W's look to right ship against Western Conference's worst

Jackson: 'We've got to stop the bleeding'

W's look to right ship against Western Conference's worst
February 20, 2013, 11:45 am
Share This Post

Klay Thompson registered 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists when the Warriors defeated the Suns on Feb. 2. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Programming note: Coverage of Warriors-Suns begins at 7:00 on CSN Bay Area, followed by NBA basketball, and Warriors Postgame Live immediately following the final buzzer.

In the midst of a six-game losing streak, panic mode hasn’t set in for Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson.

Not yet, anyway.

Jackson contends Tuesday’s 115-101 loss at Utah, the team’s first game after the All-Star break, was “another uncharacteristic performance” for the Warriors (30-23), who have given up 117.5 points per game during the losing streak.

The result? Jackson said players would have to start earning their minutes again.

“We’ve got to find five guys on the floor that are going to scratch, claw, compete because history tells me -- I’ve been apart of it -- the only way out of funk like this is working your way out of it,” he said. “We’re not going to cool our way out of this thing. We’re going to be fine, but we have to stop the bleeding.”

A visit from the Western Conference’s worst team, the Phoenx Suns, should provide a good opportunity to do just that. Golden State’s last win came Feb. 2 against Phoenix and the team would like nothing more than for the Suns to bookend the skid, which is twice as long as the previous worst of the year.

If there isn’t already legitimate reason for concern – yes, about the team’s playoff chances -- a seventh consecutive loss, considering the opponent, would provide just that.

Following Wednesday’s game against Phoenix, there’s no immediate reprieve in the schedule. A home game with San Antonio comes on Friday before a five-game road trip that includes games against New York, Indiana and Boston.

Since Golden State’s 113-93 win at Oracle Arena in the teams’ previous meeting, Phoenix (18-36) has won two of six, including a 102-98 win at Portland on Tuesday.

After saying it was time to “shake some things up,” it’ll be interesting to watch how Jackson splits up the minutes.

“Energy, effort, commitment, defending, the things that put us in position to be a very good basketball team,” Jackson said will be the keys to earning playing time. “We’re not doing that right now and I’m getting tired of ‘my bad,’ so we have to try to find a way to stop it.”

Center Andrew Bogut, who has been cleared to play in back-to-back games, played just 15 minutes on Tuesday and looked overwhelmed at times going up against Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors. Bogut finished with five rebounds and was held scoreless.

“He wasn’t moving well and I’m not going to try and kill him out there,” Jackson said. “I understand what he’s coming off of, just wanted to be smart about it. That’s truly not going to be the norm.”

Having Bogut in the lineup has not been the boon Golden State brass was hoping it would be. Since going 3-0 in his first three games back, the Warriors have dropped the past four with Bogut on the floor. At times he’s made a positive impact on both sides of the floor, but other times, it’s clear he’s still working himself back into game shape.