There are still some things to wrap upfrom the Monta Ellis-Bogut trade and other Warriors related matters headinginto Fridays game against the Milwaukee Bucks.--- There are a lot of people wonderingwhy the Warriors also acquired the retired T.J. Ford in the RichardJefferson-for-Stephen Jackson trade that included a pick.Heres my understanding: the tradewould have worked salary-wise whether Ford was included in the deal or not. TheWarriors took on Fords salary, a little over 1 million, because getting theSpurs pick was worth it from Golden States point of view.As far as the Spurs, they could very well be a luxury tax team and would be penalized a dollar-for-dollar amount at the endof the season. So, by moving Ford to the Warriors, they take more than 1million off their books now, but also will save themselves another million inpenalty money down the road.Moving Ford also gives the Spurs moreroster flexibility in terms of possibly adding a player down theline.As for the Warriors, theyre notexactly on the hook for all of Fords salary anyway. Insurance will take careof most of it.--- Warriors general manager Larry Rileysaid the team, doctors and Stephen Curry are still working on a course ofaction for the rest of the season regarding his injured anklefoot.It is possible and some would sayexpected that the Warriors will soon announce they are shutting Curry downfor the rest of the season. In the short term, Riley said earlier this weekthat Curry would definitely not play in either of this weekends games vs.Milwaukee on Friday and at Utah on Saturday.--- At this point the Warriors will haveat least three picks and possibly four in the upcoming 2012 NBA draft. TheWarriors now own San Antonios conditional first round pick, which would be theNo. 27 overall pick right now.The Warriors also have the New JerseyNets second-round pick, which would be the No. 36 pick overall right now. Andthey also own the worst of Atlantas two second-round picks, which at thispoint would fall between the Nos. 45 and 50 picks.Of course, the most important pick forthe Warriors is their own. If the Warriors wind up with a top-seven pick in thedraft, they will keep the pick. If the Warriors end up with the No. 8 pick orworse, the pick will be conveyed to Utah.
OAKLAND -- For the first time since he joined the coaching staff last summer, Mike Brown on Wednesday morning arrived at the Warriors facility a man in charge.
As acting head coach, he would decide when practice started and when it ended, and conduct proceedings in between.
The general activity was not much different for anyone else, though, as it continues to become evident that everything the Warriors do for the foreseeable future will be a Brown-Kerr, or Kerr-Brown, production.
“Steve is going to be a part of this process the whole time,” Brown said after practice. “Almost before I do anything, I’m going to consult with him. The only time I won’t consult with him is probably during a game.”
Since Kerr’s announcement last Sunday that he was taking an indefinite leave to attend to personal health issues, Brown has been wielding the clipboard. He actually coached Game 3 against Portland last Saturday, in Kerr’s absence, before knowing in advance he’d also coach Game 4 Monday night.
Brown is 2-0, with the Game 4 win clinching a Warriors sweep of the Trail Blazers. Yet Brown is quick to remind anyone that he is following the plan laid out by Kerr. The two exchanged texts Tuesday and, according to Brown, “spoke at length” after the game between the Jazz and the Clippers -- one of which will face the Warriors in the next round.
Though the Warriors are operating under a different head coach, all indications are the atmosphere around the team remains stable and relatively unchanged.
“Obviously it’s different personalities, but when you make it about the players, when you make it about winning, all that other stuff really doesn’t matter,” Kevin Durant said. “He coaches us. He coaches the game of basketball and he does it very well. Our whole coaching staff does the same thing.
“When it’s about basketball, it’s not about trying to have authority over us. He’s just coaching us. He’s just coaching us up. He’s just telling us the proper way to do things on the basketball court. It’s pretty simple when you try to do that. Then it’s on us to try to execute.”
Execution has gone well, particularly over the last six quarters of the series against Portland. The Warriors wiped out a 16-point deficit in the second half to win Game 3, and then rolled to a 35-9 start in Game 4 before coasting to the closeout victory.
Brown was on the sideline in Game 4, with Kerr watching the game from the locker room.
It’s fairly apparent, though, that everyone involved feels a heightened sense of accountability and ownership.
“Mike has had a pretty big voice throughout the whole season,” Durant said. “He’s been a head coach before, understands what it takes to be a head coach. And the coaching staff is just so smart, and they empower each other.
“Anybody, if you’re around us on a day-to-day basis, anybody can tell that they work well as a group. Coach Kerr does a great job. He spearheads it all by empowering everybody, from the coaches to the players.”
OAKLAND -- After arriving in Oakland in the wee hours Tuesday morning, the Warriors took the day off, went through a light practice Wednesday and will take another day off Thursday.
Not really, when the next game is at least four days away.
The semi-lax scheduling isn’t the decision of acting head coach Mike Brown. It’s not even the decision of head coach Steve Kerr, who was not at practice Wednesday and remains out indefinitely. It’s a common sense call that was made between the two men, with players and staffers on board.
“If you can sweep every series,” Kevin Durant said after practice, “then that’ll be perfect.”
This is one of the perks of sweeping a first-round opponent. By eliminating the Trail Blazers in four games and with their next opponent undetermined, the Warriors are able to balance work and rest.
“With this group here,” Brown said, “the continuity that the nucleus has and how intelligent the guys are, with the big-time veterans we’ve brought in, we feel that rest for their bodies and mentally (are) more important than coming in here and having practice on a daily basis.”
They also have a couple guys recovering from injuries. Forward Matt Barnes (right foot/ankle bone bruise) has been out two weeks, and guard Shaun Livingston (right index finger sprain/hand contusion) has missed the past nine days. Both, however, are expected to be available for the next series.
The soonest that would be is Sunday against Utah, which owns a 3-2 series lead over the Clippers and can close it out Friday in Salt Lake City. If the Clippers win and push the series to seven games, the Warriors would then open against the Clippers-Jazz winner on May 2.
Meanwhile, the Warriors have no choice but to prepare for both, with plenty of time to do so.