Month: March 2014

LGW: Golden State Warriors Injury List: Add Andrew Bogut Pelvic Contusion After David Lee Hamstring, Hilton Armstrong Returns

(Photo: Kelley L Cox / USA Today)

(Photo: Kelley L Cox / USA Today)

The Golden State Warriors entered their five-day break between games a little banged up. After Friday night’s victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, in which Marc Gasol knee’d Andrew Bogut in the groin, they’re even more banged up.

David Lee suffered a hamstring strain in last Saturday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, Stephen Curry has been nursing a right quad injury, although he told LetsGoWarriors.com last Tuesday that it was all but gone, Andre Iguodala has been dealing with a right “jumper’s knee” or knee tendinitis, prior to the pelvic contusion Bogut had a tweaked ankle, and Festus Ezeli is still rehabbing from right knee surgery.

This time off helped heal some of the wounds that many Warriors’ players were dealing with, and it also allowed us to get an update on each nagging injury.

Let’s start off with Lee. LetsGoWarriors at practice yesterday and the Warriors informed us of the following:

At Tuesday’s practice, Lee discussed his injury status and the benefits of this break.

“Everybody got to get away from the game for a couple days and get rested up,” Lee said. “As you know, I’m battling a little hamstring thing, so hopefully I’ll be ready for Friday, making progress everyday. But without that, I’d be having to miss games right now.

“Once again, just like the All-Star break, this break has come at a perfect time for our team. We’ve been playing really good basketball and just trying to come out of this and be sharp for Friday. I’m sure Coach will have us doing some stronger practices as we get closer to get our wind back.”

At Wednesday’s practice, Curry discussed his quad injury with us.

“It’s pretty much gone at this point,” Curry said. “The rest from this week helped to get that last little bit of soreness. I still got to do a little bit here and there to get ready for games, but at this point in the season everyone’s got nicks and bruises and bangs.

“It’s not really on my mind much when I’m playing anymore, which is definitely an improvement from weeks past.”

Iguodala discussed the five days off and provided an update on his knee tendinitis at Tuesday’s practice.

“Well I think it’d be helpful for anybody,” Iguodala said about the break. “It’s not common you get a stretch like this where you go and you get four or five days off right in the middle of the schedule. It’s really just important to just to be cautious but also be effective with trying to get back as soon as possible.”

When asked if he would play on Friday against the Grizzlies, he said, “Yeah, that’s the plan. I got a really good workout yesterday with Coach Myers and then got some good reps up today, really just taking care of minor things in the weight room for the last five days, small tedious muscles that you forget about and get those back working and take some stress off the area.”

Read updates on Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli’s injuries and the rest of the article at Let’s Go Warriors.

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Stephen Curry and Others Show Support for Mark Jackson

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

When news broke out about the reassignment of former assistant coach Brian Scalabrine, the rumors about Mark Jackson’s future with the Golden State Warriors started swirling.

This has been a hot topic for much of the Warriors’ season, and whether it’s warranted or not, this piece of news added fuel to the fire for people who want Coach Jackson fired.

The face of the franchise, Stephen Curry, has been very vocal about his support for Coach Jackson. Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area with the report:

Curry has consistently expressed unwavering support for Jackson, and has shown no indication of backing off in the face of mounting criticism of the coach.

“We’re two years removed from being a terrible basketball team,” Curry said. “The transformation we’ve had since coach Jackson has been here is obviously evident and it raises the expectations. Yeah, we’ve lost some winnable games and games we shouldn’t have along the way, but that’s part of the growth process. We’re on pace for the best season in 20 years. That’s a sign of good change.

“I support coach 100 percent and understand what he’s done for us. Being in the locker room every single day and just observing from my rookie to year to now what has changed. Most of all of that is a result of him.

