Excuse Warriors for thinking playoffs.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:48 am
EXCUSES, EXCUSES.

The Warriors have had an endless supply of them as they've missed the playoffs the past dozen years.

Coaching. Injuries. Road woes. Mike Dunleavy. Troy Murphy. Mike Montgomery. Name a coach. Rosters that don't fit the coach's style. Fill in the blank.

You know what? The Warriors are out of excuses.

In Don Nelson, the Warriors have the second-winningest coach in NBA history. Montgomery, so light on NBA experience, is gone.

So are the ever-blamable Dunleavy and Murphy. They were traded to the Indiana Pacers as part of an eight-player, midseason deal that netted the Warriors Al Harrington and Stephen Jackson, among others.

So now the Warriors are quicker and more athletic, better suited to Nelson's helter-skelter style.

The Warriors are healthy. At last. Jason Richardson has recovered from knee surgery and a broken hand. Baron Davis returned from knee surgery and Jackson from turf toe Monday to face the Detroit Pistons.

The Warriors beat the Pistons 111-93 in the first game that Davis, Richardson, Harrington and Jackson played together.

Then on Wednesday night, they beat the Carmelo Anthony-less Denver Nuggets -- he stayed home for the birth of his son -- who were playing the back end of back-to-back games.

It was a game the Warriors should have won, and they did, beating basically a one-man Nuggets team 110-96. Even though that man, Allen Iverson, scored 35 points.

The Warriors countered with five players in double-figures, with Davis scoring a team-high 22.

So now the Warriors are 21/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers, who own the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. They are three behind the No. 7 Nuggets and one of eight teams battling for the final two spots.

They've dug themselves a hole that might be too deep to escape. But if the Warriors don't at least make a strong run at the playoffs, there are no excuses, and we can only conclude that this group, as constructed, won't cut it.

Consider their final 19 games a test to see how much change the Warriors will have to make during the offseason. Should they tweak the roster? Blow it up? Do something in between? The Warriors will let us know by the way they play down the stretch.

"With all our guys, we're not a perfect team, even then, but we're a pretty good team," Nelson said after the game. "It's coming together. We thought it would if we ever got everybody on the court at the same time. It's just been a long time coming."

For the record, Nelson said he didn't wave the white flag last week in Chicago, even though it sure sounded like he did. Whatever. His postgame mea culpa may have motivated the Warriors.

Since that loss to the Bulls, they have played with a greater sense of urgency, the way they will have to play the rest of the season.

"We came together as a group," Richardson said before the game. "We just let each other know we weren't giving up on the season, that we would continue to play hard till the end."

If the Warriors flame out, they can't use the remaining schedule as an excuse. Granted, they face Dallas, San Antonio and Utah twice each, but 10 of the road-challenged Warriors' final 19 games are at home.

Now consider what the competition ahead of them in the standings faces.

Denver has 14 road and just nine home dates left. Seven of their final 11 games are on the road, including tests against the Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Utah, New Orleans and San Antonio.

The Clippers play 13 of their final 22 games on the road. That includes seven of their next eight. Later this month they have a road back-to-back against San Antonio and Houston.

Sacramento's final 22 games are evenly split between home and away. But the Kings' stretch run is rough. They have two games left against the Lakers, Spurs, Suns and Clippers and one against the Mavericks, Rockets and Jazz.

New Orleans has 11 of its final 21 games on the road, Minnesota 12 of 22.

In other words, the race for the final playoff spots is wide open, and the Warriors have no excuse not to make a run.

"It's like the plague, the eighth spot," Nelson said. "Everybody's avoiding it. We'd like to have it. Coming back from this road trip, who would ever think we're still in the hunt winning one game? But here we are."

On their recent 1-4 road trip, the Warriors were blown out by Milwaukee and Chicago. They lost a close game to New York, then a bizarre heartbreaker to Washington before thrashing the Pistons.

"It was a great feeling," Harrington said before the game of beating the Pistons. "It gave me a glimpse of what we could do in (these) 20 games if we continue to show improvement. At this point we don't have any room for error. ... We have to make our push now."

Anything else would be inexcusable.

Contact Eric Gilmore at egilmore@cctimes.com.
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:55 am
With the fact that the other West teams that are in the hunt for the 7th and 8th spots have harder schedules and less home game than away games, while the Warriors have more home games than away games, there really is no excuses now! Fully healthy and having won two games convincingly, one being away, this is the best chance they've had in a while to finally make the playoffs
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:58 am
So Tank right [-X
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 2:03 am
Tank because this is the Warriors and sadly they never come through! Hopefully this time they will
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:09 pm
You'd tank... just to try and secure a 5th or 6th pick in the draft...?

