Warriors Have Regained Their Edge

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OAKLAND, Calif. – Mark Jackson can deny it all he wants, but he’s the one who said it.

“We’ve been bad,” the Warriors coach said of his team on March 6. And: “If we expect not just to make the playoffs, but if we expect to do the damage that we want to do, we’ve got to be better.” Also, in zeroing in on the primary problem: “Our defense is bad.”

So it was either being forgetful or going for revisionist history when the same Jackson said late Friday that the Warriors never lost their edge in the difficult second half of the regular season, when the very encouraging start mostly without Andrew Bogut and entirely without Brandon Rush and while relying heavily on three rookies gave way to weeks of a reality check down the stretch.

Really, this playoff response, this 2-1 lead over the favored Nuggets after the 110-108 Golden State victory at rollicking Oracle Arena, came from nowhere. At the very least, it came from a long way away.

From months away, to be exact. These are the Warriors with their edge back, the way they played until February arrived and the overachieving roster of the first half of the season crashed back to Earth. There was a six-game losing streak, the stretch of 10 defeats in 15 games, the real possibility very late in the regular season of dropping to seventh or eighth in the Western Conference, particularly unwanted territory because it would have meant a meeting the Thunder or Spurs in the first round. In the last 10 games alone, Golden State warmed up for the playoff by losing to the Kings, the Jazz and the Lakers along with Oklahoma City.

To deny the Warriors had to regain their edge is not true. Of course they had to. Of course they did.

No one could have counted on Golden State bringing the proper level of playoff intensity because there was no consistent sighting for much of the second half of the season, not to mention fact that this group had never been in the postseason. How very Warriors of them. This is like the surprising break from the gate amid injury-fueled doubts, only this time they have done it when it mattered most.

“I tell you what,” Jackson insisted when asked about the Warriors regaining their edge. “ We never lost it. We struggled. We’re a young basketball team, we certainly struggled. You lose five, six in a row. But one thing that I did after losing six in a row, I had my video guys talk to each player and ask them about making the playoffs and being successful. In the face of adversity, it’s easy to answer those questions when you win six, seven in a row. We struggled at times. But we’re a team that works extremely hard, we’re tied together, they compete.”

They lost a tough series opener in Denver, lost All-Star power forward David Lee for the rest of the season because of a hip injury, and responded. Win in Oakland, win in Denver. They’re back, all right. There is no denying it.

–Series Hub: Warriors vs. Nuggets

21 Comments

  1. emma says:

    booyah :)

  2. Black Falcon says:

    The Black Falcon shall rise in the 4th game…

  3. Jimmy jazz says:

    Andrew Bogut seems to be regaining some form.

  4. Gary Payton says:

    Kings will become Sonics unless expansion happens. There is only one business based choice to make by the BOG and it is money, stability of group that is furthest along in the process. Money is most important factor, way more in Seattle from owners, to government and TV market with the NBA getting new deal in two years. What is weird is they will vote on relocation first? No to relocation and vote yes on sale to only group with a binding agreement and highest or unmatched offer, to only reapply for relocation next year when to stadium is half done. By then Seattle will have secured a NHL team too! The financial stability of the proposal for stadium (all property has been purchased) in Seattle is 60% private money (lees for taxpayers) and a NHL team playing here too. Also planned is a smaller version of Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on property already purchased, all of this is within walking distance of Sound Transit Light Rail Station.

  5. Kei says:

    I think Boston really made a mistake of putting Ray as trade bait and side with Rondo with his feud with Ray. Nonetheless, it was a great ride and I love the boston original 3. PP, KG & Jesus.

  6. Kamote says:

    best series in the first round.

  7. Linda26 says:

    Refs ignored the foul on the last seconds. Ty Lawson was fouled, too much contact! Bad bad Refs!! Hope the Nuggets come back and take the next 3! They are so much fun to watch and in my opinion the better team!

    • Jordan says:

      Lawson wasn’t fouled. Festus Ezeli did something called playing good defense, and Lawson just lost the ball.

    • Kobe Bryant says:

      there was no foul, if ty is wade then maybe foul. ty got no superstar call.

    • haha you're fun says:

      You obviously didn’t see the replay. Lawson tripped over his own foot. Mid step his foot hit the ground. Just a sour fan.

  8. mee(a)t says:

    i swear…IMO this series is to find out which team will become the “underdog” for the finals

  9. Joao Miguel says:

    Everyone put the Warriors out of this Series even when Lee was available, but the true is that they are in a very good position to take this one… The next game will be the most important one. Credits must go to coach Jackson, being able to put this game intensity even playing with 3 rookies regurlarly… the defense is way better, even going small without Lee he manages to protect the rim. But the key aspect is the teamwork, You see that the team believes in itself and nobody is feeling the pressure of playing in the playoffs.

    Let’s Go Warriors!!
    Cheers from Portugal

  10. AnnoYouLater says:

    i think Mark Jackson positivity is making the difference, he always seem to say the right words, he always praise his team everytime and sometimes he overreact but his team believes it, losing David Lee doesnt really hurt them cuz he encourage other players to step up…Harrison Barnes is playing really well and putting up David Lee like numbers

  11. holyspectator says:

    this series is prolly the only series right now that may go 7 games

  12. bigguy says:

    i think you need to keep the original line up karl !
    you needed some guy called koufos…

  13. everyone said when GSW lost David Lee and Denver got Faried back that Denver is gonna take have this one in the bag…what do you think now?

  14. Edub says:

    “No one could have counted on Golden State bringing the proper level of playoff intensity”

    Why does this guy feel the need to speak for everyone? I’m pretty sure outside of Oakland there were plenty of people who thought that the Golden State Warriors would make it to the second round in the playoffs. I am one of those people. I’ve actually supported them for 3 years. They had a injury plagued season last year with Curry and Bogut out, and before that they didn’t play any defense, or not well at all.

  15. Mike says:

    I think the onus is now on the Nuggets to regain their edge, which they seem to have lost at the worst possible time. It’s been like watching a team most of the time during this series. They don’t push the basketball, hardly force turnovers, and even if their defense was never amazing, it’s been far worse in the playoffs so far than during the regular season. Maybe losing Gallo has hit them harder than first thought, or the Warriors are just doing a great job of forcing them to play differently, but if they don’t find themselves in the next two games then this series is as good as done.