“So what people say or criticism he takes, I know he takes it on the chin and keeps moving. It doesn’t waver his confidence at all. That’s what I admire most about him. We’re going to go out and continue to play hard for the rest of this season and into the playoffs, and kind of block that noise out. Because I know everybody in the locker room supports him 100 percent.”

In addition to his support, Curry wants to be consulted on Jackson’s coaching future with the Warriors. Monte Poole again has the report:

If CEO Joe Lacob is considering whether to retain Jackson or perhaps offer him an extension – or consider dismissing him – Stephen Curry would like to be involved in the process.

“I hope they ask, for sure,” Curry says. “And I’d give them my honest opinion. And hopefully that means something.”

“I love coach and everything he’s about. I love playing for him and that’s all that matters to me.

Curry has been the voice of the players, but other people, outside of the organization, have shown appreciation for Jackson’s coaching as well. Klay Thompson’s father, Mychal Thompson, a 13-year NBA veteran, admires Jackson’s coaching and appreciates his praise for Klay’s game.

Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group reports:

Told of the high praise, Thompson said he loved hearing it from Jackson. It’s Jackson whom Mychal Thompson credits for instilling the confidence in his son.

“Mark doesn’t pressure his players,” said Mychal, who played 12 seasons in the NBA. “He allows them to grow. He gives them time to grow and become men themselves.”

Jackson has a very close relationship with his players, and Ethan Sherwood Strauss of ESPN believes that’s partially due to his preaching about faith and religion but also his faith in his players.

But Jackson believes in belief and believes in his guys. Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, and Festus Ezeli all saw substantial roles as rookies. Green shot miserably throughout last season. Jackson reiterated his faith in Green’s game, kept feeding him minutes, and Green came through big for Jackson in the playoffs. The second-rounder has emerged as a valuable defensive player in his second year. Jackson promotes confidence, bragging outright about his players and their capabilities (he has compared Green’s defense to that of LeBron James, for example). His strategy is to raise internal expectations through effusive praise, in hopes that the power of positive thinking shifts the paradigm of a historically awful franchise.

There’s anecdotal evidence that Jackson’s religiosity helps the Warriors. The quite religious Jermaine O’Neal signed a reasonable contract with Golden State. Noted Christian Andre Iguodala built a relationship with Jackson before heading west from Denver. In Iguodala’s introductory news conference, he mentioned getting to know Curry (and Kevin Durant) over chapel sessions at the 2010 world championships.

By all indications, the great majority of Warriors players like how faith intermingles with work.

It appears as if the team, especially Curry, want Coach Jackson to remain as their head coach. Will management listen to their star player and stick with Jackson?

Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group comments on this:

Once again, Warriors management has decided not to publicly support Jackson. That trend isn’t lost on a few players who staunchly supports their coach. A few players expressed the dismay at the lack of favor Jackson has despite the success he’s enjoyed the last two seasons. They see that Jackson simply had the final of his year picked up and was not given his extension. They took note when co-owner Joe Lacob told Tim Kawakami he was disappointed and had some concerns about Jackson. And while Jackson has been constantly under attack, they’ve noticed no one has come out to Jackson’s defense.

Now that the Bay is abuzz about this Scalabrine news, and questioning Jackson, management has chosen to stay quiet.

Multiple players have told me they get the sense Jackson could end up leaving – whether it is by Jackson’s choice or management’s.

San Francisco Giants: 2014 Preview

Mar 12, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) is taken out of the game by manager Bruce Bochy (15) against the Chicago White Sox at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The San Francisco Giants have one mission for the 2014 season. The Giants hope to prove that the 2013 season was a fluke and that they’re ready to contend for not just a playoff spot but also another World Series title.

Here’s a preview of the Giants’ 2014 season:

LGW: Stephen Curry Interview With Dan Patrick: #DubBracket, NCAA Tournament, And Playoff Goatees

(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

Stephen Curry is a superstar on and off the court. He has the confidence but also the humility of a true star.

