Steinmetz: Not Buying into the Warriors' Nice Start


Steinmetz: Not Buying into the Warriors' Nice Start

Nov. 4, 2010
Matt Steinmetz

The possibility exists that at some point during the Warriors' 2010-11season, I'll acknowledge that they're better than I thought they weregoing to be. But that time is certainly not now.

I have the Warriors going 33-49 this season, and if they're a few winsbetter or a few losses worse, hey - close enough. Right now theWarriors are 3-1, and there's some palpable optimism wafting.

Nothing wrong with that. But you can never mention this NBA truismenough: It's a long season. The fact of the matter is sometimes thefirst few weeks of a season can play tricks on you.

So forgive me, but I'm going to be very deliberate when it comes tobelieving this Warriors team could be good. It's way, way too early.

If for no other reason, than a quick look back at some Warriors' history:

--Just a few years back, in 2007-08, the Warriors started the season0-6. Remember that? They ended up winning 48 games that season, morethan any other Warriors team since 1993-94.

--In 2005-06, Mike Montgomery's second season as coach, the Warriorsbegan the season 12-6. And, yes, were 3-1 just like this year's team.But 2005-06 turned into a 34-48 season.

--In 2002-03, Eric Musselman's first season as coach, the Warriorsstarted the season 2-8. By early March, Musselman had the Warriors at30-30 and in playoff contention.

--In 2001-02, the Warriors started 5-3 under Dave Cowens. He would befired by the New Year, and the Warriors limped home at 21-61 thatseason.

--In 1994-95, the Warriors went 7-1 to start the season, includingwinning their first five. That was the Webber holdout year. TheWarriors finished that year 26-56.

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.