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NBA Saturday: Lee Still Supports Warriors

David Lee still watches and supports his former team, the Warriors, and is amazed by their play this season.

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Lee Still Supports Warriors
David Lee’s support for the Golden State Warriors is unconditional.
Well, kind of.
Lee won a championship with the Warriors last season and was highly revered by his teammates as a veteran leader. This summer, he was traded to the Boston Celtics and has helped his new team get off to a 7-5 start, which is good for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. But after five years in the Bay Area, he still has a steadfast affinity for his former organization.
“I’m cheering for them 79 times each year; hopefully we beat them,” Lee said, then paused. “Wait, that was wrong wasn’t it? 80 games. Maybe there will be a game I don’t cheer for them randomly (laughs).”
Lee made sure to catch Thursday’s matchup between Golden State and the Los Angeles Clippers, a battle that came down to the final minutes when the Warriors capped a 23-point comeback. Lee had a feeling the Warriors would pull out a win once they cut the deficit to 10. They fended off 35 points from Chris Paul as Stephen Curry had 40 points and 11 rebounds. The team is now 14-0 after last night’s win over the Chicago Bulls.
“I’ve been there, done that with that rivalry so I knew what was about to happen,” Lee said of the Warriors-Clippers game. “They’re two very good teams. Golden State, their level of confidence right now is amazing.”
Lee looked inspired by the Warriors victory on Friday in the Celtics’ 120-95 win over the Brooklyn Nets. He scored 11 points (shooting 5-5 from the field) in a five-minute stretch off the bench.
The Celtics will face the Warriors for the first time this season on December 11 in Boston, followed by a West Coast visit April 1. He will keep tabs on the Warriors in the meantime, but he will stay out of their rivalries and focus on the Celtics’ competition.
“I’m not involved in that anymore,” he said of the Warriors and Clippers. “I’ll let you guys worry about that.”
When is a win more than just a win for the Celtics? When it’s against the Brooklyn Nets.
The Celtics will receive the Nets’ first-round pick in the 2016 NBA Draft as part of the 2013 Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett trade. Of the arsenal of picks the Celtics have amassed over years, this one is noteworthy for two reasons: It is unprotected and the Nets are 2-11.
The Celtics’ commanding victory over the Nets on Friday at TD Garden moved them up in the standings and added another loss to the Nets’ record.
Don’t expect either coach, however, to look any deeper than a regular season result.
“Obviously in the big picture I’m sure a lot of people are talking about it, but I haven’t really heard it come up within our staff or our players,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said. “I follow them from the standpoint of they’re in our division, we play them four times, we know that we’ve got to prepare to play them.”
Nets head coach Lionel Hollins is more concerned about building a foundation with current players and putting together a winning team.
“I rarely think about that,” Hollins said of upcoming draft picks. “I think more importantly is what we do daily with the foundation we lay. There’s always second-round picks are bought. There’s always second round picks that are traded. There’s free agency.
“I look at Isaiah Thomas, he was the last player taken in the (2011) draft and he’s become a star. So how high you draft and how many first-round picks you have doesn’t necessarily mean success.”
The Celtics have up to two more Nets picks coming their way: the right to swap their first-round picks in 2017 and an unprotected first-round pick in 2018.

Jessica Camerato is a bilingual reporter who has been covering the NBA since 2006. She has also covered MLB, NHL and MLS. A graduate of Quinnipiac University, Jessica is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association and the Association for Women in Sports Media.

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