Where will the Warriors finish in the Western Conference?

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Where will the Warriors finish in the Western Conference?

The Warriors are thinking playoffs, but its not going to be easy in the Western Conference.On the surface, six teams seem to be headed toward the postseason in 2012-13: Oklahoma City, L.A. Lakers, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, San Antonio and Denver. That would leave the Warriors trying to grab one of the remaining two playoff spots.Assuming Sacramento and New Orleans arent going to make the playoffs, it would leave the Warriors in competition with six other teams. Lets take a look at those half-dozen teams, and you tell us whether or not those teams are better than Golden State.Dallas MavericksIs it possible that the Dallas Mavericks, who won the NBA title in 2010-11, could miss the playoffs this season? Put it this way It sure seems possible. The Mavericks hoped to come out of this offseason with Deron Williams and Dwight Howard but came away with neither.What that means is that Dallas will ride Dirk Nowitzki for another season only this years supporting cast is far more suspect than in recent years. The Mavericks will rely heavily on Chris Kaman, Elton Brand, Shawn Marion, Vince Carter and O.J. Mayo.You could make the case that only Mayo isnt past his prime. The Mavericks do have an interesting point guard combination in Darren Collison and Rodrique Beaubois. But theyve got big shoes to fill because Jason Kidd and Jason Terry are no longer in the picture.The Mavericks have made the playoffs 12 consecutive seasons, but No. 13 is not a given. Or is it? You tell us.This text be replaced with poll. To remove properly, delete this text INCLUDING start and end characters.
Houston RocketsIts strange, really. The Rockets seem to be getting worse, and yet general manager Daryl Moreys reputation still seems to be growing. The Rockets are working on three consecutive non-playoff seasons, and snapping that skid this year seems to be a stretch.Morey paid big money to Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik this offseason, highly questionable moves for two largely unproven players. As for Lin, he thrived in New York when he had the ball in his hands.But its going to be difficult for Lin to have that kind of role in Houston, where hell be paired with Kevin Martin in the backcourt. Asik is a young center who is improving, no doubt. But hell make more than 8 million a season over the next three years, and thats an exorbitant number for a player who averaged three points and five rebounds per game last season. On paper, it seems apparent the Rockets will take another step back this season. Do you agree?This text be replaced with poll. To remove properly, delete this text INCLUDING start and end characters.
Coming up next: How will the Warriors fare against the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Phoenix Suns?

Curry blames weatherman for career-worst 0-for-11 from 3-point range

Curry blames weatherman for career-worst 0-for-11 from 3-point range

In the wake of a 119-108 Warriors win over the 76ers Monday night in Philadelphia, Stephen Curry had a ready explanation for his 0-of-11 shooting 3-point distance.

He didn’t properly account for the change in weather.

“The weatherman said it’s like a low-pressure system that was coming in (and) I forgot to adjust to the thickness of the air,” he told reporters at Wells Fargo Center.

Curry’s comment may open to interpretation, but it was clear his sense of humor remained intact even after a career-worst shooting night beyond the arc.

He wasn’t the only Warrior finding it difficult to score from deep. Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green combined to go 5-of-20. The Warriors were 6-of-29 from deep, their second-lowest total of the season.

“It’s weird,” he said. “Not to discredit anything they did. The first half we had a lot of open looks that didn’t go in. Klay made a couple down the stretch. KD made one. Draymond made one from the corner.

“Other than that we still took really good shots that didn’t go in. But for us to still have moxie to withstand that and still pretty much have the lead the whole game and allow our defense to get us a win tonight was kind of our M.O.”

Given that Curry owns the single-game record for triples (13) as well as the single-season record (402), it was most alarming that he couldn’t find at least one. And he had opportunities.

“It happens but you have to try and find other ways to impact the game,” he said. “I was trying to get to the paint a little bit more and just try to make plays. One thing is I don’t get down on myself. Obviously, that’s why I got 11 of them up. I still have confidence the next one is going in and that will stay the same tomorrow.”

The Warriors face the Wizards Tuesday in Washington. In Curry’s last appearance at the Verizon Center, last Feb. 3, he went for 51 points. He was 11-of-15 from deep.

“What I love about Steph is he went 0-11 tonight from three but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at his face,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He never loses confidence; he never hangs his head. It is a sign of a guy with ultimate confidence in his ability and the awareness that it is one of those nights.

“He is likely to come out tomorrow and make about seven in a row at some point. So that’s what I love about Steph. He keeps playing.”

 

Draymond hits personal reset button, sets tone in win over 76ers

Draymond hits personal reset button, sets tone in win over 76ers

In the hours before tipoff Monday night, Warriors coach Steve Kerr fielded questions about Draymond Green, who not only played well beneath his standard in the previous game but also exhibited a couple flashes of temper, including one directed at Kerr.

“He had one of those nights; it just wasn’t his night,” Kerr told reporters in Philadelphia. “Things didn’t go his way. He was frustrated. I’m very confident that tonight he’ll bounce back.”

Yes, he did. One game after allowing his emotions to undermine the best of his game, Green pushed his personal reset button and drove the Warriors to 119-108 victory over the 76ers.

It was a rather predictable performance insofar as Green generally responds to poor games by making a statement of his strength.Or, should we say, strengths.

Though the numbers -- 14 points, 11 assists, six rebounds, five steals, a plus-22 over 37 minutes -- tell a significant story, Green’s impact, as usual, extended beyond statistics. He set a strong positive tone, and when he does that it can offset subpar performances by his teammates.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who can play,” Kerr said afterward. “So on a night like tonight, where Steph (Curry) doesn’t have it going, we’ve got plenty of other guys who can score and make plays and a lot of them came through.

“I thought Draymond was really the player of the game. He just brought incredible energy and set a good tone right from the beginning of the game.”

On a night when Stephen Curry’s shot abandoned him (0-of-11 from deep, 7-of-23 overall), Green scrambled to provide whatever was needed, when it was needed. He was particularly adept at setting his teammates, as evidenced by his game-high assists total.

“One guy can’t do it every night,” Green told reporters. “Two guys can’t do it every night. Sometimes, it’s got to be a complete team effort. Tonight, it was that.”

The Warriors shot 41.7 percent through the first three quarters and 44.9 for the game. The Sixers battled them to a virtual standoff on the glass. The Warriors got by mostly with free throws (33-of-39) and Green’s effort and smarts.

That Green is a difference-maker in unconventional ways, often beyond the box score, is what makes him unique.

And it’s what makes it easier to cope with those nights when he’s as much of a headache to his team as the opponent, as was the case Saturday, when was 1-of-10 from the field, had more turnovers (three) than assists (two) unleashed some frustrations.

“Draymond’s value to us is his defense and rebounding and basketball IQ and intensity,” Kerr said before the game. “His shot is going to come and go. He’s going to have games where he makes some threes. He’s going to have games where he doesn’t. But it really doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is everything else that he does for us. That’s where his real value comes in.”

Kerr clearly was confident that Green would revert to being his customary self. Green can create waves, which result in turbulence along the journey, but on the vast majority of occasions, he’s there for his teammates and his coaches.