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Aaron Craft named D-League Defensive Player of Year

Aaron Craft named D-League Defensive Player of Year

Santa Cruz Warriors guard Aaron Craft has been selected as the 2015 NBA Development League’s Defensive Player of the year by a vote of the league’s 18 head coaches. Craft will be honored with a trophy for his efforts by NBA D-League President Malcolm Turner prior to tonight’s playoff game against the Oklahoma City Blue, which will be broadcast live on ESPNNEWS at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Craft (6-2, 192, Ohio State) played in all 50 regular season games for Santa Cruz, anchoring a Warriors defense that held opponents to league-lows 42 percent shooting from the field and 99.6 points per 100 possessions. Santa Cruz’ opponents averaged 102.2 points, good for third-lowest in the NBA D-League. Individually, Craft averaged an NBA D-League best 2.5 steals while topping the league with a 1.4 steal-to-turnover ratio. Additionally, he averaged 9.2 points, 6.2 assists and 4.9 rebounds in 36.1 minutes.

“Aaron has shown his aptitude, intensity and desire on the defensive end all season long,” said Chris Alpert, Vice President of Basketball Operations for the NBA D-League. “His ability as a lock-down defender has been a tremendous asset for coach Casey Hill and the Warriors this season. We congratulate Aaron on an impressive rookie campaign and this well-deserved award.”

Craft helped lead the Warriors to the West Division Championship and a 35-15 record, tied for the best in the league. The team earned the top overall seed in the Western Conference and currently owns a 1-0 lead over the Blue in the first round of the 2015 NBA D-League Playoffs.

“Aaron is one of the soundest defenders I’ve ever been around and without a doubt he deserves this award,” said head coach Hill. “He has been phenomenal for our team all year long and it has been amazing to coach him.”

A four-year contributor at Ohio State, Craft was a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year (2012, 2014) and was named the NABC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior in 2014. Undrafted last season, Craft earned an invitation to the Golden State Warriors training camp in September 2014.

Shaun Livingston suspended for hitting Dirk Nowitzki in groin

Shaun Livingston suspended for hitting Dirk Nowitzki in groin

Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston has been suspended one game without pay for hitting Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki in the groin, it was announced today by Rod Thorn, President, Basketball Operations.

The incident occurred with 1:28 remaining in the third quarter of the Warriors’ 123-110 victory over the Mavericks at American Airlines Center.

Livingston will serve his suspension tonight when the Warriors visit the San Antonio Spurs.

The New York Post reports: “No one plays post defense and does that in normal post defense,” Cuban said after Livingston, a former Net, essentially reached between the big German’s legs and upper-cutted, resulting in a flagrant foul. “That’s not normal post defense. It was obvious.”

To view the play, click on this link.

Steve Kerr sets NBA record for most victories by a first-year head coach

steve kerr

Golden State Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr has established a new NBA record for most victories by a first-year head coach in league history, notching his 63rd win of the season with tonight’s 123-110 victory over the Mavericks in Dallas. The previous record for wins by a first-year NBA head coach was 62, a mark shared by Paul Westphal (Phoenix, 1992-93) and Tom Thibodeau (Chicago, 2010-11). Kerr’s winning percentage (.829) also ranks as the highest among head coaches in their first full season at the helm, topping Red Auerbach’s debut season with the Washington Capitols (.817) in 1946-47. With tonight’s win, which improved Golden State’s record to 63-13, the Warriors will have home court advantage throughout the 2015 NBA Playoffs.

Kerr, who was hired as the 25th head coach in Warriors franchise history on May 19, 2014, has led the Warriors to franchise records of 63 wins and 28 road wins, guiding the team to its first Pacific Division championship since 1975-76. He was named Western Conference Coach of the Month for games played in both January and March, becoming the first coach in Warriors history to earn the monthly honor twice in a single season. Golden State, which set a new franchise record with a 16-game win streak from Nov. 13-Dec. 14, has won its last 12 games, posting multiple double-digit win streaks in the same season for the first time in franchise history.

