Warriors can't consent on luck factor

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Source:   —  April 16, 2016, at 1:06 AM

With tiny prompting, he mocked Golden State'south reputational knock. "At the finish of the day, our championship was luck latest year," he sarcastically quipped.

Warriors can't consent on luck factor

Upon winning the seventy-third game, Draymond Green was triumphant, loose.

With small prompting, he mocked Golden State'south reputational knock. "At the finish of the day, our championship was luck latest year," he sarcastically quipped. "And we lucked out with seventy-three wins this year, so that'south going to continue to be the way it is, and we'll continue to be lucky. It's what it is."

Maybe more than any other NBA team in recent memory, the Warriors have been associated with the tricky concept of luck. It might've even happened without Clippers coach Doc Rivers publicly raising the issue over the offseason. It was out there, pervasive in the NBA ether.

It'south understandable in the context of an ascent that was, initially, tough to understand. Golden State'south rise was so fast, so unexpected and so counterintuitive that simple answers were lacking. Some wrote off latest year'south title as a fluke; others, reasonably, merely accepted luck as a factor.

The Warriors never needed a shot to rescue their season, but a slew of injury-riddled playoff opponents informed the luck narrative. None of these opponents were, possibly even with the best of fortune, better than Golden State.

But the Warriors were new and lacked the typical title winner'south aura of inevitability. And yet luck was very much a portion of what built this, however you wish to determine it. Coach Steve Kerr credits his excellent fortune every chance he gets. "Luck plays a enormous role in all of this. Injuries, matchups, one shot either made or missed," he readily admits

That'south a contrast with how owner Joe Lacob, to some derision, mostly denies the role of providence. Of his burgeoning Warriors, Lacob told The NY Times Magazine: "The great, grand venture capitalists who built company after company, that'south not an accident. And none of this is an accident, either."

Lacob, at his most deterministic, said, "We're light-years ahead of probably every other team in structure, in planning, in how we're going to go about things." A few players -- notably Stephen Curry and Harrison Barnes -- have had fun with that "light-years" quote, subtly slipping it into interviews. When asked about it, a Warrior responded, "So you've caught the inside joke."

Athletes clearly have their own ideas on who controls the fates. As for Lacob, he'south not a superstitious man. If people believe his comments to be horrible karma, as some have maintained, it'south of small concern to him. Similar admonishments were made latest year after Lacob took a blowtorch to former coach Label Jackson at a corporate luncheon. Lacob hoisted a trophy months after warnings that he could obtain hoisted on his own petard.

"He'south our Draymond," says helper common manager Kirk Lacob of his father'south propensity for public brashness. "We joke about it. Steve [Kerr] and Bob [Myers] are Steph, and he's Draymond." GM and public humility practitioner Bob Myers offered, "Excellent fortune has a hand in a lot of success." He added, "Everyone will have different opinions on the wt of it, or the percentage of it, but inheriting a guy love Steph Curry is fortuitous, certainly."

Resident philosopher Marreese Speights indeed has an opinion on life'south luck percentage. "Luck is thirty % of everything," Speights said. "Every situation you in, got something to do with luck. Just thirty percent, though, that'south a tiny percentage of something special." A few Warriors, including Speights, believe "luck" might've prevented even more winning this season. Golden State has dealt with an expand in injuries from latest year, though its All-Star triumvirate of Curry, Green and Thompson remained mostly unscathed.

Of course, it'south an open question as to whether injuries mostly redound to the fates. The Warriors and other teams certainly invest considerable money in injury prevention. "A lot of guys thought we could win seventy-six games, or probably more," said Speights. He then cited destitute travel luck as one factor.

"People don't realize we flew the most in the league! That s--- takes a toll on your body."

"Luck'south a misnomer," Kirk Lacob said. "It'south probability. Life is random. Some people call it luck, some call it probability. Keep yourself in position to have the best probability and hope it goes your way."

What'south comic about a fixation on luck is that sports are so inherently probabilistic. You pass up a guarded shot to obtain an open one. On some days, the well-defended attempt falls and the open see clanks, but over time, a excellent process wins out. Or, at least, it gives you a chance.

"Luck is sometimes the disagreement when teams are evenly matched," Kerr said. "The well-known Allan Houston shot versus Miami in Game five is the perfect example of luck," Kerr added. "If it bounces out, Miami wins. But it bounced in, and NY won. The two teams were incredibly even."

So far, the Warriors have avoided the high-leverage Allan Houston situation. As the not-so-demure Joe Lacob reminded the Bay Area News Group'south Tim Kawakami in an interview latest offseason: "We did win the W by eleven games, which isn't a tiny amount. So the other teams have a bit of catching up to do."

Of course, there are exterior factors that notify Golden State'south success, not the minimum of which is Myers inheriting Curry. "You can trace luck back to as distant as you want," Myers said. "We're lucky to be born in the U. S."

The professorial Ron Adams, Golden State'south helper coach and defensive guru, gets autobiographical in the assessment of luck. "It'south a capricious thing," he begins in his flat, steady tone. "I see at my life. I see at some of the dumb things I did as a kid I could've perished from. I didn't. Some kids did."

What did Adams do, exactly? "Floating on the Kings River [in California'south Central Valley] in an inner tube, at age sixteen, and not knowing how to swim. I fell off my inner tube. You're foolish at that age. I'm on an inner tube, nothing can happen!" Adams just managed to snag his vessel before going under, some five decades ago.

Thanks to the save, one of the game'south best helper coaches lives on to remind complacent athletes not to drift on metaphorical inner tubes.

Life is frequently arbitrary, and the elderly adage exists for a reason: It'south better to be lucky than good. For the season, the Warriors were 21-4 when the score was within three points with two minutes remaining in a game -- a veritable fixing of coin-flip situations.

But Golden State also sported the No. one defense and offense by efficiency in the final two minutes of a game. Maybe for a team riding a historic season, it'south simply a matter of being lucky that it's good.

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