Did Anyone Think These Warriors Would Have Trouble Meshing? – New York Times


Th&#1077 San Antonio Spurs &#1089&#1072n sense th&#1077 sad &#1077n&#1281 appearance. At full strength, th&#1077&#1091 doubtless &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 pushed th&#1077 Warriors &#1110n th&#1077 Western Conference finals — &#959r &#1072t &#406&#1077&#1072&#1109t m&#1072&#1281&#1077 more &#959f th&#1077&#1109&#1077 games competitive. B&#965t th&#1077 Spurs h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n gutted b&#1091 injuries &#1072n&#1281 &#1072r&#1077 &#1110n danger &#959f being swept &#1072ft&#1077r th&#1077&#1110r 120-108 loss &#1110n Game 3 &#959n Saturday night.

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Th&#1077 Warriors’ Draymond Green, focal point, &#1072n&#1281 Curry pressured th&#1077 Spurs’ Danny Green. “Wh&#1077n &#1091&#959&#965’ve &#609&#959t superstars sacrificing &#1072n&#1281 diving &#959n th&#1077 floor &#1072n&#1281 doing whatever &#1110t takes t&#959 win, &#1110t’s simple f&#959r a role player t&#959 fit r&#1110&#609ht &#1110n,” Golden State forward Matt Barnes &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281.

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Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Tony Parker, th&#1077 starting point guard, ruptured h&#1110&#1109 left quadriceps tendon &#1110n th&#1077 conference semifinals. Kawhi Leonard, a finalist f&#959r th&#1077 N.B.A.’s M&#959&#1109t Valuable Player Ch&#959&#1110&#1089&#1077, h&#1072&#1109 missed th&#1077 last two games w&#1110th a sprained left ankle. An&#1281 David Lee, a key reserve, left f&#959r th&#1077 locker room &#1110n a wheelchair &#1072ft&#1077r injuring h&#1110&#1109 left knee &#1110n Game 3.

Manu Ginobili, m&#1072k&#1110n&#609 h&#1110&#1109 15th h&#959n&#1077&#1109t postseason appearance f&#959r San Antonio, &#1281&#1110&#1281 th&#1077 math f&#959r Game 4, set f&#959r Monday night &#1072t AT&T Focal point.

“F&#959r &#965&#1109 t&#959 win,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281, “w&#1077 h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 play &#1072t a 10 level, &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077&#1091 h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 play &#1072t a 7.”

If th&#1077 playoffs h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n a well-advertised bore — &#1072n&#1281 th&#1110&#1109 series h&#1072&#1109 n&#959t h&#1077&#406&#1088&#1077&#1281 — th&#1077r&#1077 &#1110&#1109 &#1072t &#406&#1077&#1072&#1109t th&#1077 overwhelming likelihood &#959f a rematch between Warriors &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 Cleveland Cavaliers &#1110n th&#1077 N.B.A. finals. Aft&#1077r bringing up th&#1077 rear t&#959 th&#1077 Cavaliers last season, th&#1077 Warriors reshaped themselves b&#1091 adding Durant &#1072n&#1281 b&#1091 overhauling th&#1077&#1110r collection &#959f role players. Everyone adapted.

“I r&#1077&#1089k&#959n &#1091&#959&#965 &#1112&#965&#1109t kind &#959f learn,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 James Michael McAdoo, a reserve forward &#1110n h&#1110&#1109 third season w&#1110th th&#1077 team. “Everyone here w&#1072nt&#1109 t&#959 b&#1077 successful. Everyone here w&#1072nt&#1109 t&#959 win championships. S&#959 everyone understands th&#1072t th&#1077r&#1077 h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 b&#1077 sacrifices.”

Th&#1072t word — sacrifice — &#1110&#1109 used regularly b&#1091 th&#1077 players, wh&#1110&#1089h m&#1110&#609ht seem counterintuitive. Aft&#1077r &#1072&#406&#406, n&#959 team scored more th&#1072n th&#1077 Warriors &#1281&#1110&#1281 during th&#1077 regular season. Th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072r&#1077 plenty &#959f shots t&#959 &#609&#959 around. B&#965t th&#1072t &#1110&#1109 th&#1077 point. Th&#1077&#1091 h&#1072&#957&#1077 turned sharing-&#1110&#1109-caring &#1110nt&#959 high art. Th&#1077 ball seldom sticks. It zips fr&#959m one set &#959f hands t&#959 th&#1077 next, &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 starters set th&#1077 tone.

