Andrew Bogut has lost about 15 to 18 pounds. Draymond Green shed about 20. David Lee is now looking like he should be standing in front of Abercrombie & Fitch. Jermaine O’Neal is hardly looking like a guy entering his 18th season.
Clearly, the Warriors took advantage of the offseason. The improved conditioning has already impacted training camp. The pace is faster. The energy is high.
“They are in shape,” coach Mark Jackson said, “and now its just a question of developing chemistry and a sense of what we are trying to do on both ends of the court.”
He wants the Warriors to play at an even faster pace now that all are healthy and his big men are conditioned to run. Jackson said he isn’t content with just going small to pick up the pace. But he wants to run even with his big men in the game.
Jackson said since his guys – most of whom have been working out in Oakland since early September – came to camp in shape, he doesn’t have to worry about that. He said there’s no need to go “White Shadow” on them and have them running lines.
Instead, Jackson has already begun diving into the playbook.
“We’ve already gotten our stuff in,” Jackson said. “That’s the advantage of having guys here a month early on their own. We’re way ahead of schedule. … These guys have worked extremely hard and they’re prepared.”
*** Mark Jackson had a good laugh this morning. On a conference call with Chinese media, designed to promote the preseason games in China next month, Jackson was asked if he wanted to beat the Lakers.
Jackson gave the canned answer about wanting to play hard and get some good work in. But apparently, Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni was definitive about his plans on winning. So one of the media members pressed Jackson for a real answer. Of course Jackson obliged, stating point blank he wanted to beat the Lakers.
“I guess we’re Don King and Bob Arum now,” Jackson said with a smile.
Nothing like feisty exhibition rivalries
*** Warriors point guard Stephen Curry said he’s been impressed with the play of his little brother. Rookie guard Seth Curry, who went undrafted out of Duke, is making his case to become the third Splash Brother.
“He’s done it so many times, knocking down shots, making plays at the point guard position,” Stephen Curry said. “He’s been playing well. Unfortunately, he’s been on the opposite teams from me so he’s been killing us a little bit. So I’ve got to figure that out.”
Golden State’s starting point guard said he’s just happy to see his brother back on the court again. The younger Curry is still not 100 percent recovered from surgery in April. He learned of the stress fracture in his shin before the season but opted to play through it and have surgery later. He wound up first team All-ACC and led the Blue Devils in scoring with 17.5 points per game.
Surgery, however, made hum unavailable for predraft workouts. And even after his name wasn’t called on draft night, he had to work himself back into form while trying to impress teams. Options with Chicago, Charlotte and San Antonio fell through before he signed with Golden State.
While he’s impressed with his li’l bro, Curry said he is going the extra mile not to smother him.
“I treat him like every other teammate,” Curry said. “During camp, I can’t be — in the true essence of the words — big brother all the time. He’s got to go through the process himself, make some mistakes, learn from them, play well, learn from what he did right, He’s got plenty of coaches out here who are going to get on him. … If I see something, obviously I’m going to tell him and try to make him better when I came. But I’m not going to be overshadowing him.”
*** Free agent forward Joe Alexander did not participate in Sunday’s morning session thanks to a stress reaction in his left leg. Rookie big man Ognjen Kuzmic is not yet cleared for contract drills because of a sprained left ankle but participated in limited portions of practice.
*** Rookie guard Nemanja Nedovic is still not with the team. He is trying to secure a travel visa.