Warriors-Hornets: What to watch for


Warriors-Hornets: What to watch for

The Warriors will try to avoid equaling a season-high five-game losing streak when they play the Hornets in New Orleans on Wednesday.It is the first game of a back-to-back for the Warriors. Theyll play at Houston on Thursday.Here are some things to watch for during Wednesdays Warriors-Hornets game:Establish consistency: Since trading Monta Ellis to the Milwaukee Bucks last week, the Warriors have been all over the map with their effort level.The Warriors played back-to-back solid games against Sacramento and the Boston Celtics, coming away with a win against the Kings. But the Warriors looked brutal last Friday in a loss to Milwaukee. They came back and played a very good game in Utah, losing to the Jazz in overtime, but then played one of their worst first halves of the season against the Timberwolves on Monday.The Warriors have 23 games remaining in a season in which the goals and priorities have changed. The Warriors are no longer realistic about their playoff chances and instead are focusing on the future.Still, Warriors coach Mark Jacksons task is to make sure his team stays conscientious for the rest of the season and puts in a good effort game in and game out.Find out about Jenkins: Rookie point guard Charles Jenkins has been playing a little bit more since Ellis has been traded with mixed results.Jenkins has been backing up Nate Robinson, but it isnt clear whether or not hes ready for a full-time backup role or more minutes.Look for Jackson to use the remaining 23 games to try to figure out whether Jenkins is in the teams long-term plans or not.Biedrins status: Center Andris Biedrins has become the forgotten man on the Warriors this season. Quite simply, he started the season poorly with his play and he hasnt gotten any better since.He is listed as questionable for the game against the Hornets because of a strained groin. But in terms of the big picture, the question is whether or not Biedrins can show any positive signs in the last part of the season that he might be able to carry over to 2012-13.

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

The dynamic duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving lasted just three seasons.

Despite making it to the NBA Finals in all three seasons, Irving wanted out of the partnership.

On Tuesday, he got his wish as the Cavs traded him to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first-round pick.

While the rumor was that Irving didn't want to play with James anymore, the four-time MVP had nothing but nice words to say about Irving on Twitter a few hours after the trade became official.

"That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode," James wrote in response to a short video of a fan placing a 'thank you' note on Irving's No. 2 Cavs jersey.

James and Irving won't have to wait very long to see each other again. The Cavs and Celtics face each other on Opening Night in Cleveland.

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

The Kyrie Irving-from-LeBronville Heights-to-Bahstin trade is rightly being called a blockbuster because it engenders so many concepts at once – making the second-best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference seemingly better than the first-best team with one phone call and five shifted bodies.

At least that’s how it plays outside the Bay Area, because now that the Golden State Warriors have taken ownership of the entire league, Kyrie Irving’s whereabouts don’t actually change the balance of power – because there is none.

There’s the power, and there’s the other 29 teams.

Plus, and this is a forgotten element through all the machinations of the NBA’s Meth-Bender Summer, the league is fighting over individual pieces when the Warriors are preaching the virtues of the mega-ensemble.

Irving wants to be the focus of his team, which seems to fly in the face of Boston’s ball-movement philosophy. Paul George, who complained when he didn’t take the last shot in a playoff game this April, is in Oklahoma City with the master of the me-first game, Russell Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony is still in stasis but constantly mentioned as the next Houston Rocket, joining Chris Paul and James Harden in what would seem to be the living embodiment of The Total Is Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts ball.

Unless, of course, all these assumptions are wrong, and all the relocated stars suddenly find the virtues the Warriors displayed in boatracing the field this year and become not only unselfish offensively but more stridently devoted to defense. All these players are bright, determined, and seemingly open to new ideas (well, maybe not Melo, but even that is open to debate), but will they choose to be?

And even more compelling, will there be the immediate payoff in doing so?

On Question A, let us be charitable and suggest that they can do that. On Question B, however, such a return seems unlikely unless the Warriors either devote themselves to the pursuit of self or fail to avoid the medical department.

There is something worrisome about the sureness with which people are conceding 2018 – can all these self-absorbed morons be right? Things can happen to great teams, even in the NBA, which is the most hierarchical of sports.

But only the Warriors can beat the Warriors, because Kyrie Irving the Celtic does not seem at first glance to be better positioned for a parade than Kyrie Irving the Cavalier.

And that’s true of every roster move this summer. Deck chairs were moved for a better view, but the bridge is manned by the same captain, at least for the time being.