Mailbag: Comparing 2012 Warriors with Webber's Kings

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Mailbag: Comparing 2012 Warriors with Webber's Kings

Mailtime Now that the Warriors are built more like a traditional team, will they be as exciting to watch? Nellie-ball was good times even if losing. Patrick, Bay Area.Steinmetz: When I think of the most exciting NBA teams of the past decade or so, the team I think about is the Sacramento Kings of the early 2000s.No team passed the ball better. No team moved without the ball more. And no team shared it like the Kings. They were a well-oiled machine of movement, and they were brutal to defend.It was mostly because Chris Webber and Vlade Divac, the Kings starting power forward and center, respectively, were absolutely terrific passers, and that allowed Sacramento to play a different kind of way that was both successful and entertaining.The Kings also had Mike Bibby, Doug Christie and Peja Stojakovic, and each of those players were threats from the perimeter. In Stojakovics case, he was one of the elite shooters in the game at that time.The general point, and its tough to get around it, is that the Warriors kind of resemble that Kings team a little bit. Of course its not a perfect comparison but its there.Look, of course the Warriors arent as talented as those Kings teams. Not saying that. Not even close. The Kings knocked on the Finals door for a few years, and Webber was a legitimate MVP candidate. The Warriors dont have anyone as impactful as Webber, and, further, most of their core has never played in the postseason.When I think of those Kings teams, I think of zip-zip-zip because thats how fast the ball seemed to go when they were on offense and it always seemed to end up in the hands of a wide-open player.While David Lee and Andrew Bogut arent Webber-Divac, its still a darn good passing frontcourt. And last I checked, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Brandon Rush could put the ball in the basket from the outside. Maybe Harrison Barnes, too.In Currys case, were talking about one of the best shooters in the league.Lee and Bogut have the ability to see the floor better than most big men and they also are pretty good at thinking ahead. Parlay that with smaller players who excel at shooting the ball, and you could see how the Warriors would be able to play an interesting style.Theres no reason the Warriors couldnt turn into a team that is active, precise and difficult to defend. It seems only logical that the Warriors will try to space the floor some and employ a lot of cutting, movement and screening.If they do it well, they could be fun to watch. They wont be as exciting as those Kings teams, because those Kings teams were unique and among the best in the NBA. But theyre not a bad example of the kind of team the Warriors might try to emulate.What kind of year do you see Draymond Green having? Brett, San Anselmo, Calif.Steinmetz: Thats kind of a tricky one to answer, actually. On the one hand, I could see Green barely playing and perhaps being a D-League candidate. After all, the Warriors have a lot of players who are supposed to be ahead of him David Lee and Carl Landry at power forward and Harrison Barnes, Brandon Rush (particularly because he made it clear he wants to start) and maybe even Richard Jefferson at small forward.So, you have to ask yourself: Hows he going to get minutes?Then again, you see a player that the Warriors invested two-plus years of money into already and were talking about a second-round pick. It seems clear they like him.Plus, if theres one thing you hear about Green its that he knows how to play, is smart, can pass, has a good feel, etc. The Warriors can use as many of those kinds of players as they can get.What Im getting at is that perhaps Green can find a niche for himself, even in his first season. I dont see that as outside the realm of possibility.Assuming health, how do you see the minutes breaking down this season, including starters and guys coming off the bench? Scott, Novato, Calif. --Steinmetz: Thats a good question, one I could probably devote more words to. And I probably will as the season gets closer. OK, heres a minutes prediction, keeping in mind that I would be very, very conservative as it pertains to Andrew Bogut and Stephen Curry. In other words, when it comes to minutes per game, Im playing it very cautiously. So, here goes:
Curry: 32 mpg.
Klay Thompson: 26 mpg.
Harrison Barnes: 20 mpg.
David Lee: 34 mpg.
Bogut: 28 mpg.
Jarrett Jack: 28 mpg.
Carl Landry: 24 mpg.
Brandon Rush: 18 mpg.
Andris BiedrinsFestus Ezeli: 15 mpg.
Richard JeffersonDraymond GreenCharles Jenkins: 15 mpg.

