

Foyle, the team’s all-time leader in blocked shots (1,140), scored a total of 107 points that season. His 50 blocks ranked third on the team. His ratio of blocks, one every 9.5 minutes, led the team.

The Warriors staged a furious rally to close the season, ending a 13-year postseason drought by gaining the No. 8 seed. They pulled off an epic upset, stunning top-seeded Dallas in the first round.

The Utah Jazz in the second round eliminated the Warriors in five games, the last played on May 15.

Ninety days later, Nelson and the Warriors bought out Foyle’s contract. He spent his final two seasons in Orlando and Memphis.