Golden State Warriors
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Golden State Warriors
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Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors are a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association (the NBA). The Golden State Warriors play in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference with four other teams: the Los Angeles Lakers, the Phoenix Suns, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Sacramento Kings. Warriors tickets will surely be hard to come by during the 2014-2015 NBA schedule.
Golden State Warriors 2014-2015 Outlook
Already one of the league’s top defensive outfits (the Warriors ranked third in defensive efficiency last year), Kerr’s club is moving the ball beautifully on offense. Andrew Bogut and David Lee, great passers both, are now hubs of the attack, and Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala et al. are feasting on cuts, flares and brush screens.
All this, and Kerr has only had a couple of months to install the basics of his admittedly complicated scheme.
If Golden State gets past the turnovers that hurt it last year and continued to crop up during the preseason, it is the team with the best shot to take one of the West’s top three spots from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Los Angeles Clippers or San Antonio Spurs.
If that happens, Thompson won’t be alone in owing a debt to Kerr. Fans across the Bay Area will be right there with him.
The Golden State Warriors play their home games at Oracle Arena. Oracle Arena opened in 1966 for the Golden State Warriors, and the team has played their ever since. Over time, Oracle Arena became increasingly out-dated, but instead of building a brand new arena, the city of Oakland decided to perform a $121 million renovation on the Arena during the 1996-1997 NBA season (the Golden State Warriors played at the San Jose Arena that season). A brand new seating bowl was constructed inside the original foundation, walls and roof of Oracle Arena. The new seating capacity for NBA basketball games reached 19,596 devoted die-hard Golden State Warriors fans. Oracle Arena hosted the Bay Bombers, a professional roller derby team, from 1966-1973 and the California Golden Seals, an NHL hockey team, from 1967-1976. Oracle Arena has also played host to numerous memorable and historic concerts and special events during its 42 year history, including NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament games in 1990, 1995 and 2006, the 2002 NBA All-Star Game and the 1999 WCW SuperBrawl.
7000 Coliseum Way
Oakland, California 94621
2011–present: The Splash Brothers era
The Warriors couldn’t improve in the 2011–12 NBA season under coach Jackson, finishing the lockout-shorted season at 23–43 record, 13th in the conference. The team suffered several injuries to key players, and due to the lockout, Jackson could not establish his system in training camp. They then entered into another chaotic rebuilding phase.
Team leader Monta Ellis was traded in mid-March 2012, along with Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh, to the Milwaukee Bucks for center Andrew Bogut (out injured for the season) and former Warrior small forward Stephen Jackson, who without playing a game for the Warriors was quickly traded to the San Antonio Spurs for Richard Jefferson and a conditional first round pick on March 15. These moves saw the rise of Stephen Curry and David Lee to team co-captains, and saw off-guard Klay Thompson, the 11th overall pick of the 2011 NBA draft, move into a starting role. On July 11, they acquired point guard Jarrett Jack from the New Orleans Hornets in a three-team trade also including the Philadelphia 76ers, who received Dorell Wright from Golden State. On August 1, they signed forward Carl Landry on the termination of his one-year contract with the New Orleans Hornets. In the 2012 NBA draft, they selected small forward Harrison Barnes with the 7th overall pick, center Festus Ezeli with the 30th pick, small forward Draymond Green 35th overall, and 7 foot 1 center Ognjen Kuzmic 52nd Overall. In early November, swingman Rush was lost for the year with a torn ACL after falling awkwardly on the court early in the second game of the season, and less than a month later the team announced that Andrew Bogut was out indefinitely with a foot injury that was more serious than originally reported. Bogut did not return to regular play until late in the season.
