Mark Jackson has a calm, yet demanding presence as head coach of the Golden State Warriors that seems like it could work long-term if the team continues to add pieces and improve from a raw talent standpoint. But as a former player who wants to make a more immediate impact, Jackson’s patience will be tested.
After his team dropped its first road game of the season to the Suns on Monday, Jackson talked about the mistakes that caused the loss, but also talked about the bigger picture, and how his guys need to improve more quickly because of the shortened season.
“You shoot 50 percent on the road, you should come out of there with a win,” Jackson said. “You put teams on the foul line, you turn the basketball over, and you give up 16 offensive rebounds, it’s a recipe for disaster.
“I understand that it’s a process, but this is a 66-game season. And we need to speed up the process.”
When asked how he would go about doing so, Jackson suggested that he’d use playing time as his main motivating factor.
“I will find guys that are playing well, competing, and executing the game plan,” Jackson said. “If that means playing five guys 48 minutes, I will. They will tell me how many guys should play by their performance.”
Speaking of minutes, Stephen Curry only played 23 of them on Monday due to foul trouble. Jackson said point blank that he needs Curry to be smarter defensively.
“If you’re a star player or a key player, if you pick up an early foul or an early two fouls, you’ve got to make the adjustment,” Jackson said. “You can’t pick up another one. He’s done that, and it’s hurt us.”
David Lee missed the game due to illness, which might have been a reasonable excuse for the way the Warriors gave up 16 offensive rebounds, and were outrebounded by 13 overall. This came at the hands of a Suns team that, to this point in the season, has been outrebounded themselves by an average of more than seven boards per game.
But Jackson isn’t interested in reasons, only results.
“We were short-handed, but we’re a no-excuse team,” he said. “Effort’s not enough. You’ve got to execute.”