Mark Jackson: “You Don’t Win Championships in November”

Mark Jackson doesn’t share your panic.

Yes, the Warriors have lost three straight and have fallen to the middle of the pack in the Western Conference. But as they take on the upstart New Orleans Pelicans tonight, Jackson described his bunch as … you guessed it … “fine.”

“We’re a team that’s trying to get back to who we are,” Jackson said after Tuesday’s shootaround. “We’ve had some tough injuries but its important that we stop the bleeding and get a quality win tonight.”

Many fans and national analysts are writing the Warriors’ off. And with good reason. The Warriors are 1-4 against top teams in the West, 1-5 if you count Portland among that bunch.
But Jackson said his team just needs to regain a sense of urgency, get back on the saddle of the blows they’ve received from injuries and opportunistic opponents. But he’s not going to overreact from an early season three-game losing streak.

“We know that you don’t win championships in November,” Jackson said. “We are a very good basketball team. And we’ve shown exactly who we are when we’re healthy and whole. The most important thing is for us to, just like injuries, stay true to the process. Continue to get better and play our best basketball when it matters most.”

Jackson said the Warriors are losing because they aren’t playing their style of basketball. It drives him crazy as a coach, but it reinforces what it takes for them to get it done.

Jackson said last year’s squad knew it was good but it was operating solely on faith. This year’s squad, Jackson said, knows its good because of the evidence, drawing on the playoff run in the spring.

But the film has snitched on the Warriors for not playing like they did when they reached the Western Conference semifinals. But Jackson contends this just what every good team goes through and Golden State just needs to get back to what it does best.

“We’re a team that outworks people,” Jackson said. “We’re a team that defends and stays true to our principles. And when we don’t do that, we’re not good enough to still win ball games. So we can’t be tricked into thinking we’ve arrived.”


* Jackson said O’Neal’s status will be determined before tip-off. The veteran center, who is needed to start now that Andrew Bogut is suspended for tonight’s game, participated in shootaround. The only hold up is making sure he is pain free.

Jackson said he won’t force it since the Warriors are so thin on the frontline.

“I think that’s where you get in trouble, and one week turns into a month,” Jackson said. “If he’s not fine, if he’s not healthy, if he’s not feeling well, I don’t want him on the floor. Just like always, we’re staying true to the process. When he’s ready, he plays. But we will not allow the situation to force him to play.”

Marcus Thompson

  • Commish

    I’m as impressed as anyone with many of Coach Jackson’s qualities. One case in point is Iggy wouldn’t be with the Warriors if it wasn’t, in part, due to Coach Jackson’s ability to be a “player’s coach”. But starting with last year, and continuing into this season, I have seen a clear pattern of a serious lack of coaching in the third and especially the fourth quarters. I am not a statistically sophisticated guy, so my opinion is simply based on what I’ve personally seen, Jackson seems to have some major flaws in his coaching arsenal. It seems to me he has no real half court offensive strategies in close game, hasn’t shown the ability to close out games as much as a coach can, and clearly allows opponents long runs without calling time outs to stop the bleeding. This has been going on for months and isn’t just anything recent. Does anyone ever question his lack of learning from past mistakes in these areas? As a “no excuse” coach, at some point, he has to be held accountable for these reoccurring collapses.

  • Howard Benner

    You can’t win a championship in November/December but you surely can lose one. . .so what to do with the woeful bench that puts more pressure on the starters. . .who, no difference from last year’s team are playing short handed. . .this may prove to be a hole too deep to climb out of. . how many big leads will this team relinquish?

  • Commish

    I think talking about a “championship” is delusional at best.. It is a question of where we will be seeded in the playoffs, not about winning a championship. The problem with what the Coach is saying is opposing teams are learning how to beat the Warriors with consistent effort combined with our propensity to collapse. We are “soft” and very beatable in spite of large leads. This softness and weakness gives better teams confidence they can not only come back from deficits, but that we have no answer to their charges. I truly believe that has more to do with coaching than the players, but could easily be wrong.