With 63 wins, the Warriors have seen a 12-game improvement over last season’s 51 victories, which is tied for the second-largest win total increase of any 50-win team in NBA history. Golden State leads the league in points per game (109.9), assists (27.4), field goal percentage (.477), three-point percentage (.397) and point differential (+10.7).

David Blatt and Steve Kerr named NBA Coaches of Month for March, 2015

The Cleveland Cavaliers’ David Blatt and the Golden State Warriors’ Steve Kerr today were named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Coaches of the Month, respectively, for games played in March.

Blatt led the Cavaliers to the best record in the East during March at 11-4 (.733). The Cavaliers averaged 107.0 points and surrendered just 97.9 points in March, en route to posting the best differential in the conference at +9.1 ppg. Cleveland went 5-0 at Quicken Loans Arena, where it has now won 16 consecutive games.

Kerr guided the Warriors to the NBA’s best record in March at 16-2 (.889). The Warriors averaged 108.4 points and surrendered just 96.3 points, which accounted for a +12.1 ppg differential, good for second in the West. Golden State closed the month with 10 consecutive wins, including six against teams that would be in the playoffs if the season ended today.

Other nominees for Coach of the Month were Boston’s Brad Stevens, Brooklyn’s Lionel Hollins, Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks and San Antonio’s Gregg Popovich.

Warriors clinch the best record in the Western Conference

The Golden State Warriors have clinched the best record in the Western Conference for the 2014-15 season following tonight’s 108-95 road victory over the Milwaukee Bucks, improving to 60-13 and securing the best record in the conference for the first time since 1975-76. In doing so, Golden State established a new single-season franchise wins record, earning 60 wins in a single campaign for the first time in the team’s 69-year history, besting the previous wins record of 59 set in 1975-76.

The Warriors are the 70th team in NBA history to amass 60 wins in a season, becoming just the 13th team ever to reach the 60-win plateau through 73 games. By virtue of clinching the best record in the conference, Golden State will be the No. 1 seed in the West in the upcoming NBA Playoffs, granting the Warriors home-court advantage through the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors are slated to make their third consecutive postseason appearance after finishing sixth in the conference in both 2012-13 (47-35) and 2013-14 (51-31).

Marreese Speights suspended for pleading no contest to reckless driving

Golden State Warriors’ center Marreese Speights has been suspended for one game without pay for pleading no contest to reckless driving, in violation of the law of the State of Florida, the NBA announced today.

Speights will be suspended for tonight’s game between the Golden State Warriors and the Denver Nuggets.

Warriors recall James Michael McAdoo from D-League

The Golden State Warriors have recalled forward James Michael McAdoo from the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced today.

McAdoo, who signed with Golden State for the remainder of the season on February 19, has appeared in four games with the Warriors, averaging 3.5 points and 1.3 rebounds in 5.0 minutes.

The rookie forward has appeared in 32 games (30 starts) with Santa Cruz, averaging 19.4 points (12th in the D-League), 8.8 rebounds (12th), 2.3 assists, 2.00 steals (fourth) and 2.06 blocks (sixth) in 32.9 minutes while hitting 58.3 percent from the field.

Draymond Green recognizes that the other team is in trouble

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle with a fun Warriors item on the challenge of going against them:

Draymond Green feels sorry for teams that have to guard smaller Warriors lineup

Draymond Green feels sorry for opposing defenses when the Warriors go small.

Would they try to switch to a bigger defender when Golden State runs a pick and roll for Stephen Curry?

“Good luck with that,” Green said, chuckling, after practice Thursday.

Keep two guys on Curry?

“That opens me up to make plays with three other shooters around,” Green said. “That’s three-on-two. It’s tough for teams to defend.”