On Monday, Curry displayed this confidence on the Dan Patrick Show when he discussed his chances in the #DubBracket Challenge, the three-point shooting bracket challenge that Golden State Warriors’ players and coaches — although only head coach Mark Jackson remains alive after one round — are participating in, his defense, and more.

Curry came out and declared that he will win the Warriors’ #DubBracket Challenge.

“Guarantee it,” Curry said. “Klay Thompson will not be happy about that.”

Patrick questioned this statement, because he pointed out how Mark Jackson was able to beat him in a three-point shootout earlier in the season. Curry explained that he lost to Jackson because he was icing his shoulders right before they started shooting.

Curry also displayed confidence when discussing his defense, which has been highly criticized over the course of his career.

Patrick asked Curry, “Can you guard anybody?”

Curry answered without hesitation, “Of course.”

Curry credits his defense to his quick hands and his peskiness. He also claims that he tries to make his opponent uncomfortable on defense. These are all reasons why Curry believes that he could shut down Coach Jackson if he were to guard him.

“Shooting threes, he got the best of me one day, but I don’t think he can score on me,” Curry said about Coach Jackson.

Read more about Curry’s thoughts on the NCAA Tournament, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and the Warriors’ plans for playoff goatees at Let’s Go Warriors.

LGW: Golden State Warriors And March Madness

Credit:  (AP)

Credit: (AP)

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has officially begun. March Madness is sweeping the nation and the Golden State Warriors’ locker room.

Many of the Warriors’ players have created their own brackets and are participating in various bracket challenges.

For his monthly #SC30 contest, Stephen Curry started his second annual NCAA Tournament Bracket Challenge. Fans were able to enter their bracket into the SC30Bracket group, and the fan that finishes the challenge with the most points wins a pair of his Under Armour birthday shoes.

(Photo from Let's Go Warriors Instagram)

(Photo from Let’s Go Warriors Instagram)

Harrison Barnes is participating in the Red Bull Bracket Challenge along other athletes, including some NBA players such as John Wall and Anthony Davis. Here’s Harrison’s bracket:

harrison-barnes-s-college-basketball-bracket

In addition to creating their own brackets, the Warriors are have created their own March Madness Tournament in the form of a three-point shooting bracket challenge, which we are hashtagging on Twitter as #DubBracket.

It all started during the Warriors’ past road trip when they held three-point contests between players and coaches.

Here’s Laurence Scott with an update on the bracket challenge as well from this past Wednesday:

Read the rest of the article and see what the #DubBracket looks like at Let’s Go Warriors.

Golden State Warriors: Evaluating Remaining Schedule–What Seed Is Realistic?

Mar 2, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Golden State Warriors forward David Lee (10) celebrates a basket with guard Stephen Curry (30) against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Warriors 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The Golden State Warriors are in a tight playoff race in the Western Conference.

The good news is that they have a fairly manageable schedule in the last stretch of the regular season. With 13 games left in the season, the Warriors have eight of those games at home and only five of them are against playoff-contending teams.

Th Warriors do have three more back-to-backs in the regular season though, which isn’t exactly ideal, especially since two of them are near the end of the season. Their first back-to-back is on the road first against the Dallas Mavericks on April 1st and then against the San Antonio Spurs on April 2nd.

Then, they have two back-to-backs within the span of four games. On April 10th, they play the Denver Nuggets at home, and they play the Los Angeles Lakers in L.A on April 11th. Then, on April 13th, they play the Portland Trailblazers in Portland, and then they play the Minnesota Timberwolves on April 14th at home.

In their remaining schedule, the Warriors face a lot of opponents with inferior records during the rest of the season, and those games should all be won.

There are a few games that they need to view as must-wins, because of playoff seeding. These three games are on March 28th at home against the Memphis Grizzlies, that April 1st game in Dallas, and that April 13th game in Portland.

