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Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 at 10:45 am  |  77 responses

Mark Jackson Says Warriors Showed They’re Better than the Lakers


by Marcel Mutoni@ marcel_mutoni

There had been talk not too long ago that the Los Angeles Lakers could mount a charge and eventually leap-frog the Golden State Warriors in the standings for the sixth Playoff spot.

That line of thinking seems laughable now.

The Lakers are barely clinging to the final postseason spot in the Western Conference, with the Utah Jazz nipping at their heels.

Despite the Lakers’ futile, late rally, the Golden State Warriors had blown the doors off their star-studded rivals from Los Angeles last night, and head coach Mark Jackson sent the visitors away with a clear message: the Dubs are simply a better team.

Per the Contra Costa Times:

The standings, Mark Jackson said, already proved the Warriors are better than the Los Angeles Lakers. Now, Golden State has the head-to-head victory to prove it. [...] “It’s a message that was sent,” Warriors coach Jackson said. “I wanted my guys to understand that we are the better team. … We were not going to come into the game on our heels. We respect them and they have guys that will be in the Hall of Fame. … That being said, this is a different day.”

It’s a different day, indeed.

The Warriors lead the surging Houston Rockets by a game for the sixth seed, and Mark Jackson continues to work up their confidence.

As for Kobe and the Lakers, Bryant says he’s not concerned about his team’s three-game slide and the daunting task ahead (a claim that’s increasingly harder to believe.) Per the LA Times:

“I’m terrified,” Kobe Bryant said, sarcastically, of the suddenly sagging Lakers. “Do I look terrified? Not at all.” [...] “I don’t think it’s time to get emotional,” Bryant said. “We’ve got to just maintain our poise.”

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  • Anthony Dixon

    of course they are.

  • Conor

    Obviously, unfortunately.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jab.ras.7 Jab Ras

    Duh… lol

  • spit hot fiyah

    better record, better season, better team

  • Jacob Nelson

    I honestly don’t think that if the Warriors meet the Lakers in the playoffs they will win. Call me an eternal optimist but LA will more than likely win at least 8 of their last 11 and end up in the 8 seed playing San Antonio, a very winnable series. Assuming Golden State beats the Clippers in the first round, they would meet the Lakers for the second round. If you look at the second half records of both teams, I think the Lakers are at an advantage.GS is 12-14 and LA is 16-9. The Lakers definitely have some work to do but there is no denying that they have begun to right the ship at the perfect time. They’ll work the kinks out in these lat 14 games and be ready to play come playoff time. I don’t see them getting past OKC in the WCF though.

  • Drig

    Not sure about that. Warriors are beatable. The Lakers shot themselves in the foot this game. They put the brakes on the Warriors in Q4.

  • Max

    After the game was decided.

  • playa

    Oh man,they played like crap yet AGAIN.Mark Jackson is definately right unfortunately,what a nightmare season it has been….

  • Ugh

    Well, that should do it. Kobe will now average 48ppg using the “Kobe offence” and drive the Lakers into a position to play the Warriors in the first round.

  • Lloyd

    If they ever met in the playoffs, I’d take the Lakers 9 times out of 10. No substitute for experience and mental toughness.

  • Drig

    Can’t disagree with that. But when you consider the fact that a LOT of the Lakers issues were self inflicted with Kobe having a pathetic night from deep and the fact that the Lakers have come back from a 13 point deficit vs the same team earlier in the season, the Warriors don’t seem to have the Lakers number kinda like OKC and Denver do.

    Warriors won’t give the Lakers any sleepless nights is what I was trying to get at. This is of course assuming the Lakers can get their heads outta their rear ends.

  • Seth

    Seriously? The Lakers are feeble this year.

  • pposse

    this the type of talk that will ultimately (in the long run) run Mark Jackson right out of town. He sounding too much like he’s back analyzing games with JVG again.

  • http://twitter.com/seanmagicjuan Sean Superstar Juan

    Eternal optimist.

  • http://twitter.com/seanmagicjuan Sean Superstar Juan

    Lol, the year is 2013 sir.

  • http://twitter.com/seanmagicjuan Sean Superstar Juan

    By stating the obvious?

  • http://twitter.com/seanmagicjuan Sean Superstar Juan

    I’ll give Lakers Fans credit, you’re a loyal bunch. A very delusional bunch but still loyal as hell. This team is one and done, probably swept.

  • pposse

    its just him being too brash. Its not gonna fly with the players when they are losing.

  • Jacob Nielson

    Lakers beat San Antonio? Are you kidding me? There’s no way that well oiled (coached) machine would lose in a series against the Lakers. They’re still out of sync as a team and Kobe can’t be trusted to consistently play with his teammates. He’ll go from 12 assists to 3. His teammates never know which Kobe they’ll get on a night by night basis.

