Warriors owner Joe Lacob took the microphone at the end of the Chris Mullin retirement ceremony on Monday and was greeted by a cascade of boos.Those boos reined down heavy and they reined down hard and they lasted for a while. It was unexpected and surprising and probably wasnt the best time for the fans to show their displeasure.But it happened and there have to be reasons why.In the immediate aftermath of the booing, conventional wisdom was that many fans were angry that the Warriors traded Monta Ellis, a fan favorite, to the Milwaukee Bucks the week before.But the reality is that no one move could have sparked that kind of anger from the Warriors fan base.The reality is that while Lacob continues to express confidence and optimism about the future of the Warriors, fans have yet to see any tangible results.Its apparent, theyre already tired of Lacobs promises, and to a lesser degree, coach Mark Jacksons playoff prediction and positive talk.Essentially, Lacob has been running the Warriors for 20 months, and you could make the case thats hes made some mistakes and missteps along the way.It looks like the fans have taken note of many of them. Heres a quick look back at some of the things Lacob has done or said to perhaps alienate some of his fan base.--On the day of Lacobs first official press conference as owner, he criticized former Warriors general manager Chris Mullin, saying he thought Mullin had made a mistake as GM by signing too many players to long-term contracts.Many saw that comment as a cheap shot at Mullin that didnt need to be taken.--Also on that day, it became apparent that Lacobs desire was to move the Warriors from Oakland to San Francisco, an idea that has been reinforced many times since that day in November 2010.The Warriors have drawn consistently well at Oracle Arena, and the idea of moving the team across the Bay perhaps should have been handled with more nuance.--On that first day, Lacob also confirmed that his son, Kirk, just 22 at the time, would be given the title of director of basketball operations. Its safe to say that some Warriors fans didnt think it was the time or place to make such a hire and it may have shown where Lacobs priorities were.--When asked that day if he believed he could turn the Warriors around in a hurry, Lacob responded: There is no doubt.Lacob then went onto to chide those who suggested it might take longer than he thought. Said Lacob: This is what people dont understand. In the NBA, theres only 12 players on a roster. If youre smart, probably a little lucky, too, but if youre smart, you should be able to, given the right opportunity, recognizing the right opportunity, then executing on it. You should be able to turn a team around faster than people would otherwise think.--After taking over the team, Lacob was asked about previous ownership, and more specifically, what happened with the Stephen Jackson extension.Lacob said that former team president Robert Rowell was not the impetus behind that deal, despite evidence to the contrary. General manager at the time Chris Mullin was not involved in Jacksons extension.By exonerating Rowell, it sent a message that Lacob might not be completely different than previous ownership.--On media day this season, Lacob predicted that Klay Thompson would win the Rookie of the Year award. For much of the season, Thompson wasnt anywhere near the top of the rookie class in minutes played or scoring.--Lacob and the teams front office used the amnesty provision on Charlie Bell, who was in the last year of his contract and was set to earn just 4.1 million.The Warriors could have considered amnesty-ing ineffectual center Andris Biedrins or even saving the amnesty for another year. But they used it on Bell, and then they didnt come through with the signing of center DeAndre Jordan.The bottom line is Bell had an expiring contract, which many consider an asset in the NBA and Lacob and the Warriors continue to maintain they dont regret the use of the amnesty.--In the days, weeks and months leading up to the 2011 NBA trade deadline, Lacob talked about making a bold move and taking a risk. But the deadline came and went with only one very minor move being made acquiring Troy Murphy.Making matters worse, there was a trade frenzy on deadline day in 2011, and the Warriors inactivity made them seem a little bit lost.--After the trade deadline, Lacob said that the Warriors had an opportunity to acquire Gerald Wallace from the Bobcats (at that time), but that he didnt believe Wallace would have helped.Whether Wallace would have helped or not will never be known. But it didnt reflect well on Lacob that he said the Warriors couldnt use a player who once was an NBA All-Star.--While looking for a head coach to replace Keith Smart, Lacob said matter-of-factly he was looking for a coach with some experience. Lacob ended up hiring Mark Jackson, who had never coached on any level.Whats more, Lacob continues to maintain that Jackson and this years staff is an improvement over Keith Smart and last years staff despite there being no such tangible proof to that effect.And before trading Monta Ellis, the Warriors were winning at roughly the exact same clip as a year ago.--At an analytics conference in Boston more than a year ago, Lacob was reported to have said something like season-ticket holders arent real fans. There is some dispute as to what exactly Lacob said at that conference, but the comment got out there and got out there in a hurry. Needless to say, Warriors fans werent pleased.--During last seasons home opener, Lacob took the microphone, pointed to the Warriors championship banner and said: We need another one.The line drew cheers, but as time went on that move came to signify Lacobs tendency to overpromise and under-deliver.--Lacobs also been inconsistent when he talks about how long hes been in control of the team. On the one hand, Lacob often says that his ownership group hasnt been in charge that long and that the ball really didnt get rolling for them until after the regular season started in 2010.But at the same time, Lacob has said he had a hand in the David Lee and Jeremy Lin signings and both of them occurred in July 2010. Lacob also was the person responsible for firing Don Nelson and hiring Keith Smart, and that all happened before training camp began.
