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Golden State Warriors Tank Watch: Mark Jackson Says Team's Trying to Win Games

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 07:  Head coach Mark Jackson of the Golden State Warriors stands on the sidelines during their game against the Utah Jazz at Oracle Arena on January 7, 2012 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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Nathaniel JueSenior Writer IIApril 20, 2012

The latest installment of Golden State Warriors Tank Watch does not highlight the results of a previous game, nor does it chronicle the team’s current six-game losing streak. Instead, we’ll focus on statements of Warriors head coach Mark Jackson, who recently stated that his team is in fact not tanking games.

Phew. What a relief.

It’s good to know that this Golden State squad is simply that terrible—capable of losing six in a row, 13 of its past 15 games and 18 of its past 22 on its own accord. That’s good to know. Current—and future—season-ticket holders can rest easy.

Jackson is certainly stuck between a rock and a hard place. There’s no way that he can confirm that his players are taking a dive in order to secure one of the seventh-worst records and, thus, potentially, one of the top-seven spots in the NBA lottery this May. But, if he admits they are consciously losing games, then it not only makes the organization as a whole look bad, it also makes a mockery of the league’s entire lottery system. They wouldn’t want to do that now, would they?

Of course not.

No competitor wants to acknowledge that intentionally losing is an option. Injured point guard Stephen Curry concurred, stating, “We’re not losing games on purpose. Nobody plays basketball to do that.”

Regardless, what’s wrong with losing on purpose? If that’s the way the system is structured, so be it. Besides, how does one explain the team’s performance over the past month?

The Warriors are simply that bad—all by themselves—which is a more adequate explanation, however, one that neither Jackson nor anyone associated to the team could so openly express.

Still, maybe a more candid stance would go a long way toward rebuffing Warriors Tank Watch.

Yes, honesty hurts. But wouldn't we feel better about the double-edged-sword predicament that Golden State finds itself in?

Just tell it like it is. The Warriors’ current roster is egregiously terrible. The starting lineup now boasts four—yes, four—rookies: Jeremy Tyler, Charles Jenkins, Klay Thompson and, now, Mickell Gladness. Seriously.

This lineup squad probably couldn’t beat the Kentucky Wildcats. Throw in another rookie (Chris Wright), an eighth-year center in the midst of the worst season of his or anyone’s career (Andris Biedrins), a 36-year-old center who has played with nine different ball clubs in his 12-year career and missed all of the 2010-2011 season recovering from injury (Mikki Moore), a 5-foot-8 backup point guard as the team’s best player who is not injured for the rest of the season (Nate Robinson) and you have one motley mess of a basketball crew. How many games would you ideally expect from that roster?

Obviously, Jackson is not going to hint that his team is specifically that awful. He wouldn’t throw his team and organization under the bus like that. And he shouldn’t.

It’s imperative that he remains as positive and inspiring to such a young unit, and he should not convince them that, as a unit, losing is acceptable. However, he needs to light some fire under his players in order to denounce the idea that they are purposefully disinterested in winning ball games. Otherwise, the team’s overall lethargy leads Warriors fans to believe that the team is indeed aiming to lose the rest of their games intentionally.

Which is, ultimately, what they want to happen anyway.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @nathanieljue

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