Don't get Andrew Bogut wrong, he likes all the love the Warriors are getting.

The media are showing unprecedented interest. Fans are hyped for another playoff run. Analysts and experts are predicting success. It all sounds good.

But Bogut, entering his ninth NBA season, has seen too much to completely buy in.

"Everyone is blowing us up," Bogut said before the team took off to China. "But we've only had one good year the last five or six. We still have a lot to prove. ... We're not going sprinkle some dust on the roster and sweep everybody in the playoffs and win a championship. There's a process, and it takes a lot of hard work and commitment."

Certainly, the way Golden State has played this exhibition season promotes a wait-and-see approach. The Warriors have hardly been worldbeaters. And after a 23-point loss at Utah on Tuesday, they weren't exactly clinging to the it's-only-preseason excuse.

Based on the expectations of the Warriors this year, the exhibition performances are leaving a lot to be desired. They hardly look like the team people are predicting to challenge for the West crown.

Part of the problem may be incorporating four players into the regular rotation.

"I think there are some new pieces, and that has something to do with it," forward David Lee. "But at the same time that's not an excuse. We played one good half of basketball against Sacramento. In the Utah game, for whatever reason, we just didn't have it. We need to play a lot better than we're playing. "


Advertisement

So the trip to China has some added importance. The window for Golden State to get it together is closing. When the Warriors get back, the regular season will be less than two weeks away.

Bogut said they have a ways to go, and he is speaking from experience.

"I've been on some talented teams in Milwaukee," he said. "We had some years where it was very similar to this. ... The media was saying the same thing, and we absolutely bombed from the added pressure. So I've been in that situation before, and I respect the process. We're not there yet. We've got work to do. ... The first three games of preseason for us wasn't great. Both offensively and defensively, our effort's been up and down."

  • Warriors forward Harrison Barnes likely won't play the two exhibition games in China next week. Golden State is deciding to rest Barnes so the inflammation in his left foot will subside.

    According to a team official, Barnes does not have a condition, such as plantar fasciitis, and the ailment is something that just developed over time. Barnes was in the gym more than any player in the month leading up to training camp, and word coming out of Golden State is his injury is just a byproduct of that.

    The expectation in Warriors world is that Barnes' injury is nothing to be too worried about. But given the injury history, all fingers are crossed.

    "We'll find that out by giving him rest," coach Mark Jackson said. "I'm not an expert on that. We'll do everything we can do to put him in position to be ready. And hopefully, for his sake and our sake, he'll be ready."

  • Center Jermaine O'Neal, who sat out the last game and Thursday's practice because of back spasms, is expected to play in China.

  • The Warriors traveled to China with one fewer guard. Training camp invitee Cam Jones was waived. That leaves guard Seth Curry and big man Dewayne Dedmon battling for the last roster spot.