OAKLAND -- Though the Warriors on Sunday will begin a stretch in which they play three games in four nights and five in eight, coach Steve Kerr said there are no plans to rest anyone.
He did, however, leave open the possibility of sitting a couple veterans.
“The only guys who I would consider resting over the next week, barring injury, would be Shaun (Livingston) and Andre (Iguodala),” Kerr said Sunday afternoon, prior to tipoff against Memphis at Oracle Arena. “And that’s routine, because of the wear and tear, the age and the constant monitoring we’re doing with those guys.
“But the schedule is fine. I’m not planning on resting anybody in San Antonio.”
After facing the Grizzlies, the Warriors on Monday fly to Houston, where on Tuesday night they will play the Rockets. The following night, they face the Spurs in a game of particular significance.
Though the Warriors are assured of having the homecourt advantage should they make it to the NBA Finals, they have yet to reach that status in the Western Conference. The Spurs were two games back prior to the Warriors-Grizzlies game.
After returning home from San Antonio, the Warriors face the Rockets next Friday night and the Washington Wizards at home on April 2.
All five teams during this stretch are either in the playoffs and likely to be in. The Warriors entered Sunday with a combined 2-6 record against those teams.
OAKLAND -- Forgive the Warriors if they have a measure of vengeance on their minds when the step on the floor Sunday afternoon.
They’ll be staring at the Memphis Grizzlies, who came into Oracle Arena on Jan. 6 and handed the Warriors perhaps their most galling regular-season loss in three years, wiping out a 19-point fourth-quarter deficit to take a 128-119 victory in overtime. It was the first time in 55 years a team had staged a comeback of that magnitude against the team with the best record in the league.
The Warriors (58-14), who have been the NBA’s best home team since 2014, will be seeking to even the season series as well as win their seventh consecutive game.
One of the surprise teams of the NBA in the first half of the season, the Grizzlies (40-32) have come back to reality, going 6-8 since the All-Star break. They’ve lost their last two, at New Orleans and at San Antonio.
Warriors by 10.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Stephen Curry vs. Mike Conley: It has become cliché to say Conley is underrated, so we’ll just say he’s the NBA’s finest unsung point guard. Curry and his teammates know this. Conley this season is averaging career-highs in scoring (20.0 points per game), field -goal percentage (44.9) and 3-point field-goal percentage (39.7). Curry, of course, is the back-to-back MVP and the man most likely to feel salty about that Jan. 6 loss. He also has been playing well of late. These two will generally dictate the fortunes of their respective teams.
Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain and bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.
Grizzlies: C Marc Gasol (L foot strain) is out. F Chandler Parsons (L knee rehab) is listed as out. G Wade Baldwin, C Deyonta Davis and Jarell Martin are on assignment with Iowa of the D-League.
Warriors: 7-3. Grizzlies: 4-6.
The Warriors have lost two of three meetings earlier this season but have won nine of the last 12 overall.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
THE PACE GAME: The Grizzlies are deliberate and ultra-physical. They prefer to play at a crawl; they rank 28th in pace. Their philosophy is to stay close through three quarters and find a way to win in the fourth. The Warriors want to play at jackrabbit speed; they’re third in pace. The team that can impose its style gains a massive advantage.
OPENING/CLOSING STATEMENTS: The Warriors will seek to build an early lead in hopes of enlarging their margin for error. They may need any cushion they can create, as they well know the Grizzlies thrive in the clutch. Memphis is 15-6 in “super-clutch games (within 3 points in the final minute or regulation or OT).
KLAY AND THE GRINDFATHER: Memphis guard Tony Allen takes particular pride in his ability to defend, and he goes after Klay Thompson like a lion chasing a gazelle. Each has had his individual triumphs over the other, and their battle occasionally influences the outcome. Thompson won the last, torching the Grizzlies for 36 points last month in Memphis. Allen surely remembers that.