:roll:
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2007 6:49 pm
Yes actually I would if the team was not to make it to the playoffs! Nothing is a sure thing yet but even now, with all the teams as close as they are, it would still be possible to win 4 more games and still get as low as the 4th pick. My thing is to get a PF that rebounds and plays defense, two needs of the team that will only be corrected by changing the lineup a little by adding a big guy that does these things. Powell does seem to have the tools to help out but maybe not to the extent needed and Nelson will never give him serious court time
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:17 pm
At this point, tanking the season would be a huge waste. We're 1.5 games out of the 8th seed with like 18 games left. That's a playoff race if I've ever seen one.

I say we develop the talent we have NOW and keep building on top of our current core, rather than blowing it up. We're the 2nd youngest team in the league (or something close to it) and we're already playoff worthy. That's worth building, not exploding. We don't need anymore projects: we need results now.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:31 pm
WORD.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:55 pm
Yeah, we're definitely at the point where we should push for the playoffs, however I wouldn't mind trading up to grab Horford (not any of our major players though). How about Powell, POB + our first rounder for like the sixth or seventh pick?
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:22 pm
JayPat wrote:Yeah, we're definitely at the point where we should push for the playoffs, however I wouldn't mind trading up to grab Horford (not any of our major players though). How about Powell, POB + our first rounder for like the sixth or seventh pick?

Sure, if you can find a team willing to take that.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:28 pm
32 wrote:
JayPat wrote:Yeah, we're definitely at the point where we should push for the playoffs, however I wouldn't mind trading up to grab Horford (not any of our major players though). How about Powell, POB + our first rounder for like the sixth or seventh pick?

Sure, if you can find a team willing to take that.


Yeah, we could maybe add a pick or two to sweeten.
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:42 pm
JayPat wrote:
32 wrote:
JayPat wrote:Yeah, we're definitely at the point where we should push for the playoffs, however I wouldn't mind trading up to grab Horford (not any of our major players though). How about Powell, POB + our first rounder for like the sixth or seventh pick?

Sure, if you can find a team willing to take that.


Yeah, we could maybe add a pick or two to sweeten.

Maybe I'm tripping.

I mean, the Celtics DID trade their 7th pick (in a fairly fruitful draft) for Sebastian Telfair. :dontknow:
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:42 am
32 wrote:At this point, tanking the season would be a huge waste. We're 1.5 games out of the 8th seed with like 18 games left. That's a playoff race if I've ever seen one.

I say we develop the talent we have NOW and keep building on top of our current core, rather than blowing it up. We're the 2nd youngest team in the league (or something close to it) and we're already playoff worthy. That's worth building, not exploding. We don't need anymore projects: we need results now.



I said tank after the team's digraceful 6 game losing streak, when they were some 4 games from the 8th spot and looking horrible. The team had won 3 straight but what helped them was the fact that EVERY other team fighting for the 8th spot is on a losing streak otherwise there would still be no chance.

The team has very good young talent but needs to be changed because, as many have stated, Harrington is not a proper starting PF and this draft is loaded with quality PFs. Therefore, if there was a season to miss the playoffs, this is the one. As it stands, the team may or may not make the playoffs and if they just miss out again, they will have to get lucky with a quality PF falling to them. It will be VERY disappointing if the team just misses the playoffs and ends up with the 12th pick or thereabouts
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:37 am
Harrington's not a traditional PF; but he's definately a starter.

He may not be able to block shots or play physical post offense as well as traditional PF's, but he also does many things far better than the status quo (his passing skills, handling, scoring, and running come to mind). The things that Harrington excells at are the things this team does well. He's custom built for this offensive scheme.

People who want to abandon Harrington are the people who want to abandon the running style we're currently playing... and revert back to grind it out defense and crashing the boards. I seem to recall a time where we had players like Danny Fortson, Antawn Jamison, Eric Dampier, Jason Caffey, and Chris Mills... and most Warrior fans were dying for a team like we've got now.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 12, 2007 10:29 pm
yep no reason to tank now!! besides, 4 or 5 spots down wont make a difference anyway especially next year! unless they pull a ellis or biedrins **** em, we need ppl who can play now!
"Losing is inevitably close to winning," Guber said. "They're inches apart. Drama. If you have drama, you've got a ticket to sell." "They're not real fans," Lacob said. "They don't have season tickets."
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