No Trade, No Buyout Addition — Myers, Warriors Rolling With Current Crew

The conversations came and went, as did the rumors and speculation. No Marco Belinelli, no Joakim Noah, no addition at all from a buyout market that went from hot to cold in 60 seconds and stayed on ice.

The roster won't be tampered with after all, except for cameos via the Santa Cruz pipeline. The Warriors are betting on what they have, and it's a wager general manager Bob Myers always was willing to make.

He's making it now with the relative calm that came over him last Saturday night, when the Warriors laid a 112-80 thrashing on an Oklahoma City team that crushed them the first two times the teams met.

"If I were to look at things that I'm most encouraged about, it's our defense," Myers told "Offensively, we've been really good. Better than last year at times.

"But defensively . . . taking care of the ball and defense are huge for us. If we can sustain that, I like our chances."

After Myers explored the trade market and came up empty, he turned to the buyout bin and got nothing there, either. Joe Johnson and Brandan Wright signed with the Rockets. Belinelli went to the 76ers, and Ersan Ilyasova is expected to follow. Corey Brewer is headed to the Thunder, where he'll rejoin his college coach, Billy Donovan.

As for Noah, he wasn't bought out by the Knicks and could spend the rest of the season chilling and collecting paychecks.

Shabazz Muhammad accepted a buyout from the Timberwolves late Thursday night, making him the last man bought out in time to become playoff-eligible. He reportedly will join the Bucks.

While the Warriors' interest in any of the aforementioned players ranged from legitimately intrigued to nonexistent, Myers spent weeks struggling to determine whether the team had needs or simply were grappling with the effects of the mental fatigue that can follow a succession of long, successful seasons.

The 32-point win over OKC helped. Sort of.

"How do you reconcile that game with the one we play against them last time?" Myers asked. "I don't know. I could say glass half full, and this is who we are. Or I can be glass half-empty and say that was who we are. I don't know. I guess it's probably. Oklahoma City is better than what they played (last Saturday), so maybe, for us, it's somewhere in the middle, which means to beat a good team we have to play really well."

The Warriors have won four in a row and, for the most part, have done it organically, mostly by raising their defensive intensity. Suddenly, the buyout market -- which never was crucial -- is relatively insignificant.

The search for scoring off the bench, a Belinelli specialty, subsides with Nick Young producing. The notion of adding a skilled big man, such as Noah, dissipates with JaVale McGee coming from the far end of the bench to provide effective minutes.

Once the playoffs arrive, Steve Kerr's playing rotation will tighten as needed. He'll play the matchup game as a matter of routine, particularly at center, where Zaza Pachulia, Jordan Bell and McGee will alternate starting the final 20 games and continue that plan into the postseason.

It's winning time, and the Warriors seem to recognize that.

"These games take on a little bit different weight than, say, Game 32," Myers said, half-jokingly. "We're getting into the stretch run.

"You've heard the narrative: After the All-Star break, after the All-Star break. So we're here. So you'd like to see momentum going into the playoffs."

If the Warriors continue to generate momentum going into the playoffs, they may realize the roster they have, as is, beats anything they might have found in the trade market or the buyout bin.

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