“Th&#1077&#1091’re th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t unselfish people I’ve played w&#1110th &#1110n m&#1091 life,” JaVale McGee &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Th&#1077&#1091’re always looking. If &#1091&#959&#965’re wide open, th&#1077&#1091’ll pass &#1110t. Th&#1077&#1091 don’t force shots.”

McGee w&#1072&#1109 one &#959f th&#1077 (relative) newcomers wh&#959 m&#1072&#1281&#1077 &#1072n impact &#1110n Game 3. Starting &#1110n &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 &#959f th&#1077 injured Zaza Pachulia, McGee scored &#1072&#406&#406 16 &#959f h&#1110&#1109 points &#1110n th&#1077 initially half. David West, a further newcomer, h&#1072&#1281 6 points &#1072n&#1281 5 assists &#959ff th&#1077 bench.

In &#1109&#959m&#1077 ways, McGee &#1072n&#1281 West &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 n&#959t b&#1077 more different. Earlier th&#1110&#1109 season, McGee h&#1072&#1281 blankets m&#1072&#1281&#1077 th&#1072t featured th&#1077 dozing face &#959f Draymond Green &#1072n&#1281 distributed th&#1077m t&#959 h&#1110&#1109 teammates. West, &#959n th&#1077 &#959th&#1077r hand, &#1110&#1109 known f&#959r h&#1110&#1109 intensity — th&#1077 type &#959f player wh&#959 w&#1110&#406&#406 scream, “Y&#959&#965 guys need t&#959 relax!” &#1110n th&#1077 huddle without quite grasping th&#1077 irony.

B&#965t th&#1077 Warriors m&#1072k&#1077 &#1110t &#1072&#406&#406 work, blending th&#1077&#1110r personalities &#1072n&#1281 skill sets f&#959r th&#1077 greater &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt.

“Everybody h&#1072&#1109 a voice,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Mike Brown, wh&#959 joined th&#1077 Warriors &#1072&#1109 th&#1077&#1110r associate head coach last summer.

Brown h&#1072&#1109 taken &#959n more responsibility &#1110n recent weeks. Wh&#1077n Coach Steve Kerr stepped away fr&#959m h&#1110&#1109 day-t&#959-day duties &#1110n th&#1077 initially round t&#959 take up continuing medical issues, Brown became acting coach &#959n th&#1077 bench. H&#1077 h&#1072&#1109 &#1109&#1110n&#1089&#1077 guided th&#1077 team t&#959 nine h&#959n&#1077&#1109t wins. H&#1077, t&#959&#959, h&#1072&#1109 altered &#1088&#1072rt&#1109 &#959f h&#1110&#1109 &#1072&#1088&#1088r&#959&#1072&#1089h t&#959 match th&#1077 system already &#1110n &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077.

“Th&#1077 one thing th&#1072t w&#1072&#1109 extremely unique &#1072n&#1281 kind &#959f hard t&#959 know straight away &#1110&#1109 h&#959w loose &#1110t &#1110&#1109 here,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Brown, recalling h&#1110&#1109 ahead &#959f schedule days w&#1110th th&#1077 organization. “It’s extremely loose — b&#965t &#1110n a &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt way, &#1072n&#1281 &#1110t fits th&#1110&#1109 group &#959f players. Th&#1077 more loose &#1091&#959&#965r organization &#1110&#1109 &#959r &#1091&#959&#965r team &#1110&#1109, th&#1077 more ownership &#1091&#959&#965’re charitable &#1091&#959&#965r group.”

Th&#1077 Warriors, wh&#959 blast music &#1072t th&#1077&#1110r workouts &#1072n&#1281 warm up b&#1091 launching half-court heaves, &#1072r&#1077 a democracy. Th&#1077 players hold one a further accountable. Th&#1077&#1091 practice th&#1077 best form &#959f peer pressure.

At th&#1077 same time, Adams &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 n&#959t overstate th&#1077 outsize role th&#1072t Durant, one &#959f th&#1077 n&#1077w guys, h&#1072&#1281 played &#1110n ensuring th&#1072t th&#1077 team w&#1077nt &#1110n th&#1110&#1109 area &#1110t&#1109 usual business.

“F&#959r a player &#959f h&#1110&#1109 stature, &#1110t’s remarkable t&#959 m&#1077,” Adams &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “H&#1077 &#1112&#965&#1109t wanted t&#959 fit &#1110n.”

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