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List of Articles by Jason Aniel



NBA - Future looks bright for young Warriors

By Jason Aniel
PhilBoxing.com
18 May 2013



Oakland —The Golden State Warriors were without forward Harrison Barnes, who suffered a head injury and a cut on his eyebrow, and center Andrew Bogut, who had difficulty moving throughout the game, for all of the fourth quarter in their must win Game 6 match against the veteran San Antonio Spurs.

However, the Warriors still fought courageously to cut the deficit as close as two in the fourth, before Tony Parker, who shot poorly all game, going 1-14 prior to nailing two gut-wrenching three’s to close the game and end the season for the six-seed Warriors.

“My teammates just continued to believe in me, and I finally hit two big three’s to seal the game,” said Tony Parker in the post-game press conference.

With the win, the Spurs move on to the Western Conference Finals for the second year in a row. Last year, the Spurs lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games.

Despite the lost, the Warriors can hold their heads up high because no one expected them to be at this level and stage of the playoffs this quickly.

“I couldn’t be any prouder of any group,” said second-year head coach, Mark Jackson of his team, “I could go on to win championships [in the future], but I can’t be more proud than I am of this group.”

The Warriors went 47-35 after going 23-43 in the previous year and made the playoffs for the first time since 2007. Underdogs most of the playoffs, the Warriors captured the attention and respect of the NBA media, players, coaches, and fans after defeating the Denver Nuggets in the first round, and battling the Spurs for six games. More importantly, their core of Harrison Barnes, Klay Thompson, and Stephen Curry, are young players. The future looks bright for the Warriors.

“Congratulations [to the Warriors] on a great season. They are a class organization, and Mark Jackson has built a competitive squad.” Said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich of the Warriors.

In addition to the return of the Warriors to playoff level success, guard Stephen Curry had a breakout run and has become a star for the Warriors and the NBA as a whole. Curry put up amazing numbers from long distance in his playoff games. Curry hopes this will not be the last time his teams has an opportunity to move to the Western Conference Finals.

“I’m aching to get back to this level,” said Curry, who averaged 23.4 points and 8.1 assist during the playoffs, “I enjoyed the process. This is something we can build on for next year.”

The Spurs proved they are road tested, winning two games at the famed “Roracle” Arena in Oakland. The majority of the 19,596 crazed Warriors fans stayed after the game and despite the tough lost to show their appreciation for their team. The players noticed the fans and came back onto the court from the locker room after the game to acknowledge the fans. Curry led the team and the fans in one last “Just Us!” chant to send the fans home happy.

“Hopefully, we made them proud and gave them something to look forward to.” Curry said in reaction to the fan support after the game.

Coach Jackson simply called the Warriors fan “the best fans in the NBA.”

Warriors fan hope this will not be the last you heard of the Warriors.

GAME NOTES:

Curry, who sprained his left ankle (the non-surgerically repaired ankle), during this series doesn’t expect to have surgery on the ankle. Curry also express that this will be the first time he’s had a summer to just work on his skill and not rehab an injury. Curry hopes to improve on his strength and quickness in order to get to the free throw line more often next year. Curry expects to begin his off-season workout in “two to three weeks.”

Harrison Barnes suffered a hard fall to the floor during the end of the first half. Barnes was down for several minutes but was conscious during that time. Barnes suffered a cut on his eyebrow that required stiches. Barnes had to go through a concussion test before being allowed to reenter the game. Barnes passed those tests and came out just seconds prior to the start of the third quarter to the delight of the fans, who gave him a standing ovation. Barnes complained of headaches prior to the start of the fourth quarter, and Coach Jackson elected not to use Barnes for the rest of the game.

Andrew Bogut had difficulty moving around as early as the Warriors pre-game shoot-a-round. However, Bogut wanted to play and told Jackson that he would give it all he had. Sometime in the second or third quarter, Bogut singled to Jackson that he could not move anymore, and Jackson elected not to play Bogut for the rest of the game.


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