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.”
“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.”