  • 2holehitting

    Freddy P soft shows up in Q4 for the Warriors. They have to figure how to win in the 4th and not just hold on.

  • 2holehitting

    Winning a Championship is a season long endeavor. Not winning the games at the start of the season can certainly make for one NOT winning a championship. You must make the playoffs first. That means all games are important.

  • Howard Benner

    Total agreement. You can’t lament what you didn’t do when you “cut corners” early on as you try to compensate later in the season. . .but you get in trouble when you start “penciling in” wins & losses on the calender. . .just got to play who is in front of you & concentrate your efforts during those contests. . .

  • flaninerfan

    Agree. That game 1 loss to SAN cost the series. I think they should do what they do best the whole game. When they try to slow down and milk the clock disaster soon follows.

  • Howard Benner

    So the comments from last night wax prophetic; lackluster, uninspired play early on (losing games you should win early on) aren’t erased by frenetic, too little too late rallies (trying to make up for lost time with wins down the stretch). . .is this what this season has in store for the W’s faithful? They shot their load in the playoffs last year?

  • Howard Benner

    Lee chokes sooo bad!

  • Howard Benner

    This group doesn’t possess the clutch gene. They feel sorry for themselves when things are going against them. They have no will to win. . .A flashy team, to be sure, but they lose track of what is important when the game is on the line. . .very immature team. . .

  • Derf

    we miss Landry and Jack

  • Grey Warden

    Tough to beat the Thunder and the refs at the same time. No call on an over the back rebound foul from Westbrook that led to his game winning 3. Had that been the other way around, it would have been a foul. Gotta love it when certain teams get superstar calls for every player on their team.

  • Howard Benner

    Grey, initially that was my response. Had my brothers & nephews over for Friday Night leftover/sports & we watched the W’s meltdown in ernest.

    But when it was all said & done we came to a cnocensus; earlier in the game Curry made a halfhearted effort to secure a defensive rebound & Westbrook “wanted it more.” As we replayed the last rebound over & over we came to the same conclusion; Westbrook simply wanted it more. He combines explosive athleticism with intensity & that desire to win. The Thunder is probably the best offensive rebounding team in the league. All their players know their roles & play them well. Sure, they have been together as a team longer than the W’s, but they don’t give up possessions like the W’s occasionally do & they “bring it” on the defensive end every possession. The W’s need to learn from that example. . .perhaps then they will get calls. they still reach too much & don’t play defense with their feet. . .they are a work in progress. . .and Lee stunk the joint up. . .six for 11 @ the foul line in the fourth quarter? Bogut was the only player that “brought it” the entire game. . .Klay is going to get worn down with all the responsibility he faces. even with Douglas coming back the W’s need help @ the point. . .

  • Ken N

    I don’t agree with the wholesale subs towards the end of the 1st quarter every game…Jackson needs to stagger sub a couple of bench players instead of clearing the starting 5. Also, are they practicing free throws in practice?…are they practicing boxing out in practice?…do the players understand about how to take care of the ball the last 5 minutes of the game? I’m a season ticket holder and a Warrior fan since the Bill King, Hank Greenwald, Alex Hannum, Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond, Al Attles days but as much as I like Jim Barnett as an announcer, I feel he should be a bench coach for Jackson cuz I agree with his observations throughout the game…it seems so obvious on what needs to be corrected but I continue to see how the Warriors beat themselves. They have the most potential of all the Warriors teams I’ve seen lately and it just irks me that they continually make the SAME mistakes over and over again by beating themselves…foolish fouls (if you foul, make sure the basket is not made; no more AND 1’s)…letting up when having a large lead (get tough and put the other team away!)…play O’Neal more cuz you don’t lose too much with him in there and Bogut needs to get less fouls)…make Speights be a truly #4 (he’s acting like a #3, shooting from the outside but needs to muscle inside and rebound)…send Bazemore to Santa Cruz or trade him (he’s a tweener; dominates D-League but can’t handle the NBA). Bottom line: we need a true point guard until Nedovic is ready and a true #4 who can rebound and defend.