While Green is having a breakthrough season offensively, it’s the 6-foot-7 forward’s ability to defend from the center position when the Warriors go small that has everybody excited. Golden State has gone with the smaller lineup more often recently, and it worked again in Wednesday night’s comeback win over the Bucks.

Stephen Curry very happy to win 3-point contest

The NBA’s three-point contest at All-Star weekend may just be an exhibition that exists purely for fun, but Warriors guard Stephen Curry wanted that championship and was pumped to finally claim it. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

Stephen Curry very happy to win 3-point contest

Stephen Curry was so salty about losing in the three-point competition the first three times he participated that he actually reviewed game tape of past winners before entering Saturday night’s competition at the Barclays Center.

After seeing that the majority of those who won before him had approached the ball racks with the right sides of their bodies, the Warriors’ point guard made the adjustment for an epic Three-Point Contest and set an NBA record by putting up 27 points in the championship round.

“I’m very happy right now,” Curry said. “I wanted to win it and get it done. Thankfully, I was able to accomplish that.

“It was a crazy, competitive and high-class field of eight shooters. I think this is the best field that’s ever been in a three-point shootout, so it’s a pretty cool moment for me.”

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on the Warrior and their plans for a future new arena in San Francisco:

Fresh off his trip to the Bay Area this month, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Saturday that the Warriors are “on track” to build a new arena for the 2018-19 season and praised the franchise’s latest plans for the state-of-the-art facility in San Francisco.

“In San Francisco, I’ve seen the plans, and I’ve sat with the ownership there,” said Silver, who attended the Warriors’ 128-114 victory over Dallas on Feb. 4. “I think it looks fantastic. It’s an incredible undertaking to build a new arena in San Francisco. They intend to privately finance it. I think that’s an incredible contribution on the part of these owners.

“It always amazes me in this day and age when there aren’t great, state-of-the-art arenas in any major city, because these are multiuse facilities. Basketball is, of course, 41 regular-season dates and some preseason. Hopefully, in the case of the Golden State Warriors this year, there will be a lot of playoff dates. But the majority of the dates are used for other programming in the community, whether it’s the circus, ice shows, graduations, concerts, you name it.”

Warriors sign James Michael McAdoo to second 10-day contract

The Golden State Warriors signed free agent forward James Michael McAdoo to a second 10-day contract as a Call-Up from the Warriors’ NBA Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced Monday.

McAdoo, 22, appeared in three games with Golden State during his first 10-day contract from January 19 – January 27, averaging 4.7 points and 1.7 rebounds in 6.5 minutes. The 6-9 forward tallied 11 points, five rebounds and one block in 13 minutes in his NBA debut in Golden State’s 122-79 victory over the Denver Nuggets on January 19. The North Carolina product has appeared in 24 games (22 starts) with the Santa Cruz Warriors this season, averaging 19.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.04 steals (tied for sixth-best in the D-League) and 2.38 blocks (sixth-best) in 33.0 minutes while hitting 58.8 percent from the field.

McAdoo, who was not selected in the 2014 NBA Draft, originally signed with the Warriors on September 2, 2014. He appeared in five preseason games before being waived on October 24, 2014.

McAdoo will wear uniform #20.

Video: Klay Thompson 37 points in one quarter

Here are video highlights of Warriors guard Klay Thompson going crazy and scoring 37 points in one quarter (the third quarter) Friday night at home in Golden State against the Sacramento Kings. He set an NBA record for the most points in a single quarter:

Thompson finished with 52 points for the game. The Warriors won big, 126-101.

According to the Associated Press, “Thompson surpassed the 33-point mark set by George Gervin in 1978 and matched by Carmelo Anthony in 2008 for the most points in a quarter. Michael Redd and Joe Johnson shared the previous mark for most 3s in a quarter with eight. Thompson, who signed a four-year, near-maximum contract extension worth about $70 million this summer, couldn’t remember ever dominating a game like that. ”Maybe elementary school,” he joked.