Coming out of this maelstrom of trades and injuries with a team starting two rookies (Barnes and Ezeli), the Warriors surprisingly jumped to one of their best starts in decades, earning their 20th win before hitting the 30-game mark for the first time since 1992. The Warriors also achieved a milestone by completing their first ever 6–1 road trip in franchise history, including a 97–95 win over the defending champion Heat in Miami. On April 9, 2013, with a win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Golden State Warriors clinched the playoffs for the second time in 19 years and the first time since the 2006-2007 "We Believe" Warriors. With the season coming to an end, locals revived the "We Believe" saying, originally used as the 2006–2007 Golden State Warriors playoff theme, but re-dubbed it "We Belong".
The team finished the season with a record of 47-35, earning the sixth seed in the Western Conference, and defeated the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs winning 4 out of 6 games. They lost in the second round to the San Antonio Spurs, four games to two. This was the first playoff experience for all of the starters of this group except for Andrew Bogut.
Other highlights of the year included Stephen Curry’s 272 three pointers to set a NBA single-season record, and the naming of forward David Lee to the 2013 NBA All-Star Game as a reserve, ending the team’s 16 year drought without an all-star selection, dating back to Latrell Sprewell in the 1997 season. Curry and Klay Thompson, dubbed the "splash brothers" for their extraordinary backcourt shooting prowess, combined for an incredible 483 treys during the season, easily besting the prior record of 435 set by the Orlando Magic’s Nick Anderson and Dennis Scott in 1995-96.
With their lone selection in the 2013 NBA draft, the Warriors made 22-year-old Serbian combo-guard Nemanja Nedovic the 30th and final pick of the first round. In early July 2013, Golden State signed former Denver Nuggets swingman and free agent Andre Iguodala to a four-year, $48 million deal. To make room under their salary cap, the Warriors traded Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Brandon Rush, along with multiple draft picks, including its 2014 and 2017 first-round picks, to the Utah Jazz. The Warriors lost free-agent guard Jarrett Jack, who departed for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and free agent power forward Carl Landry, who went to the Sacramento Kings. To help fill the void left by Landry, the Warriors signed forward/center Marreese Speights to a three-year $10 million contract. The team also signed one-year deals with veteran center Jermaine O’Neal ($2 million) and point guard Toney Douglas ($1.6 million). On August 21, the Warrior’s signed 7’1" Serbian center Ognjen Kuzmic, who had been playing in Europe since his selection in the 2012 NBA draft, to a guaranteed two-year deal.
The Warriors began the 2013-14 season showing flashes of brilliance and also plenty of lapses. In early December their record was 12-9, as compared to 17-4 the year before. One challenging factor was a tough starting schedule that saw them play 14 of their first 22 games on the road, including 10 games against teams holding playoff spots in the standings. A stream of injuries also held the team back, including injuries to Festus Ezeli (off-season surgical repair to repair the right knee, out for the season), Toney Douglas (left tibia stress reaction, out nearly a month from mid-November to December), and Jermaine O’Neal (right wrist injury and surgery, out from mid-November to early-February). Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes were also out for at least four games before the all-star break, each with minor injuries. Most prominently of all, key starter Andre Iguodala suffered a hamstring pull in late November that kept him out for over a month, during which time the Warriors performance suffered significantly on both defensive and offensive ends of the court, and the team posted a losing 5-7 record while revealing a lack of depth on their bench. With Iguodala back in the lineup, the Warriors went on a 10-game winning streak, which included six consecutive wins on a single road trip, tying an NBA record. The winning streak was the longest for the franchise since the 1975 championship year, and just one short of the team record of 11 consecutive wins, set in the 1971-72 season.
To strengthen their underperforming bench, the Warriors made a three-team trade on January 15, sending Toney Douglas to the Miami Heat and picking up guards Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks from the Boston Celtics and then, a day before the trade deadline, trading Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for veteran point guard Steve Blake. Thanks in part to the improved effectiveness of their backup squad, boosted by the additions of Blake and Crawford and the inspiring, rejuvenated play of 35-year-old Jermaine O’Neal (who returned sooner than expected from wrist surgery), the Warriors were one of the winningest teams in the NBA after the all-star break. Nonetheless, and despite several thrilling victories over top contenders, the team displayed a pattern of losing games to inferior teams even at their home arena. On April 11, in a 112-95 stomping of the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center, the Warriors clinched a playoff berth in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1991 and 1992. However, just one day earlier in a loss against the Portland Trail Blazers, Andrew Bogut suffered a cracked rib that would keep him out of the post season, a big blow to the sixth-seed Warrior’s playoff hopes.
