Salient advice for the Warriors fan

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Salient advice for the Warriors fan

Mark Jacksons first pre-camp presser happened Wednesday and it was full of the usual high-minded projections about the new, improved and potentially glorious Warriors.

It was quite the show.

But the nagging question, the one that wont be answered, is whether this Warrior team can go from 23-43 (which pro-rates out to 28-54) to 46-36, which is the average number of wins for the eighth-place team in the Western Conference over the last decade.

Forty-six. The one time the Warriors reached the playoffs, they won 42, including the game Dallas threw to them to insure they got into the playoffs so they could smack the Mavericks in the first round. It is one of the great ignored parts of the We Believe season -- that there would have been nothing to believe in if not for Dallas misplaced hubris.

But we digress.

This Warrior team is much changed -- Andrew Bogut, a populous draft, Stephen Curry claiming his foot faces the correct way again, a full year of the Jackson regime under their belts.
RELATED: Mark Jackson talks all things Warriors

But does that justify playoff plans? Given this teams history of disappointing, or failing outright, one would be a fool to think so.

And while we dont wish to spoil anyones delusions before that have fully bloomed, let us offer an alternative to bubbly hope:

The willingness to be happily surprised.

The Warriors are probably not 18 games better than they were a year ago, because they havent been 18 games better than they were in the previous year in almost a quarter-century. Eighteen games is a lot.

So lets take a more realistic stance and say they should give a go at .500. Thats 13 games, which is still a nice jump, but it is not extraordinary. It has the added benefit of being something the Warriors havent done very often in the last 30-plus years, so it would be a dramatic offer of improvement.

And improvement is what ought to be sold here. The problem, of course, being that improvement isnt much of a hook for a team that rarely engages in it.

You see, Joe Lacob doesnt get to be Joe Lacob with a .500 Or Bust slogan. .500 doesnt get you into the Top 8. As we showed you, .549 doesnt get you into the top eight.

So never mind what the Warriors might be saying about the postseason. Your sights should be adjusted to a more sensible level, not because you should settle for .500, but because if the Warriors dont make the full 18-game jump, youre going to start thinking that changes need to be made.

And the biggest problem the Warriors have exhibited throughout most of the last 20 years is a hyperkinetic throw out the baby, the bath, and the bathroom approach to franchise building.

They just did it again this past year. New general manager, new coach, another new general manager, blockbuster trade, and bitching about injuries.

Well, that last one is a constant. Hey, you cant change everything every year.

But the Warriors come close. Twelve coaches, eight general managers and three ownership groups in 17 years, that close. Everybody is a hurry to put their stamp on the team, and all they end up doing is stamp on the team.

So the one thing that hasnt been tried here is common sense. Not by the team; it cant be seen to look like the playoffs arent the goal. But for the fan base that isnt blinkered to reality, a gentler place for its expectations should be found.

And, if the Warriors end up with the 13-game improvement rather than the 18-game improvement, that level of common sense should trickle up as well. This season should be a referendum on the coaching staff only if it stays at 28 wins, or worse, the 23 wins it actually achieved in last years truncated season. If the Warriors remain the flat, featureless meh-fest they have been, then another round of change can't be defended. Otherwise, no.

But theres one more reason why expectations in September should be leveled. The We Believe team won the areas hearts because it was such a surprise; even coach Don Nelson declared them dead in February that year. They literally leapt from the crypt to make their mark in a way that almost no 42-win team has before, or since. And you all had a ball watching them do it.

So let them give it a try again. Expect less, and be ready to enjoy more if it happens. No playoff success is better than the kind you never saw coming, a truth you just relearned last year with the 49ers. Expectations bring angst, and bitterness, and overthinking -- a truth you are relearning this year with the Giants.

So Mark Jackson can say what he likes about this Warrior team, but you will be better off cooling your own internal jets on them. The playoffs are too big an ask, and if it turns out that it wasnt, I told you so, wont win you as many friends and good times as Man, I never thought that could happen.

Ray Ratto is a columnist for CSNBayArea.com

Report: Derrick Rose 'has committed to sign' with Cavs

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USATSI

Report: Derrick Rose 'has committed to sign' with Cavs

The Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be adding a former MVP to the roster.

Free agent point guard Derrick Rose has "committed to sign" with the defending Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers, according to The Vertical.

The pact is expected to be a one-year, $2.1 million deal, according to ESPN.

In one season with the Knicks, Rose appeared in 64 games. He averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds in 32.5 minutes.

News of Rose joining the Cavs comes as trade winds swirl around starting point guard Kyrie Irving.

Drafted No. 1 overall in 2008, Rose spent the first eight years of his career with the Bulls and won the 2010-11 NBA MVP.

Adam Silver feels bad for Cleveland: 'Where there's smoke, there's fire'

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AP

Adam Silver feels bad for Cleveland: 'Where there's smoke, there's fire'

When Adam Silver speaks, you listen (or in this case, you read what he said).

The NBA Commissioner joined The Rich Eisen Show on Monday morning and was asked the following question:

"Are you ecstatic of all this news, all the drama that's being played out in all these rosters in free agency?"

Silver's answer was kind of surprising.

[RELATED: Report: LeBron won't waive no-trade clause for any team]

"I love the interest. I'm not ecstatic about the drama," Silver began. "I feel bad for whatever is going on in Cleveland, and I have no first-hand information.

"But I assume where there's smoke, there's fire. Brian Windhorst has sort of been cataloguing LeBron's career for a long time, and he usually has very accurate insights from that team."

Last Friday, Windhorst broke the news that Kyrie Irving requested a trade.

LeBron James was reportedly "blindsided and disappointed."

"It's upsetting to hear that, when you see superstar players who have co-existed -- who had so much success together, obviously three Finals in a row, one championship -- to hear that for whatever reason, there's a sense that they can't continue to co-exist," Silver added. "Yeah, that's drama, but it's not necessarily the kind of drama that the league wants."

The Cavs selected LeBron with the No.1 overall pick in 2003.

The Cavs selected Kyrie with the No. 1 overall pick in 2011.

LeBron can become a free agent next summer, while Kyrie can hit the open market in July 2019.

Will the Cavs give in to Kyrie's request? Stay tuned...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller