Mark Jackson's game of thrones

"Hopefully the process speeds up, because we've got to figure that out," Jackson said. "We're getting too comfortable. At times we get too comfortable and you give teams life. It's happened more than once. Not to say it does not happen to the Spurs and other teams in this league, but it's not acceptable. We've got to find a way to close this thing out the right way."

In other words, they're not fine. Good isn't good enough. Better be better.

Isn't that similar to the message -- subliminal or otherwise -- being sent by Warriors owner Joe Lacob? And isn't it within the rights of an ownership group that spent $450 million to buy the team in 2010 to expect some return on investment? Fifty-five wins and a 4-seed don't sound so far-fetched when you consider the 51-win Warriors lost home games to the Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets (twice).

Something's a little off, as Stephen Curry addressed recently.

"We have to figure out how not to have lulls in games," Curry said. "If we give full energy and lose on our terms, that's fine. But the way that we've given up huge runs and blown leads, you've got to figure that out. We've got to do that sooner or later."

But there's also something to be said about appreciating what's good while you've got it. The Warriors won 50 games for the first time since 1994, a number the players celebrated with an on-court group hug around Jackson.

"We want to support him," Draymond Green said afterward. "He put us in a great position."

The Warriors won more than twice as many games as they did in 2011-12, Jackson's first season.

"We're not that far removed from dreaming of this moment," Jackson said.

Until the Warriors have one of the league's top five players, championships will remain the stuff of reverie. Curry might be getting close -- there's a strong case for him as a first team All-NBA guard -- but you'd have to go back to the Bad Boy Pistons to find the last time a point guard-oriented team won a championship. It's possible that the ceiling is simply beyond their reach.

The one word you won't hear from Jackson is "unfair." He knows that the professional sports concoction of money, expectations, pressure and egos can be toxic despite the best of intentions -- or even results.

"Great organization, great management; I'm thrilled to be part of it," he told reporters, apropos of nothing, after a recent game.

The bases are covered. If he's going to go, he won't inadvertently write his own resignation letter. And he's not going to suffer from an inadequate résumé. If he wins two games against the Clippers in the opening round it will give him eight playoff victories in the past two years, more than any Warriors coach in a two-year span since Al Attles took them to the conference finals and the championship in the mid-1970s. If the Warriors advance, Jackson will join Attles and Bill Sharman as the only Warriors coaches to do so in back-to-back seasons since the franchise moved to California in 1962.

Make history or be history. It's a proposition of extremes for Jackson. He's dealing with this reality just like the fictional Ned Stark, who said, "I grew up with soldiers. I learned how to die a long time ago."

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