  • Jacob Nielson

    So you won’t give the Warriors any credit for the game then? They played the defense. They shot the heck out of the ball and even matched the physical play of MWP and Dwight in the first half. That’s how the game got broken open. This was one game and I think it just says that the Warriors have come a long way since being the Lakers’ doormat, but there’s still much more to prove.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JIN06 Israel Jacob Nelson

    kind of like when the grizzlies didn’t beat the Spurs?

  • bike

    “I’m terrified,” Kobe Bryant said, sarcastically, of the suddenly sagging Lakers. “Do I look terrified? Not at all.”

    That’s because he’s Kobe Motherf’in Bryant.

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com/ Dutch Rich

    Aagh, you just gave away their long term goal!

  • JML-G

    Grizzlies team was WAYYYYYYYY better than current Lakers

  • roscoe

    LAL problems all season have been:
    i. transition d-fense
    ii. intergrating pau effectively & pau-ting
    iii. pau intergrating himself effectively next to dh12 (s/t injuries maybe??)
    iv. coaching changes (this is a problem & won’t be solved soon)
    v. dh12′s health & overall bigmen’s health on team
    vi. lack of a bench scoring

    Btw, all the other team’s in the L deal with these too… but its time for…
    LAL fans to wake up 2 “kb24 can’t do it all himself”, this season is over, mJackson = right.

  • shutup

    The Spurs were battling injuries to its top 3 that year. Get over it. The Spurs smacked them last year in the playoffs.

  • Conor

    Maybe. Eleven games to get their collective asses in gear.

    Gasol’s abrupt reinsertion to the offence (starting, immediately, because D’Antoni couldn’t manage reintegration was a mistake; hence, three consecutive losses) is the true cause for their chemical imbalance. Once they become comfortable with him, and relocate their niche, there is no telling what may happen. It was only one week ago when everyone was saying “oh no, the Lakers look incredibly dangerous once more”. They’ll figure it out.

    They will be swept if they play OKC, though. San Antonio is a much better first-round matchup for them.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    mental toughness? are you living in 2010?

  • Sérgio

    Did the Spurs played Memphis in last year’s Playoffs? Oh.

  • Annoyed.

    I love how in all of the problems you listed Kobe wasn’t listed at all.. Like his gelling problems with his team, spotty shooting, poor defense, and his mindset that he thinks he’s still 21.. You Laker fans disgust me with your infinate defenses to cover up your prized players defficiencies… So annoying.

  • nick

    no, spurs swept the clippers, after the clippers beat the grizzles…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jay.brodes Jay Brodes

    i will say this as a lakers fan! curry was lights out! jackson is a better coach than dantoni any day of the week ..nuff said!

  • http://twitter.com/apowellAdvocate Allen Powell II
  • roscoe

    please review my list.

    i. transition d-fense
    ii. integrating pau & pau-ting

    specifically, those are two areas that fall on kb24′s shoulders, et al.

    but you bring up a good point… Errr… no you just actually based your weak argument on an assumption of mine that doesn’t exist.

    so who is annoying? and who is a LAL fan? and who are you hiding behind a cheeseball name?

    show yourself to roscoe… lol.

  • The Seed

    If Lakers play Spurs first round, LA wins. Then Memphis will beat CLippers. LA can beat Memphis. Then LA plays OKC. Kobe averages 40pts a game like against SUns in playoffs a few years ago. LA vs. Bulls-if DROSE healthy –NBA FInals. BOOK IT!!

  • The Seed

    Nice article, wish you put this much attention to adding articles about your boy Lebron. Too bad Kobe got 5 Chips he can grow at you. LOL

  • roscoe

    i completely agree… i did a quick analysis of the probability of your outcome…

    and guess what…

    you’re a 100% correct.

  • Jacob Nelson

    I was referring to the year before, when the Grizzlies whooped up on the Spurs. When is the last time San Antonio won a championship? They do this every year. They finish top 3 in the west and flame out in the playoffs. It’ll happen again. I don’t really need to validate anything I’m saying, the proof is in the history. Kobe is a winner, regardless of what their current record says. The playoffs is a brand new season and the Spurs are the best team for them to meet in the playoffs. Parker outdoes Nash, Kobe outdoes Green, World Peace and Leonard is a wash, Duncan and Gasol is a wash and Howard will whoop up on Splitter. If the bench can play well for the Lakers they will win in 6. Then again, I’m the same guy who said they would beat Boston in 2010, and that they would find a way to make the playoffs this year…so what do I know? The only team I would be legitimately scared of as a Lakers fan is OKC. I can make a legitimate case for them to beat any of the other 6 teams in the west.

