Warriors

W's take 109-83 pounding in Houston

710940.jpg

W's take 109-83 pounding in Houston

BOX SCORE

Rockets 109, Warriors 83Player of the game: Rookie small forward Chandler Parsons had 20 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, helping the Rockets win for the seventh time in a row over Golden State in Houston.
Key stretch: The Rockets opened the second half with a 10-0 run, which pushed a 56-47 halftime lead to 19. The Rockets maintained that lead for the most part through three quarters, taking an 84-67 lead into the fourth.Im very surprised, Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. We are putting high demands on guys but at the same time we expect energy and effort and for some reason collectively we did not have it. Once again, we were dominated in the paint area. Weve got to find a way to battle. I know its asking guys to do a lot but weve got to be better.Thompson struggles: One night after scoring a career-high 27 points, rookie shooting guard Klay Thompson couldnt buy much from the field.Thompson scored just 10 points in 28 minutes on 4-for-11 shooting from the field. On Wednesday, against the Hornets in New Orleans, Thompson went 11-for-24 from the field.He didnt play well, Jackson said. From the opening tap, did not play well. And with rookies youre going to get it, but Im not going to accept it and neither should he.Flagrant Nate: Warriors point guard Nate Robinson was called for a Flagrant foul on Houstons Goran Dragic early in the third quarter. The play came after Dragic had picked Robinsons pocket in the frontcourt and went downcourt for a breakaway layup with Robinson chasing.Robinson came down hard on Dragics arms and then appeared to perhaps shove Dragic on the way down. But the officials ruled that not to be the case.In fact, the call was ruled a Flagrant 2 foul on the court, which would have meant a Robinson ejection. But after review, the officials downgraded the call to Flagrant 1, allowing Robinson to remain.Scola early: Scola put on a clinic in the first quarter, and, unfortunately, David Lee took the brunt of it. Scola had 10 points and four assists, helping Houston take a 30-18 lead after a period.On the other end, Scola pestered Lee into three turnovers and three misses in four attempts. Lee gathered himself and played a nice stretch of basketball in the second quarter. He got into halftime with eight points ad three rebounds.Lee finished with 12 points and five rebounds, while Scola had 18 points on 8-for-10 shooting and seven assists.The problem is we cannot have one great win or one highly intense game and then fall asleep the next or get outworked, Jackson said. Obviously the way were going to win games is to outwork people. Weve got to be the hardest working team on the floor every single night. We cant afford not to be because were not going to out-talent people right now.No factors: Both teams were playing shorthanded and dealing with injury. The Warriors were without Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut and Andris Biedrins. The Rockets were missing Kyle Lowry and Kevin Martin.

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.