Warriors must hang in early, surge late

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Warriors must hang in early, surge late

When it comes to assessing the Warriors chances for successin 2012-13, you get an array of opinions from their fans.Some believe this Warriors roster is as complete as anysince the 2007-08 season, when they went 48-34. Those fans are thinkingplayoffs, not surprisingly.The more pessimistic fans are skeptical that the team canremain healthy for an entire season, and that even if they do its going to betough to make the playoffs.But the one thing everyone can likely agree on is that therecipe for Warriors success seems clear: Theyve got to hang in early and thenmake a surge late.In other words, dont look for the Warriors to start quicklyand be firmly embedded in the playoff mix from the get-go and then try tohold off the competition.The 2012-13 Warriors schedule lends itself to the teamwinning more games late in the season than early. In short, their schedule isvery unfriendly early, then gets more kind late.NEWS: Warriors open season in Phoenix on HalloweenThe Warriors open with 15 of their first 24 games on theroad. Of the nine home games they play during that stretch, six will comeagainst playoff teams from a year ago.The Warriors complete that early stretch with a seven-gameroad trip to Detroit, Brooklyn, Washington, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando andAtlanta. Yes, there a few winnable games on that trip, but keep in mind theWarriors were just 11-22 on the road a season ago. Their record away fromOracle Arena the past four seasons is 37-119 (.237).The Warriors, who went 23-43 last season, expect to be abetter team overall in 2012-13, and certainly a better road team. But thereality is that the core of the team will be playing together for the firsttime come the start of the season, and that doesnt lend itself to a quickstart when the majority of games are away from Oracle.The good news comes in March and April, when the Warriorswill have an opportunity to do some major damage. Sixteen of the teams final22 are at home, including two separate homestands of seven and five games,respectively.The seven-gamer in March is littered with winnable games Toronto, Sacramento, Houston, Milwaukee, New York, Detroit and Chicago andthe five-gamer isnt exactly a bear, either: Washington, L.A. Lakers,Sacramento, Portland and New Orleans.The Warriors schedule sets the team up for plenty of winslate in the season. But for those wins to matter, the Warriors are going tohave stay afloat early.

Lillard: If Blazers get Carmelo and then run into Warriors during playoffs...

Lillard: If Blazers get Carmelo and then run into Warriors during playoffs...

Who will Carmelo Anthony play for next season?

The Knicks? Rockets? Cavs? Blazers?

Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum are hoping Carmelo ends up in Portland.

"I spoke to him," Lillard told Joe Freeman of The Oregonian. "Because, obviously, he makes us a better team. Obviously with that being out there and that being a real possibility, I don't see why I wouldn't reach out to him and let him know that the interest is mutual if he's interested in us."

[REWIND: McCollum's message to those who think Warriors are bad for the NBA]

What was his reaction?

"I ain't gonna share all that," Lillard said. "We had a conversation about it because it's something that we need to talk about, so he knew that it wasn't just the team -- but it was myself and C.J. -- would love to have him here. So I reached out to him."

How would he help the Blazers?

"He's Carmelo Anthony," Lillard responded. "You add another guy that can go out there and score 50 ... over the last decade, he's been one of the best players in the league. Playing against him, you know he's a cerebral player. He's smart...

"I can only imagine what it would be like having him iso'ing on one side, and C.J. in a corner, and me on the opposite wing and Nurk (Jusuf Nurkic) ... I can only imagine how hard it would be to guard us when it's already hard to guard us.

"We can compete with anybody in the West, but I think when you get to those teams like Golden State, if we happen to run into them in a playoff situation now -- we getting in the paint, and if they want to help off someone like Melo ... good luck."

The Warriors beat the Blazers in five games in the 2016 Western Conference Semifinals and swept them in the opening round of the 2017 playoffs.

According to McCollum, the Blazers would definitely have homecourt in the first round of the playoffs should Carmelo head to the Pacific Northwest.

"Very talented player. And I think if we get him -- when we get him -- speak it into existence ... I think Top 3 in the West, easy," McCollum declared. "I think he's interested."

Carmelo is reportedly pushing for a trade to the Rockets...

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

Redick got 'break-up call,' can't put finger on why Clippers didn't have fun

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AP

Redick got 'break-up call,' can't put finger on why Clippers didn't have fun

J.J. Redick no longer plays for the Clippers.

After four seasons in Los Angeles, Redick will suit up for the 76ers next season.

"Going back to the Clippers was honestly just not an option," he explained on The Chronicles of Redick podcast. "I kind of figured last summer when they signed Austin (Rivers) and Jamal (Crawford) back, they basically had guaranteed $25 million in salary for this upcoming season.

"And I knew they weren't gonna really be able to commit financially long-term to having a third shooting guard at a high rate. That's just unrealistic.

"June 29th -- Lawrence Frank was nice enough and professional enough to give me a call. I call it my 'break-up call.' He basically said 'You know, we're not gonna bring you back.'

"But like I said, I have a great relationships there and am very appreciative of my time."

Redick was joined on his inaugural UNINTERRUPTED podcast by Maverick Carter -- UNINTERRUPTED CEO.

The two had the following exchange:

Carter: "Win, lose, or draw, you gotta have fun going to work. The worst place a person -- not just an athlete -- if you're not getting up every day and going, 'Oh, I can't wait to get in to work. I'm gonna have some fun today. At least I'm gonna see some people I like.'

"And I think that's important, too. Finding that right fit ... you talked about it on the Clippers -- you guys lost fun. Everyone watching the Clippers could tell that. None of you guys were saying it, but everybody watching the Clippers would go, 'This team isn't having fun. They're a really good team, really talented, a collection of great players. but they're just not having fun.'

"You watch the teams who are having fun -- you watch their bench, you watch how everyone reacts -- anyone who knows sport could watch you guys and go, 'they're not having fun.'"

Redick: "The natural follow-up question to that statement would be: 'Why not? Why are you guys not having fun? You're playing for Doc, you're in LA, you've got talent, you should be having fun.' And at least for the four years that I was there, you try to put your finger on it ... and I could never do that.

"Leaving there, I don't have any ill will towards anyone certainly. Certainly no one to blame or anything like that ... we just couldn't get it done in the postseason."

Perhaps the Clippers weren't having much fun because...

Redick, who turned 33 years old in June, signed a one-year deal with Philly worth $23 million.

He wanted a multi-year deal but didn't get it.

"I wanted stability," Redick explained. "And so the one year with Philly -- I wanted stability more than anything -- and there's all these reports going back to last season saying, 'J.J. wants $16 to $18 (million), and then after the season there was a report in the LA Times from Brad Turner (saying) J.J. wants $18 to $20 (million) a year.'

"First of all, I didn't want any of that. I don't even care. I wanted more years. That was the most important thing to me ... I just wanted to be on a longer deal ... I was more than willing to take less than whatever number was reported."

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