W's Jackson talks coaching strategy

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W's Jackson talks coaching strategy

OAKLAND Warriors coach Mark Jackson is in the Bay Area this week, meeting with his coaching staff and getting ready for the start of the season. He took a break on Wednesday to talk with a group of writers about whats been going on.Of course, Jackson couldnt talk about any aspect of the lockout or any current NBA players, but he still addressed what he could be asked.Ill write more on this, but here are bullet points from the session:

--Jackson said hes not big on long practices. Hed rather go shorter than longer when it comes to team workouts.If youre efficient and put quality work in, we can move on, Jackson said. Ultimately, its a long season. We will go over this stuff, well go over it in detail and then well be out of here. Im not a guy who wants to keep players here three or four hours just to say were here.--Jacksons assistant coaches will not have specific roles. In other words, there wont be any specific assistants who work only with the big men or only with the small players.Im not a guy that is going to put anyone of these coaches in a box, Jackson said. It would be unfair to any one of them to say hes a defensive guy. I get a chuckle when I hear (assistant coach) Mike Malone is my defensive coach. Hes not my defensive guy.--Jackson said hes not the kind of coach who will be working 16-hour days, laboring over game tapes and spending an inordinate amount of time mulling the nuances of his job.Jackson called coaches and coaching staffs that are said to be in the office before sunrise and out of the office after the sun goes down are guilty of false hustle.--Jackson said his coaching demeanor on the sidelines will likely be calm not going to be cussing any referees out. That will never happen. You wont see that. Professional and demanding. I wont be cussing my players out. Im going to treat guys with respect and Im going to hold them accountable and were going to be in this thing together.More Jackson: Im not going to be standing up the whole time. Ill be pretty calm and relaxed over there.--Jackson said hes come up with a team slogan one you will see on posters and signs at the locker room at Oracle Arena and the practice facility in Oakland. But he wouldnt divulge what it was without first informing his players.Jackson cant talk to players during the lockout.

Kerr, Warriors in preliminary stages of planning for Durant's return

Kerr, Warriors in preliminary stages of planning for Durant's return

OAKLAND -- Though Kevin Durant is eager to get back to the court, Warriors coach Steve Kerr and his assistants are in preliminary stages of planning his return.

One thing is certain: There will be restriction on the number of minutes Durant is plays in the first few games after he receives medical clearance.

“It’s something we’ll consult the training staff on,” Kerr said Saturday after practice. “I imagine we’ll ease him back by playing him shorter minutes to start, so he can build up his rhythm and his conditioning.”

Durant has been out since Feb. 28, when he sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) and bone bruise to his left knee. After several days of strict immobilization, he has over the past week progressed to the point where he is engaging in vigorous workouts and shooting sessions.

Yet Durant will not be re-evaluated until next Thursday, which means he likely will not be cleared before the week of April 3. Not until then will the coaching staff devise a plan to reintegrate Durant.

“That obviously has a domino effect on the entire rotation,” Kerr said. “When we get to that point, we’ll figure that out. But it’s not something I’m giving a lot of thought to right now because he’s still at least a couple weeks away.”

The Warriors lost five of seven in the immediate aftermath of Durant’s injury but have recovered to win the last six in a row.

 

Feeling more comfortable, West cleaning up Warriors' messes down stretch

Feeling more comfortable, West cleaning up Warriors' messes down stretch

OAKLAND -- David West is as much a cleanup man as he is a basketball player.

The veteran power forward, masquerading as a center for the Warriors, cleans up behind teammates, cleans the clocks of opponents and probably cleans his plate after every meal. And he’d hit fourth in any baseball manager’s batting order.

The Warriors during their renaissance haven’t had such a personality. They’ve been a fun bunch, enjoying life, each other and their pillaging of the NBA.

West, 36, brings a more laconic dynamic, and it’s on full display as the Warriors lean into the final weeks of this regular season. He’s a leader who is producing and, more and more, winning over a fan base that was somewhat skeptical early this season.

“David West has been playing brilliantly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday night, after West came off the bench for a highly efficient 14-minute stint in a 114-100 win over the Kings.

Showcasing sharp passing, splendid shooting, solid rim protection and his usual old-jerky toughness, West totaled 8 points, four assists, three rebounds, three blocks and one steal. The Warriors were plus-8 when he was on the floor.

Such production, it seems, is a bit of a bonus.

“He’s been very good for us as a veteran leader,” Draymond Green said. “He’s been playing well, but just his presence also has meant a lot to this team.

“D-West is just kind of a no-bull---- type of a guy. He doesn’t say much. But when he does, you know it means a lot. And everybody hears him.”

Said West: “It’s just about adjusting and learning personalities. Obviously, this group has been very successful. I just try to add my 2 cents where I feel like it fits. Try not to over-talk people. I speak to guys directly and just make sure that we’re all on the same page.”

West is in his 14th season. Drafted by the New Orleans Hornets in 2003, he also has played for the Pacers and, last season, the Spurs, before joining the Warriors in July.

The question at the time was whether he still had a lot to give. West is a two-time All-Star and one of the most widely respected players in the league. But did he still have the legs to compete at a high level?

The answer is visible, particularly over the past month, since he returned from fractured left thumb on Feb. 23. West is shooting 53.0 percent from the field, he’s rebounding consistently and he has proven to be a spectacularly good passer -- easily one of the best in the league among big men.

Earlier this week, to quell any lingering concerns about how much athleticism he still has, West rose up and dunked over a crowd of three Dallas Mavericks. It was clock-cleaning at its finest.

“I’m just getting more comfortable,” West said, referring to his game and his locker-room influence. “We’ve developed good chemistry, communicating, harping on our defense more than anything else at this moment, because we feel that’s going to give us a chance if shots aren’t falling.”

West is on a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum, $1.55 million. He sacrificed bigger dollars for a chance at his first championship. He’s doing his part. And he neither takes nor leaves any mess.