  • robb

    And the Lakers showed us fans there’s no point in watching their games. You wanna make the playoffs but, seriously guys, what for? OKC or the Spurs would sweep you. Don’t bother, honestly I don’t wanna watch it, it’s f*cking pathetic.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    Kawhi Leonard is a wash with MWP? Gasol and Duncan are a wash? Really?

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    Ah, the five chips argument. The default position for all Kobe stand.

  • http://twitter.com/bjollz Björn Atli Davíðsson

    I don’t think you understand the way the Spurs are built as a team. As far as your comparisons go, it looks like you’re probably just matching dudes stats up like this is a fantasy game.

  • Max

    The reason being, the Warriors are worse than OKC or Denver.

  • Dagger

    You can make a legit case if all you do is look at the names on the roster. Which you should know is asinine if you’ve followed the team at all this year.

    Moreover, the Spurs didn’t “flame out” last year. They took a really tough Thunder team to 6 games, and this team is deeper, more athletic and more talented than last year’s team. Discount them at your peril.

  • Yi-Cheng Chen

    yeah, i think that’s why Jazz is not interested in winning these days. We all know the reality who the last seed meets in the playoffs.

  • Yi-Cheng Chen

    i think u meant Kobe vs the rest of the teams. seriously.

  • Yi-Cheng Chen

    Redundant. It might be true, but still better than Lakers if you are basing your opinion on the standings.

  • shutup

    My fault they swept the team that be the Grizz……..its like getting smacked by proxy.

  • shutup

    The Lakers dont have the depth or intelligence as a team to make that series competitive. I couldn’t see them taking more then one game on the back of Kobe’s heroics. You should watch more Leonard tape, and Splitter will give Howard all sorts of problems; not saying that that he would out produce him, but Splitter will get his. While we contemplate this scenario, what exactly is your answer for Ginobili; or Pop????? You should also familiarize yourself with Duncan’s production compared to Gasol’s over the last 2 months; its far from a wash…..

  • Drig

    Exactly. Those two teams, along with the Spurs, are the only teams which can claim they’re the better team.

  • Drig

    The Warriors have come a long way since being the Lakers doormat. They can even hold their own now.

    But they aren’t the better team. Esp. when they looked so vulnerable when the Lakers got their act together and started a comeback. Twice.

  • Drig

    @twitter-56802460:disqus, I have no problem with guys calling out Kobe for his lack of D for large stretches of the game. It’s something that he does that I’m no fan of. This isn’t the first time he’s done that this season as well.

    I remember earlier in the season when Kobe gambled for the steal consecutively on 3 possessions and the Lakers got burned for 9 points lol.

    However, not all the blame lies with Kobe. He’s playing 37 minutes per game. And is heavily featured in the O. That’s an issue. Plus, Lakers missed a ton of rotations on D even without Kobe.

    Kobe hasn’t been the cause of the Lakers malaise on transiiton. But he hasn’t nipped it in the bud.

    It kinda makes me wonder why Mike D’Antoni went away from making Kobe play D on the opposing team’s primary ball handler…..Nash is gonna get burned regardless so why not make Kobe stake his pride here and blackmail him to play D??

    Perhaps it’s too taxing on Kobe and he wants to do it in the POs?

  • http://www.facebook.com/jab.ras.7 Jab Ras

    lol great post

  • Lloyd

    we’ve seen what the Lakers are capable of in glimpses this season. i just feel like when the lights are on in the playoffs, the culture of winning that the Lakers are accustomed to would boost their drive.

  • Lloyd

    I never count the Lakers out my dude. I’ve written them off too many times before.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    There is drive. And then there is ability. The Lakers can’t guard a point guard. And will play either one of the two top scoring point guards in the West. They are screwed. No matter what.

  • Dagger

    As highlighted in the article, Kobe has absolutely been a bit part of the Lakers’ “malaise in transition.” And let’s not pretend that Kobe can be a lockdown defender for more than a few players/game, either. I mean, he was a good defender in his prime, but even then he was getting roasted by players like Iverson and Arenas, in part because the offense leaned on him so heavily.

  • Me

    The 8th seed is gonna be the Mavs – they’re peaking now while the Lakers and Jazz are dropping more games than winning

  • Drig

    lol. Re-read my post. I agreed with you. I simply said it’s an issue that plaques all the perimeter players for the Lakers for some damn reason.

    I never said he would lock down players. I simply said that putting him on the primary ball handler would stroke his ego and force him to play D and communicate more with other players and not gamble as much.