The Warriors ended the season 51-31, winning more than 50 games for only the fourth time in franchise history, finishing 20 games over .500 for the first time in 22 years, and tying the 1991-92 squad for the franchise’s all-time mark of 24 wins on the road. Even without Bogut, in the first round of the playoffs the Warrior’s battled the third-seed Los Angeles Clippers to a seventh and deciding game, which the Warriors lost, bringing their 2013-14 season to an end. It was season of many thrilling moments in which the Warriors’ played in 17 regular-season games decided by 2 points or less, 6 games with winning shots in the final 3 seconds, and 7 comeback wins in which the Warriors had been behind by 15 points or more.
Even as the team rolled towards the post-season, signs emerged of trouble in the Warriors front office. On March 25, the team reassigned assistant coach Brian Scalabrine to the team’s NBA Development League Affiliate in Santa Cruz because of what head coach Mark Jackson called a "difference in philosophies" and what unnamed league sources cited by Yahoo Sports called "an increasingly dysfunctional atmosphere" on the Warriors’ coaching staff. Fewer than two weeks later, assistant coach Darren Erman was fired for secretly recording conversations between coaches, staff and players. During the post season, rumors persisted in the press that Mark Jackson’s job as head coach was in jeopardy, leading the players to make a unanimous declaration of support for Jackson’s return only minutes after the Warrior’s first-round, game seven playoff loss to the Clippers. Nonetheless, three days later, on May 6, the team announced the firing of Mark Jackson as head coach. In his three-season tenure as head coach, Jackson compiled a 121-109 (.526) record, overseeing a terrific turnaround. When Jackson took the helm in 2011, the franchise had made the playoffs only one time over the prior 17 seasons, averaging only 30.2 wins per year during that period. Jackson, 49, became just the third head coach in franchise history to lead a team to at least 50 wins in a season, joining Don Nelson and Alvin Attles, who both hit the mark twice with the Warriors. With 121 wins overall, Jackson ranks fourth on the franchise’s all-time wins list, trailing Attles (557), Nelson (422) and Eddie Gottlieb (263). On May 14, 2014, the Golden State Warriors named Steve Kerr the team’s head coach in a reported $25 million deal over 5 years. This is a first-time head-coaching position for Kerr, 48, a five-time NBA champion point guard who holds the all-time career record for accuracy in three-point shooting (.454). Kerr formerly served as President and General Manager for the Phoenix Suns basketball team (2007 to 2010), and has most recently been working as an NBA broadcast analyst for Turner Network Television.
In other noteworthy occurrences for the season, Warrior guard Stephen Curry was named to the starting lineup for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. For Curry, the only Warrior named to the team, this was his first all-star appearance in five seasons as an NBA player. Curry hit another notable milestone in posting 4 triple-doubles for the season, tying a franchise record unequaled since Wilt Chamberlain in 1963-64. Curry also averaged career-bests in points and assists; averaging 24.0 points and 8.5 assists in the season. Curry and fellow splash brother Klay Thompson continued to set league records in three-point shooting. On February 7, in a 102-87 win over the Chicago Bulls, the backcourt duo became the first teammates to each make a three-pointer in 30 consecutive games. Curry, who finished the season with 261 treys, set an individual record for most three-pointers in a span of two seasons with 533, surpassing the previous mark of 478 set by Seattle Supersonic Ray Allen in 2004-05 and 2005-06. Together, Thompson and Curry combined for 484 threes on the year, besting by one the NBA record they had set the year before.