Also, the Warriors have almost a full week off between their game against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday and when they play the Memphis Grizzlies next Friday. The Warriors need to ensure they don’t lose their rhythm during that time off.

As mentioned before, the playoff race in the Western Conference is extremely competitive and even tighter than usual this season. Portland, Golden State, Memphis, Dallas, and the Phoenix Suns currently occupy the fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth seeds in the Western Conference.

All five of these teams are within five and a half games of each other in the standings. The Warriors are currently that sixth seed and only 1.5 games behind Portland. The Warriors should aim for that fifth seed, and it’s quite possible that they could snag it.

Mar 16, 2014; Portland, OR, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) shoots the ball over Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) during the fourth quarter of the game at the Moda Center. The Warriors won the game 113-112. Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors’ huge win over the Blazers this past Sunday was huge in terms of standings, and their game against the Blazers on April 13th will also be significant in terms of standings, especially since it’s at the end of the season.

Beating the Blazers will obviously improve their chances of snagging that fifth seed from them, but here are some other things they can do to improve their chances of moving up in the standings.

First of all, the Warriors need to play better at home. They currently have a 21-11 record at home, which isn’t bad but could certainly be better given Oracle Arena’s energetic and passionate crowd.

They’ve let some winnable games slip away at home this season, including games against the Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats, and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Speaking of these winnable games, the Warriors also have to improve on playing with the same amount of energy and effort every night. They sometimes play down to their competition. Given the tightness of the playoff race in the Western Conference, the Warriors can’t afford to lose any more of these games for the rest of the season.

The Warriors also have to limit their turnovers, especially the careless, avoidable ones.

Turnovers disrupt with their offensive rhythm and gives their opponents easy transition buckets. The Warriors are so dependent on playing games at their speed and their tempo, and when their opponent disrupts that, the Warriors can easily fall off course.

Lastly, the Warriors need to keep playing their stellar defense. The Warriors are focused on making defense the priority for the rest of the season.

According to Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Warriors came together after their loss against the Cavs last Friday and discussed the importance of defense.

“With 15 games left in the season, we wanted to make sure everybody was still on the same page with how we’re going to win games going forward,” Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said. “Nobody in here should be fooled. Defensively is how we’ve changed things around. We can’t rely on our offense to win us every single game. That just needed to be said with where we are in the playoff race.”

If the Warriors can stay healthy, they have an excellent chance of snagging that fifth seed. Given the amount of talent on this team and their recent streak of near perfect basketball (minus a game or two), the Warriors are starting to peak at just the right time.

The Warriors can take some of this momentum into the playoffs, most likely as the fifth seed.

LGW: Golden State Warriors Playoff Race: It’s Tight In The West

(Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Golden State Warriors are often underrated, and they are fine with that. The Warriors have an underdog mentality, and they’ve been able to come back in several games because of their resiliency.

Last season, the Warriors shocked the nation when they made the playoffs as the sixth seed, when they proceeded to beat the Denver Nuggets in the first round, and when they came within a couple games of earning a trip to the Western Conference Finals.

The Warriors entered this season with targets on their backs. They weren’t going to sneak up on anyone this year.

Stephen Curry has seen this firsthand this season, as opponents know how dangerous he can be and sometimes send a double team at him right when he crosses halfcourt.

Despite some injuries and minor setbacks, the Warriors have positioned themselves to potentially snag the fifth seed in the super competitive Western Conference. They are a confident group, and they are mentally prepared to fight for their spot in the playoffs.

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle perfectly described this season for the Warriors as an “emotional roller coaster.”

That’s where Warriors fans are right now, wondering if this is a miracle team or a mirage. Could go either way, right?
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If you’re looking for a limo ride to the NBA Finals, you’ve got the wrong team, the wrong conference, the wrong century and the wrong transportation. This will be a roller-coaster ride.

Read quotes from Andrew Bogut and Mark Jackson about their push to the playoffs in the rest of this article on Let’s Go Warriors.