  • Drig

    BTW, MWP has a partial Meniscus tear as well. Lakers are fcked this season. Injuries have broken the team……

    One guy finally comes back, then two more get injured. Just been that kind of season for the Lakers……

  • Vince

    It really doesn’t take much to be better than the Lakers these days…

  • Drig

    Good health and a decent bench is so underrated.

  • Xena

    The offense leaned heavily on Kobe when Arenas was roasting
    him for 2-3 years being that Shaq was gone (a move that Kobe was
    ecstatic about because he wanted the responsibility of carrying that
    heavy offensive load) but the lakers` offense did not lean heavily on
    Kobe for most of the years Iverson was torching him and during his career in
    general. Kobe has unnecessarily increased his offensive load by taking
    poor shots throughout his career even when he wasn`t the #1 option.
    First, Shaq was the #1 option from 1996-2004, then Kobe was for 2-3
    seasons with little help, then came the Gasol-Bynum duo (who made up one of the best if not THE BEST front court in the nba from 2007-12 imo), and now the Nash-Dwight-Gasol
    trio. So the heavy offensive load
    theory is only valid from 2004-07.

    .

    He
    was not a good defender in his prime because he was not able to slow
    down the best guards in the league specifically Iverson. He was a
    part-time defender just as he is now. He was never a
    lockdown defender however it`s not about locking down your
    opponent every possession. It`s about being a solid, heady defender
    every possession. It`s about having as few horrible, individual
    defensive possessions as possible while giving maximum effort on defense
    for most of the game. This is what Kobe has struggled with his entire
    career – playing consistent, heady defense throughout the game whether it was
    Shaq protecting the rim or Dwight.

  • Max

    I’d take Memphis and Clippers over LA in a heartbeat.

  • Lloyd

    Yea we knew they’d be weak defensively at the point all season, especially against guards that can go strong in the paint. They’re not beating the Spurs or Thunder and I never said they would. Against GS in a playoff series though, I’m taking the Lakers regardless of their bumpy season.

  • Jacob Nelson

    Yes, it is a wash. You don’t think that MWP defensively equals out anything that Leonard will do offensively? Come on. And Gasol when healthy is just as good as Duncan, yes. He’s not as consistent over an 82 game season but he can turn in just as good of a 7 game series as any big man.

  • http://basketball-performance.com/ Basketball Tips

    I’m a Laker fan, and not delusional LOL. but hey we stick with our team no matter what, we all know that they’re struggling hard, but we still have our hopes up until we’re done in the playoffs. thank you for the credit. appreciated :)

  • Drig

    Even I would. But I wouldn’t call them a team that is clearly a tier above LAL. Clips have issues with their D just like the Lakers do. I will consider them a better team if their O can translate in the POs , something which didn’t the last time. Memphis is good but they’d be crippled just like LAL is if 2 players of their starting lineup were injured for large halves of the season.

  • Jacob Nelson

    Who have they added in the last year that you really think makes that much of a difference?

  • Jacob Nelson

    I do know how they are built. They play as a unit and they win in the regular season, but since 06-07 that has not translated into a championship.

  • Jacob Nelson

    Annoying like how people constantly called LeBron the best player in the world and heaped praise on him before he did anything to merit that praise? Annoying like the entire city of NY anointing Jeremy Lin as the man after 20+ games as a starter? Annoying like not one not two not three not four? Annoying like not asserting yourself every game(3/4 of the league’s marquee players)

    At least Kobe has the accolades to back the defense up. At least you know he’s going to play hard every night, in one way or another. I’m so sick of everyone bitching about him being an offense first minded player. He has been that way for his entire career, just as Kareem, Michael, Magic and Bird were. No one can realistically expect Kobe Bryant at age 34 to dominate both ends of the ball for 48 minutes every night.

    Also, he’s not acting like he’s 21, he’s playing better than 95% of the league. Without Kobe Bryant this team wouldn’t even be sniffing the playoffs. What’s really annoying, is that people continue to try and discount one of the best players in history by sniffing out his weaknesses, as if no other great player has a weakness.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ok.

  • Jacob Nelson

    They really shouldn’t have insisted on playing Pau right off the bat. I think they were better off with Jamison and Clark, players who can stretch the floor and have some semblance of athleticism left. It’s not Pau’s fault that he is suffering from injuries but he is inhibiting the well being of the team by being on the floor.

  • http://basketball-performance.com/ Basketball Tips

    True, I was quite upset when MDA took Clark’s minutes just like that. Pau should’ve been backup for Howard.

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    Except Leonard is really good on offense and defense not just one.

  • http://twitter.com/seanmagicjuan Sean Superstar Juan

    Was I right?

  • http://twitter.com/AjpDos Allen Powell

    I ain’t even gonna gloat

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