Playoff-bound Warriors now hope to take next step

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 11, 2013 at 2:29 am •  Published: April 11, 2013
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Jackson also took his share of criticism for promising the playoffs before the team finished 23-43 during last year's labor lockout-shortened season. The biggest lesson he learned from his first year on the sideline was simple: "You better get talent," he said.

That's just what Myers and his team did.

The Warriors sent Dorell Wright to Philadelphia in a three-team trade that netted Sixth Man of the Year candidate Jarrett Jack from New Orleans. They signed free agent Carl Landry, drafted Harrison Barnes seventh overall and found role players in rookies Festus Ezeli and Draymond Green.

Most importantly, Stephen Curry's twice-surgically repaired right ankle has held up. David Lee turned in an All-Star season, and Bogut is getting back to being the player that Milwaukee drafted No. 1 overall in 2005.

"I'm happy for our players and our fans. Well deserved, and a long time coming," Myers said.

When the Warriors upset the top-seeded Dallas Mavericks to advance to the second round in 2007, only five current players were even in the NBA. Another five were still in high school.

So forgive the Warriors for dancing around the locker room for what 16 of 30 NBA teams get to celebrate each April. Many never had the chance before.

"We understand this is a small step, but it is a huge accomplishment for a lot of guys in this locker room," Curry said.

Lacob sure savored the moment from courtside, listening to chants of "Playoffs! Playoffs!" from a 30th straight sellout crowd while standing on the same floor he had been booed off of last year. He also congratulated each player at his locker and thanked every coach and staff member for a job well done.

At one point, his son, assistant general manager Kirk Lacob, even questioned why the team was celebrating so much. Lacob had to remind him: "You've got to celebrate the little moments, too. Every step counts."

"It's a very nice accomplishment," Lacob said. "Everybody should be proud. It's a great reflection on the entire organization and all the changes we made, a lot of really hard work by a lot of people. At the end of the day, these players made it happen and they deserve all the credit in the world. This is the first step. Now we've got to take it to the next step."

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Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at: www.twitter.com/agonzalezAP