Fan Discussion: Klay Thompson sets NBA record with 37 Points in a Quarter

The Golden State Warriors, who at 32-6 have the best record in the NBA so far this season, have signed free agent forward James Michael McAdoo to a 10-day contract as a Call-Up from the Warriors’ NBA Development League affiliate in Santa Cruz.

McAdoo, 22, has appeared in 22 games (20 starts) with the Santa Cruz Warriors this season, averaging 17.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.00 steals and 2.59 blocks and 1.83 blocks (ninth-best in the D-League) in 32.6 minutes while hitting 57.4 percent from the field.

After going undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft out of North Carolina, McAdoo played for the Warriors 2014 Summer League team and signed as a free agent with Golden State on September 2, 2014. In five preseason games, the 6’9” forward averaged 5.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.20 steals in 13.0 minutes per contest. He led the Warriors in points (20) and rebounds (7) in Golden State’s 104-101 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 16. He was waived by Golden State on October 24.

McAdoo will wear uniform #20.

Kemba Walker

Charlotte Hornets guard Kemba Walker and Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson today were named NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for games played Monday, Jan. 5, through Sunday, Jan. 11.

Walker led the Hornets to a 4-0 week behind a league-leading 30.3 ppg. Walker, who posted back-to-back 30-point outings to open the week, averaged 5.8 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.3 steals. He also ranked eighth in the Eastern Conference with 36.2 mpg. During a 103-95 win over the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 8, Walker scored 29 points, handed out eight assists, pulled down seven rebounds and collected three steals.

klay thompson

Thompson led the Western Conference in scoring at 27.7 ppg, and helped the Warriors to a 3-0 week. Thompson connected on 13-of-26 (.500) from three-point range and 14-of-15 (.933) free throw attempts. On Jan. 7, Thompson poured in 40 points on 14-of-25 shooting from the field, including 6-of-11 from distance, and added four rebounds and three assists during a 117-102 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Other nominees for the Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Denver’s Arron Afflalo, Detroit’s Greg Monroe, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Philadelphia’s Robert Covington, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, and Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins.

Warriors enjoying an amazing season

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle raving about the 27-5 Golden State Warriors, who have played better basketball than anybody so far this season and finally deserve to be taken seriously in championship-contender discussions:

These are the new Warriors. The ones who demand your attention and all the superlatives you can lavish upon them. The team that doesn’t miss a beat — even when it loses arguably its key player, Andrew Bogut.

“They’re the best team in basketball,” Oklahoma City head coach Scott Brooks said, while refusing to excuse his team for an off night. “They’re a great team. They outplayed us.”

Though their play and the record shows that’s true, it’s still hard to get used to hearing such words spoken about the Golden State Warriors.

This is becoming more than merely a special start. This is now, more than two months into the season, becoming mind-blowing. The Warriors are looking like a championship contender.

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on the Golden State Warriors, who are having a fantastic season, and seem to be sticking with David Lee as a reserve, not a starter:

David Lee remains a reserve for Warriors

Coach Steve Kerr on Tuesday made official what had been presumed for weeks. Draymond Green, who assumed the role when Lee strained his left hamstring in the Oct. 24 preseason finale, is the starting power forward until further notice.

“With David, I wasn’t planning on bringing him off the bench,” Kerr said. “But he got hurt. He had a great preseason. He was going to be the starting (power forward). He got hurt. I put Draymond out there. Draymond took the job.”

Lee missed the first three regular-season games, returned for the fourth and was re-injured after seven minutes. He missed the next 21 games, a period during which the Warriors put together the best start in franchise history (22-3) and reeled off a franchise-record 16-game win streak before Lee returned Dec. 22.

“At that stage,” Kerr said, “you’re going to stick with what got you to 22-3.”

Warriors destroy Sixers by 40 points

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on the Warriors, who have the best winning percentage in the NBA and yesterday had the pleasure of facing the 76ers:

This one was, for the Warriors, a case of a game playing out on the court as it does on paper. It was, to be kind, the result of a grotesquely unfair matchup.

