No Predictions For Warriors’ Jackson

 

Mark Jackson didn’t declare a winner in the Presidential election Wednesday. He shared no thoughts on the Dow Jones index soaring beyond 15,000 or cratering down to four figures. He wasn’t drawn into a debate with any leftover Mayans about the world ending Dec. 21 vs. some specific date a bit later.

But mostly, the Golden State Warriors coach was careful in a session with Bay Area NBA reporters not to predict a playoff berth for his basketball team. A year ago, Jackson didn’t show such restraint, arriving as a rookie coach and assuring fans that the postseason was a gimme.

“No, I’m not going to say it,” the Warriors coach told the media folks, including Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. “Not because I don’t believe it, but ultimately there comes a point where, enough of the talking, go out and do it.”

Ten different coaches have managed just one Warriors playoff berth since the start of the 1994-95 season. That came in 2007, when Don Nelson’s No. 8 seeded team upset Dallas in the first round before losing to Utah in the West semis. Golden State had missed the playoffs for 12 years till then, and is up to five years in its current drought.

If that ends next April – and Kawakami thinks it might – Jackson isn’t saying. Not like he did then.

Maybe now that the playoffs are actually realistic for this beefed-up roster, Jackson understands he can eliminate much of the bombast.

And maybe Jackson also realizes that in Year 2, he’s being judged by results and reality, not rhetoric.

To that point, he was careful to point out that health issues and the strength of the Western Conference could hinder the Warriors’ immediate rise.

But given the additions of Andrew Bogut, Harrison Barnes, Jarrett Jack and others, shouldn’t the Warriors be playoff-worthy this season?

“I certainly hope so,” Jackson said. “Certainly hope so.”

Humbler? Hmm. How ’bout we go with wiser. A year ago, Jackson arrived in Oakland with a stellar resume as a player – former Rookie of the Year, one-time All-Star, No. 3 on the career assists list – but a blank sheet of paper as a coach. He had worked in TV, stubbornly declining opportunities to serve as an assistant or run a team at another level, as if an NBA head gig was a birthright.

He came in strong and got smacked hard as the Warriors lost 11 of their first 16 games. Injuries to forward David Lee and guard Stephen Curry knocked Golden State on its butt, too. And when it traded Jackson’s top offensive option, Monta Ellis, to Milwaukee in March, he got back another hurt player, Bogut, who never logged a minute.

The Warriors wound up 23-43 (.348), 13th in the Western Conference, 13 games out of a playoff spot and worse off than the 36-46 (.439) that got Keith Smart fired in 2011.

Now, with better health, the assistance of newcomers and the potential slide of a few other clubs (Phoenix, Houston, Portland), the Warriors might have a shot to push toward .500 at least. They can worry about the postseason after that in the wicked West.

So check out Kawakami’s report. Jackson might not be chastened from his mis-prognostication but he does seem to have a better perspective. He displayed great insight, too, when Curry’s contract situation as if it were some sort of negative.

Curry and the Warriors are facing an Oct. 30 deadline for a long-term extension, but Jackson giggled when asked if he was worried Curry might get distracted.

“I laugh because the dude is going to be filthy rich,” Jackson said. “There’s no pressure. Don’t let it get in your head? What? That I’m going to be paid?

“To me, it’s hilarious. Hopefully, it’s going to be us and I expect it to be us. But one way or another, Steph Curry is going to be paid and paid very well for a long time.”

Jackson, giggling? That’s a better start already.

20 Comments

  1. Amused says:

    Well, congratulations to Mark Jackson for recognizing the utter stupidity of predicting the future…and it only took a year, and an utterly stupid prediction getting blown out of the water, for him to figure it out. Meanwhile, what’s this about the Knicks bringing in Rasheed Wallace????? Do they honestly mean to tell us that Wallace is more worthy of a chance than, say, Iverson or McGrady?

  2. ggg says:

    the warriors will come to 8th place, but will lose against lakers 1st seed

  3. its ok to click his name. it takes you to lakers.com says:

    Warriors will be in the playoffs this year as a 7th seed. Maybe even the 6th. It all depends if everybody stays healthy (mainly Curry and Bogut)

  4. Carl says:

    It is obvious that the main figure of the team is Biedrins. Although he is not with the team right now. He is undeniable leader and all succes of the Warriors will be bases on he`s will to play.

  5. Can’t wait to see what Curry and Thompson will do … they have a ton of upside to their game !

  6. pinoyaussiefan says:

    this LA fan boy is so persistent. Better take your pills ’cause your delusions are getting worse and worse. i wonder if this fan boy’s gonna be around once LA faces elimination early in the playoffs -.-

  7. John Doe says:

    I don’t know – there are so many good teams in the west. It just seems very though to get a playoff spot for anyone there…

  8. Liam says:

    Bogut is only 2nd to Howard in defense when healthy and in terms of skills better offensively. Just gotta hope he stays healthy.

  9. Tolga says:

    Goldens are always have been golden team for me but ought to push it harder and share the ball. If they want to manage playoff berth, the injuries must be less than past years, indeed, and some courage must be injected to the roster.

  10. charles says:

    They have some remarkable players. Curry and Thompson as guards will create havoc for defenses and be a delight to watch. But the center position will determine how far they’ll go – Warriors go as far as Bogut does. A healthy Bogut means playoffs.

    • slider821 says:

      Yep, Bogut is a big piece of the puzzle but his injuries were rather freak injuries and ones he’ll be able to recover from. I don’t think his ankle or arm injury will act up and affect his game in the future, I expect him to be 100% upon return.

      Curry, on the other hand, is the big question mark. He had surgery and is taking it slow but his ankle issues are persistant and bothered him all last season. If it acts up again and he goes out, the Warriors would be underhanded at PG with an 2nd yr Jenkins taking the reins.

      Also, Thompson looked amazing last year, so much so that I was glad Ellis got traded and Thompson took his place without missing a beat. That being said, will he experience a sophmore slump this year? Hope not.

      Jarret Jack will add that needed clutch, size, and intensity they slightly lack. Looking forward to see Barnes and Green progress as well.

      On paper, the warriors have a deep and talented team. They need to be injury free and need to mesh well together to make an impact.

  11. jerry says:

    the warriors lineup looks good on paper, pity the coach isn’t up to it.

  12. amitpal says:

    This is probably the most injury prone team in the nba. Steph curry and Andrew bogut r one of nba biggest injury prone players but if they can stay healthy and get some chemistry going this could be a very good team. They have one of the better offensive starting line up in the nba and r one of the deeper team but injuries come to often in golden state wish them the best luck this year.

  13. there u go says:

    Warriors are looking to make a big push this year

    • thats the best they can do…a PUSH…but as far as titles are concerned…LA is gonna win it this year

      • STUPID says:

        The thread is about the Warriors. LA will lose to the thunder. may even lose to spurs in west conf. semifanls. so where does the title come in? none. A playoff berth and a conf semifanls berth are thier only biggest achievements this season and Howard will leave LA. Please stop talking about Lost Again Lakers

      • E-SY says:

        LA, the Clippers I presume.

        The only gold the other LA team will see is the ‘gold’ on their outfits.

        And the Warriors have a little too much competition for that 7th / 8th seed, I’m afraid. But they could be a surprise…

      • uoykcuf says:

        Yea, it’s gonna be sweet like last time when LA got Malone and Payton.

      • Heatfansince2011 says:

        Shut up idiot. The lakers gonna get destroyed by the thunder and the heat are gonna win it this year