The Lakers don't do 1-4

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The Lakers don't do 1-4

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If you think about it, Kobe Bryant went easy on Mike Brown when he gave him the shark-eye Wednesday night. He could have just turned him into a pillar of salt.And even if you dont factor in the heart disease that comes with that much salt, thats still way worse than merely being fired.Brown got his after the Lakers became the first team since . . . uhh, last year, and every year before that since the earth cooled . . . to start a season 1-4. He got it for not having the kind of throw-weight to keep the players attention, and if the blame for his dismissal falls on Bryant, well, there wont be that much blame. You go 1-4 with the Lakers, youre lucky not to be tied the front of a Lamborghini Murcielago and rammed into a wall.But that was the job Brown took, and he knew it when he took it. He had to take a rapidly aging roster, convince it to run a new offense, lose his point guard, and still make it work. That, and a billion dollars, makes you a billionaire.He isnt the first one to fail to do an undoable job. That he is a convenient scapegoat is frankly what he signed up for, though, so sympathy for him and his plight is what we in the medical community call misplaced.The next poor hyena to take the job . . . er, Nate McMillan . . . will learn this as well. The Lakers could throw Steve Nash and Dwight Howard into the side, but it was going to take for them to absorb each others styles, let alone a whole new offense. Whatever Brown could have done in place of the Princeton sets was going to suffer just as much, just because Nash plays differently than Bryant plays differently than Howard. The math is inescapable, the interpersonal relations soluble only with time. Lots more time than the Lakers gave this little experiment.So the future? Theyll be fine. They were going to be fine with Brown, but patience is what happens to other people in other cities. In the perfect world, Jerry Buss would rise from whatever poker table he is wedged into a hire Stan Van Gundy . . . you know, just to see if Howard has the same death-stare powers that Bryant does.But that wont happen, because the Lakers do not have a sense of humor, and never have. Here, they could learn a thing or six from the Warriors, where hilarity ensues after practice, and where every ankle is made of corn chips. The Warriors are, frankly, funny as hell.The Lakers? Not so much. They dont do 1-4, so they do coaches. Mike Brown took the job knowing exactly what it was. Thatll teach him. But it could have been worse.It could been much higher in sodium content.Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

OAKLAND -- It was with impeccable timing, for the Warriors and for Andre Iguodala, that he has spent recent weeks summoning all the best parts of his game.

He has been a disruptive force on defense, as usual, but at a time when the Warriors needed something extra at both ends of the court, he is providing an abundance of offensive electricity.

Iguodala came through once more on Sunday as the Warriors suffocated Memphis in the fourth quarter to take a 106-94 win at Oracle Arena. Though the team’s Sixth Man again scored at an efficient clip -- 20 points on eight shot attempts -- his ability to energize teammates from Stephen Curry to Draymond Green to Klay Thompson and beyond is no less significant.

“We feed off his energy when we see him get a rebound or get a steal, push up the court, make a crazy inside-out dribble and finish at the rim, knock down threes or play-make for other guys,” Curry said. “It’s fun to watch.”

Iguodala’s rise has coincided with the loss of Kevin Durant, the team’s leading scorer and someone who plays the same position. With Durant out, Iguodala has taken on additional playing time, which can be risky for someone in his 13th season.

“He’s been fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He looks incredibly athletic, bouncy and fresh. He’s a pro. The guy just knows how to take care of his body. He’s done a great job of stepping up in KD’s absence and recognizing what we need from him.”

The Warriors have played 13 games since Durant went down with a knee injury, and Iguodala has played in 11 of them, shooting 44 percent from deep and 61.8 percent overall. The man who shot 62.3 percent from the line in his first three seasons as a Warrior is at 70.1 percent this season. Leadership also is part of the package.

“I try to read (what’s needed) when I get into the game,” Iguodala said. “Try to bring that energy. And, more than anything, lead by example. Not say too much. Just show it.”

When Iguodala is sprinting up and down the court, rising and dunking on one end, stripping balls away on the other, the Warriors are appreciably better team. If the Curry-Durant-Green-Thompson foursome is the engine, Iguodala is the turbo boost.

“We’re a completely different team when he’s as aggressive as he’s been of late,” Green said. “When he’s moving the way he’s been moving -- he’s beating everybody down the floor -- it makes us a completely different team. “

Igoudala’s minutes have spiked, from 23 per game in November, to 26 in December, to 27 in January and February, to almost 29 in March.

“I don’t want to run his minutes up too much,” Kerr said. “But if he has to play a couple extra minutes while KD is out, then that’s fine.”

It’s fine with Iguodala and it’s paying off for the Warriors.

Iguodala hopes it pays off, literally, when he becomes a free agent in July.

Though free agents entering their 14th season don’t often command big money, he is making a very impressive audition for the Warriors or any team that might be interested in his services.

Iguodala has made it clear he’d prefer to stay in the Bay Area, and at this rate the Warriors may have to find the necessary coins to bring him back.

Instant Replay: Warriors finish strong, grind past Grizzlies

Instant Replay: Warriors finish strong, grind past Grizzlies

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- There was plenty of tension and more than a few pulse-stopping moments, but the Warriors found a way to win their seventh consecutive game.

The Warriors’ 106-94 victory Sunday over the admirably recalcitrant Memphis Grizzlies was a work in persistence and overcome moments in which the worst of their work was on full display before a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.

Klay Thompson scored 31 points to lead the offense. Stephen Curry had 21 points and a game-high 11 assists, Andre Iguodala had 20 and Matt Barnes finished with 10 as the Warriors evened the season series with the Grizzlies at 2-2.

The Warriors (59-14) fought off numerous Memphis rallies but turned up the defense in the fourth quarter, holding the Grizzlies to 13 points on 5-of-25 (20 percent) shooting over the final 12 minutes.

The Warriors offset 18 turnovers, giving the Grizzlies 16 point, by shooting 54.2 percent from the field.

Mike Conley scored 29 points to lead Memphis, which fell to 40-33.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

As good as the Splash Brothers were, and they were superb, it was Iguodala’s play at both ends that made a major difference.

Iguodala’s line: 20 points (7-of-8 shooting from the field, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc, 4-of-5 from the line), a team-high-tying seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot. He played 32 minutes and was plus-9 for the game.

TURNING POINT

After the Grizzlies pulled into an 81-81 tie with 25.2 left in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 15-5 run to go up 96-86 on a 3-pointer by Curry with 4:57 remaining.

Memphis got no closer than nine in the final minutes.

INJURY UPDATE

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) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff. F Chandler Parsons (L knee rehab) was listed as out. C Deyonta Davis and F Jarell Martin are on assignment with Iowa of the D-League.

WHAT’S NEXT

The Warriors travel Monday to Houston, where on Tuesday night they face the Rockets at Toyota Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.