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Warriors expect to make playoffs this season

The SportsXchange

As far as Golden State Warriors management is concerned, Mark Jackson earned Coach of the Year honors last season for the way he kept his injury-depleted roster playing competitively while at the same time losing just enough games to retain the club's first-round draft pick.

No doubt, it was a tough task for any first-year coach.

Now Jackson will be asked to do something even more difficult in Year 2: Make the playoffs.

Warriors management patted itself on the back this offseason for having put together one of the deepest and most balanced rosters in recent franchise history.

They'd like to believe they did so well, Jackson should have an opportunity to coach this group to the Warriors' first postseason appearance in six years and just their second since 1994.

"I think we're talented," general manager Bob Myers assessed. "There's really only one mandate here, and it's to win. That's the job of the coaching staff, and we're confident they can get it done.

"It's up to them now to go forward with this group. I don't think it's unfair to ask to go forward and do well with this group of players."

The Warriors accomplished all of their offseason goals except one: to acquire a star-quality player. Then again, Myers believes the Warriors did that during the 2011-12 season when they traded for big man Andrew Bogut of the Bucks.

The Warriors will go to training camp with clearly defined starters at four positions -- Stephen Curry at point guard, Klay Thompson at shooting guard, David Lee at power forward and Bogut at center -- and a high-potential competition for the starting small-forward spot between last season's supersub, Brandon Rush, and rookie Harrison Barnes.

The roster also includes former NBA starters Andris Biedrins, Richard Jefferson, Jarrett Jack and Carl Landry and a second first-round pick from the June draft, Festus Ezeli.

"The nice thing about our roster is we have depth at positions," Myers noted. "We can sustain a couple of hits at different positions. We're not a team that if one player gets injured, the whole thing (gets) derailed. We might have been a little thin in the past."

Jackson stressed "no excuses" to his overmatched squad last season. This time around, given how proud management is with the job it's done, he won't be allowed any himself, either.
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