Their 126-86 pulverizing of the profoundly awful 76ers Tuesday night was a matter of simple superiority at work. What was particularly noteworthy, though, was the way the Warriors finished the game.

They punctuated it with an authoritative performance by a bench squad that typically has given back much of the lead the starters have built.

“I was really pleased with the ball movement,” coach Steve Kerr said. “What made me most happy was the way our reserves closed the game. We’ve had some blowout wins where we didn’t close it right and got lethargic. Our guys really played through the final 12 minutes.”

Jimmy Butler

Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry were today named the NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month, respectively, for games played in October/November.

Butler led Chicago and ranked ninth in the NBA scoring (21.9 ppg) as the Bulls posted an 11-6 mark, good for first place in the Central Division. He topped the 20-point mark 11 times, including two 30-point outings, raising his scoring average more than eight points from last season, when he averaged 13.1 points. Butler shot .498 from the field while posting seven games with double-figure free throw attempts to rank fourth in the NBA in free throw attempts per game (8.8). Butler also led the NBA in minutes (39.3 mpg).

stephen curry

Curry guided the Warriors to a 14-2 record to start the season, ranking fifth in the NBA in scoring (23.8 ppg) and assists (7.8 apg), seventh in steals (1.94 spg), third in free throw percentage (.923) and second in three-point field goals made (51). He was one of two players in the NBA to shoot at least 49 percent from the field (.496), 40 percent from three-point range (.418) and 90 percent (.923) from the free throw line. Curry posted four 30-point games and one 40-point game. He also dished out at least five assists in all 16 games.

Other nominees for Kia NBA Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Month were Atlanta’s Jeff Teague, Cleveland’s LeBron James, Houston’s James Harden, Los Angeles Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Memphis’ Marc Gasol, Miami’s Chris Bosh, New Orleans’ Anthony Davis, Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, Toronto’s Kyle Lowry, and Washington’s John Wall.

joe alexander

Santa Cruz Warriors forward Joe Alexander was today named NBA Development League Performer of the Week for games played Monday, Nov. 24 – Sunday, Nov. 30. The honor is the first of Alexander’s career.

Alexander (6-8, 220, West Virginia) averaged 26.7 points on 57 percent shooting from the floor (35-of-62) to go with 9.3 rebounds as the Warriors went 2-1 last week. He scored a season-high 35 points on Nov. 25 against the Bakersfield Jam in defeat before recording double-doubles in the team’s next two contests, both wins over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.

The eighth overall selection in the 2008 NBA Draft, Alexander is in his second year with the Warriors. For the season, he is averaging a Warriors-best 21.4 points, good for 12th in the NBA D-League, to go with 8.6 rebounds and 29.7 minutes.

Other top performers considered include Austin’s Bryce Cotton, Bakersfield’s Elijah Millsap, Idaho’s Joel Wright, Maine’s Tim Frazier, and Texas’ Eric Griffin.

Stephen Curry scores 40 points vs Heat

Stephen Curry scores 40 points vs Heat

The Golden State Warriors, playing on the road, beat the Miami Heat 114-97 Tuesday. They enjoyed an amazing performance from Stephen Curry, who so far in the 2014-15 NBA season is playing as well as anyone in the league. Golden State is now 11-2. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

As good as he had been through 12 games, we knew Stephen Curry was capable of more. The Warriors point guard was going to demoralize some poor team, and soon. The only questions were when and which team.

It was Tuesday night against the Heat in Miami.

Curry went off for 40 points in a 114-97 win at American Airlines Arena. Of his 19 shots, 12 splashed through the net. He was even better on 3-pointers, drilling 8-of-11. Because he could, Curry added seven assists, six rebounds and three steals.

“I thought he played the perfect game,” coach Steve Kerr said, “so I’m pretty happy with everything he did.”

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