OAKLAND — Mark Jackson isn't making any playoff promises for the Golden State Warriors this season.
Maybe it's a lesson learned for the point guard, preacher and boisterous broadcaster turned NBA head coach. Or maybe he's tempering expectations entering his second season considering, well, there actually are expectations with a reshaped roster built around rehabilitating center Andrew Bogut and point guard Stephen Curry.
"I'm not going to say it," Jackson said Wednesday. "Not because I don't believe it. But ultimately it comes to a point where, enough of the talking, go out and do it."
That time is almost here.
With training camp beginning next week, Jackson still made it clear that not making the postseason would be a major disappointment. He also recognizes the season outlook — and perhaps his own future — hinges largely on the surgically repaired ankles of Bogut and Curry, who have had repeated problems staying on the court throughout their young careers.
Asked how confident he is both will return to form and stay healthy this season, Jackson quipped: "I hope so. My family certainly hopes so."
Same goes for Warriors fans who have long waited for a winner.
For a franchise that has made the playoffs once in the last 18 years, talking playoffs at any time might seem strange, let alone before any exhibitions have been played. Looking at the roster — on paper, anyway — it's easy to see why the Warriors don't find that goal so silly.
The Bogut-Curry combo, if healthy, would be teamed with power forward David Lee, second-year shooting guard Klay Thompson and either Brandon Rush or first-round pick Harrison Barnes of North Carolina at small forward. Golden State is deeper than in recent years, too, with Jarrett Jack, Carl Landry and Richard Jefferson complementing rookies Draymond Green and Festus Ezeli, who both impressed enough during summer league and offseason workouts to be considered rotation players.
Jackson also has had more time to prepare this season than last, when the labor lockout eliminated most of the offseason and training camp — not to mention limiting practice time during the crammed 66-game schedule. Injuries also decimated the roster, which has been quickly reconstructed under new general manager Bob Myers, and that has Jackson more optimistic than anything after going 23-43 last season.
"What makes us better is not the timetable," Jackson said. "It's the talent."
Bogut, the 2005 No. 1 overall pick and best center the franchise has had in at least a decade, fractured his left ankle Jan. 25 with Milwaukee and sat out the rest of the season when he was acquired in a trade for guard Monta Ellis. He isn't expected to be ready at the start of training camp Tuesday, but Jackson is hopeful Bogut will be in the starting lineup for the regular-season opener at Phoenix on Oct. 31.
Curry, who was medically cleared to resume all basketball-related activities last week, repeatedly sprained his surgically repaired right ankle last season while playing only 26 games. The team said his most recent operation on April 25 was an "exploratory procedure" that "revealed a stable ankle with no structural damage and consisted of cleaning out loose debris and scar tissue."