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.

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.