OAKLAND -- Coach Mark Jackson wants the Warriors to be a defensive team. Deep down, he wants to belittle opposing offenses. He wants his teams to create fear and frustration, like the Knicks and Pacers teams he played on did back in the day.
As training camp begins, Jackson might be closer than ever before to making Golden State that kind of team. His Warriors made noted strides defensively last season.
Now they have the tools, on paper, to be really good on that end. Yes, the Warriors.
"We already have established ourselves as a very good defensive team," Jackson said. "There were nights where we were great. And then there were nights where we could've been better. So we're going to continue to keep our foot on the gas pedal and demand that we be an elite defensive team."
Last season, the Warriors finished fifth in the NBA in opponent's field-goal percentage (.439). They employed a pack-the-paint philosophy and emphasized rebounding. They offset their individual defensive shortcomings with a help-heavy team defense concept.
But Golden State has added better individual defenders to the mix. The offseason acquisition of Andre Iguodala gives the Warriors a versatile and proven perimeter defender.
At 6-foot-6, 207 pounds, and being an elite athlete, Iguodala gives the Warriors a shutdown defender to throw at the league's best players. Usually assigned to the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant (and Stephen Curry in the playoffs), Iguodala automatically upgrades the Warriors' man-to-man defense.
And they can do that without sacrificing offense, which was the case last season when guard Klay Thompson -- one of the Warriors' top scorers -- was called upon to defend the best players.
Last season, Iguodala helped Denver go from being one of the league's worst defenses to No. 11 in opponent's field-goal percentage.
"I would say I had a lot to do with it, because I had a lot of responsibility," he said.
He won't have to bear it alone with this roster. Thompson and then-rookie forward Harrison Barnes grew to be capable defenders last season. Also, point guard Toney Douglas, signed during free agency, makes his money harassing ballhandlers. He gives the Warriors someone who can chase around the speedsters.
"I hated (Steph) Curry playing against Toney Douglas," Warriors general manager Bob Myers said. "It was like he couldn't score."
And all of that is on top of Andrew Bogut being healthy. According to the reports from the Warriors' private workouts, he's looking like the guy who was once a top-three center in the NBA. If that's true, the Warriors have one of the better defensive centers in the league.
The last time he was healthy, when he played 65 games for Milwaukee in 2010-11, Bogut averaged 11.1 rebounds and an NBA-best 2.6 blocks. Even when injured, he showed flashes of how much he can impact Golden State.
"The playoffs were a big struggle for me, just getting through the end of the season," Bogut said. "My tank was snapped off past empty. But right now, this is the best I've felt since I broke my ankle."
Bogut anchors a front line that is bigger and stronger than in the past. Last season, the Warriors went undersized at center a lot, playing forwards David Lee and Carl Landry. But they added veteran big man Jermaine O'Neal to back up Bogut, at least until second-year center Festus Ezeli returns from knee surgery.
Jackson said the Warriors' size adds another style they can play. The Warriors often turned to zone last season. Now, they figure to be able to press on the perimeter and match up with bigger teams. On paper.
"It will be interesting to see how it jells," Myers said. "We think we've got some greater individual defenders. We think we've got some smart team-oriented defenders."
Alexander was drafted No. 8 overall by Milwaukee in 2008.
Warriors guard Stephen Curry leaves Nike. Read the full story, and see a full photo gallery of media day, at www.mercurynews.com/warriors.
Rookie guard Seth Curry poses for a picture to live tweet during media day at the Warriors' practice facility Friday in Oakland. Curry, who played for Duke, is the younger brother of Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry.