Warriors tuning out uproar after bad loss

Warriors tuning out uproar after bad loss
March 15, 2014, 5:45 pm
Share This Post
We don't get too high when we go on the road and beat an Indiana team, and you don't get too low when you lose to a team, at home, that's out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
Stephen Curry

OAKLAND – Mark Jackson hears the noise, and so does Stephen Curry. They know each Warriors loss leads to agitation among anxious members of the fan base, as well as panic in some local media.

The coach and team leader know of the uproar, but neither is listening.

Nor should they, for the racket is too loud and too frequent and altogether misguided.

[RELATED: Rewind: Warriors fall victim to old ways in loss to Cavs]

The most recent loss to reignite carping within the cult came Friday night, when the woeful Cavaliers, clearly prepared to lay down, revived themselves and came back to wallop the Warriors 103-94 at Oracle Arena.

For a Warriors team entering the final, pivotal weeks of the regular season, it was an unforgivably sorry performance. This is no time to go to sleep, especially at home, and their snoring could be heard from Gilroy to Fairfield.

The Warriors and their fans have to live with another mystifyingly poor performance. Moreover, though, nobody will truly suffer for it.

What is being lost in the din is perspective. The Warriors have been so reliably awful for so long it's as if folks conditioned to the misery – and inspired by the occasional spike – haven't quite figured out how to respond to the scent of success.

"It's a good thing to me, if you think about it,'' Curry said after practice Saturday. "I was here five years ago and understand that if we lost by two at home to a playoff team, it was a (moral) victory because we probably played an exciting game.

"But now we're 41-26 and it's the end of the world when you lose a winnable game at home.''

Success, no matter how small, always raises expectations. The sad-sack Warriors of old are gone, killed off by an improved roster developing on the fly, under a coach who is a magnet for criticism – with as much of it clearly personal as might be invited by Jackson.

"You can't do anything about your players reading it or not reading it,'' Jackson said. "They're grown men. But you have to understand what it is. (The media) has a responsibility to write and react or talk. And I always believe 'Don't get too high when they're praising you and don't get too low when they're killing you.'

"The barometer is the basketball where we are, how far we've come and where we're going.''

Jackson won't be shaken because his faith is too strong. There is a reason he does not cuss, does not scream at his players and has coached 215 games without being whistled for a technical foul.

Good grief, the man walked out of a very unhappy locker room Friday night and addressed more than a 1,000 fans during Fellowship Night at Oracle. Jackson worked up more of a sweat preaching the gospel than he did coaching the game.

It's not that he doesn't care about his team. There is no question he does. But Jackson is more concerned with the whole man than the basketball player.

He is moved by his own principles, not by the roar of the crowd.

"That doesn't move me either way,'' he said. "The mission is still the mission.''

The mission is to make the Warriors so consistently better than they've been that it becomes a standard. They want to be coastal version of the San Antonio Spurs, where winning is ingrained in the culture.

The Warriors, clearly, are not yet there. And getting there always comes with cuts and bruises and heartbreaks, no matter who is doing the coaching,

"We hold ourselves to a level of expectation when it comes to how we're going to play,'' Curry said. "We don't get too high when we go on the road and beat an Indiana team, and you don't get too low when you lose to a team, at home, that's out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.

"We have 15 games left to seal our spot in the playoffs, and it resets from there.''

And that's when the grades come in for this team. That's when apprehension is justified and the worry is rational.

That's when the Warriors will be judged. It's quite an adjustment. And we're not yet accustomed to such a lofty standard.