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Real Warriors

Golden State is employing Moneyball-style analytics, a groundbreaking farm system, and true grit on its way to its second playoff appearance in nearly two decades.



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"I don't think we think we're smarter," Myers said. "The only thing I think in life is hard work pays off. You don't pretend there's an easy way to do anything. No magic potion. We as an organization ascribe to hard work and perseverance. It sounds trite, but we're trying to be smart, hardworking, high-achieving people, with an ownership group that are self-made guys, people who started at bottom. They epitomize what we're trying to accomplish. It's gonna take a lotta work and a lotta effort. Things easily attained are of little value."

Jackson echoed that sentiment. "We have to outwork, out-hustle, be the first in the gym, the last to leave, take out the garbage, wash the dishes," he said. "The problem is to start to think, 'Hey, I belong here.' We have to put work in, still defend. If not, we'll find ourselves on the outside looking in."

Jackson credits the players for the resilience, but Myers said Jackson's resilience is a major part of the team's success. That quality was most evident after a loss to Utah to start the second half of the season and a total of six losses in a row. After the game, Jackson told reporters: "I am not going to jump off this ship.

"I believe in my guys," he continued. "One thing that will take place is guys are going to play for their minutes. We have lost six in a row and haven't played good basketball and I have been extremely patient. I love my guys and I believe in them but we have got to find five guys on the floor that are going to scratch, claw, and compete because history tells me that the only way out of a funk like this is working our way out of it. We aren't going to cool our way out of this thing."

They've rebounded since — even snapping a sixteen-game slide against mighty San Antonio — and as of Monday, were sporting a 42-32 record that had them in second place in the Pacific Division for the first time this late in the year since Bill Clinton was a first-year president (1993). Still, the overall goal is far grander than a sixth seed in the playoffs. It is excellence — an annual elite status — that buries those boos to where they feel like a long, long time ago.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the month in which Warriors fans booed team co-owner Joe Lacob. It was March 2012 -- not December.

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