Warriors, Cavs to square off in ultimate NBA Finals trilogy

Warriors, Cavs to square off in ultimate NBA Finals trilogy

The Trilogy has arrived.

The Warriors. The Cavaliers. Facing each other in the NBA Finals for the third consecutive postseason. The series begins June 1 with Game 1 at Oracle Arena.

With a 135-102 victory over the Celtics Thursday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Cavs advance to face a Warriors team riding the wave created by being the first club in NBA history to start the postseason with 12 straight wins.

With the teams splitting the first two Finals, the Warriors winning in 2015 and the Cavs prevailing last June, this one is to break the tie.

In the meantime, both teams have done some significant retooling.

The Warriors last summer added four-time scoring champion Kevin Durant, along with veterans JaVale McGee, Zaza Pachulia and David West.

Though LeBron James remains the hub of the Cavs, the team made several in-season changes, most notably adding veterans Kyle Korver and Deron Williams.

The Warriors came into the playoffs having earned the No. 1 overall seed by virtue of their NBA-best 67-15 record. They’re 27-1 since March 11, having ended the regular season by winning 15 of their last 16 games before taking out Portland, Utah and San Antonio in four games each to reach The Finals.

The Cavaliers (51-31) held the top seed in the East for most of the season before staggering over the final six weeks, going 9-12 over their final 21 games, including four consecutive losses to end the season.

Cleveland seems to have recovered from its late-season slump, sweeping Indiana and Toronto in the first two rounds before ousting the Celtics in five.

The Warriors and Cavs split two games in the regular season, each team winning on its home floor. Cleveland took a 109-108 decision on Christmas Day, while the Warriors came back for a 126-91 on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Oakland.

The NBA Finals schedule can be seen below. 

Game 1 – Thu  June  1  Cleveland at Golden State          6:00PM  

Game 2 – Sun  June  4  Cleveland at Golden State          5:00PM  

Game 3 – Wed  June  7  Golden State at Cleveland          6:00PM  

Game 4 – Fri  June  9  Golden State at Cleveland             6:00PM  

Game 5 * Mon  June 12  Cleveland at Golden State          6:00PM  

Game 6 * Thu  June 15  Golden State at Cleveland          6:00PM  

Game 7 * Sun  June 18  Cleveland at Golden State          5:00PM    

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

Myers: 'It's painful' that Kerr not able to treasure being in NBA Finals

OAKLAND -- Warriors coach Steve Kerr is no closer to resuming full-time duties than he was a week ago, or even a month ago.

Out since April 23, when he announced he was taking a leave of absence to address chronic pain in the wake of multiple back surgeries nearly two years ago, Kerr has been a constant presence the past two weeks but not on the bench during games.

“He’s doing everything but coaching, but at this point, he’s not able to coach,” general manager Bob Myers said Thursday after practice. “I wish could say that he was. I’m sure he wishes he could as well. But that’s where we are.

“If something changes and he feels better, I’ll sit here or, better -- he would sit here -- and tell you. But right now, I can’t say that he’s going to be coaching.”

Though Kerr did not address media Thursday, he indicated earlier this week that he would be comfortable going into the NBA Finals, which begin June 1, with acting head coach Mike Brown at the helm.

“We’re 12-0,” Kerr told NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I feel great about where the team is. I know we can play better. I think the challenge we’re about to face, one way or the other, is going to take us to another level.”

The Warriors under Kerr finished the regular season with a league-best 67-15 mark, earning the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs. Kerr coached Games 1 and 2 of the first round against Portland before surrendering head coaching duties to Brown.

The Warriors are 10-0 since Brown took over, 27-1 over their last 28 games since March 11.

Still, they would like Kerr to regain health and join them in their quest for a second championship in three years.

“It’s hard for me; I’m kind of in this basketball mode,” Myers said. “But he’s a person and he’s not feeling well. And that’s what makes it hard. More than how it reflects on our team is how he’s feeling that makes it very difficult to have to sit here and say that the man that’s hugely responsible for us being in The Finals for three years in a row, in a moment that he should be treasuring, can’t do it.

“It’s painful. And I know it’s painful for him, more than anybody. And I wish and he wishes and I’m sure you guys do, too, that there was something that could get him there. But right now, we’re not at that point.”