OAKLAND – Mark Jackson has no problem with his players being proud of a franchise-best 6-1 road trip. But he also wants the members of his team (and everyone else) to know that now is not the time to rest on laurels.
After returning to the Warriors’ practice facility following wins in Detroit, Brooklyn, Washington, Charlotte, Miami, and Atlanta, Jackson praised his players’ ability to keep their brief glimpse of success in perspective.
“You notice the confidence level rising; you know there’s a sense of accomplishment,” Jackson said Monday in Oakland. “But it’s also a group that understands we’ve done nothing. That’s what I love about this group. They understand that we’ve done absolutely nothing. So we’re going to continue to work our tails off and continue to do the things that we’ve been doing to put us in position.”
So when will Jackson acknowledge that the Warriors have done something?
“When it’s all said and done and we’ve maximized who we are as a basketball team, individually and collectively. When it’s all said and done, like I’ve said from Day 1, and our tank is glaring an orange light revealing that we are on empty, that’s when we can take a deep breath and say well done.”
While Jackson won’t say ‘well done’ for the Warriors’ surprising start to the season, he was impressed with Monday’s practice.
“They looked good,” Jackson said. “I got a group of guys that embrace coming in the gym and putting their work in. We got a good crisp workout in and will get ready for tomorrow. Thought it was high energy and intense and quick.”
Jackson hopes the hard work will carry over into Tuesday night’s matchup with the New Orleans Hornets, who arrive in Oakland with a seven-game losing streak in tow. Despite the Hornets’ struggles, Jackson knows not to take any opponent lightly.
“The thing that’s important for us to realize is we have to do the things that we preach every single day to put us in position to win,” Jackson said. “And if we don’t, we can be beaten. We don’t have the luxury to just show up and win ballgames. That being said, the elite teams lose to the Orlando Magic. The elite teams have lost to the Hornets; they’re good enough. So it will be a challenge for us. They present certain challenges individually and collectively. They’re well coached and they work hard.”
David Lee, honored with the Western Conference Player of the Week award Monday, isn’t looking past the Hornets either.
“We’ve proven that we can go do it on the road and we need to continue our success,” Lee said after practice. “Typically we’ve been a good home team and we have a couple teams coming here that have records that aren’t as good as ours. As San Antonio was talking about the other night, the key to being a playoff team is beating the teams you’re supposed to beat.”
Both Lee and Jackson expressed excitement about playing in front of the home crowd at Oracle Arena for the first time since Dec. 3.
Lee did so first on Twitter after Saturday’s 115-93 win over the Hawks capped the historic seven-game swing.
— David Lee (@Dlee042) December 16, 2012
“We’re really excited, as I said on Twitter, to get back in front of the Oracle crowd,” Lee said. “They’re going to give us a great boost tomorrow night.”
“We have the best fans,” Jackson said. “They’ve been incredibly supportive, even when this team – from a fan’s standpoint – didn’t deserve to be supported. They’ve been there through thick and thin. I look forward to a packed place and an enthusiastic place.”