Archive for the ‘ Golden State Warriors Blog ’ Category

It’s always interesting learning about a team’s individual draft workout style. What players do at the workout, who they’re working out with, who on the team is in attendance, etc. In the case of the Warriors, do-almost-everything forward Draymond Green sat in yesterday. Here’s NBC Sports Bay Area with more:

The Warriors on Tuesday brought in six more draft hopefuls, who went through drills under the watchful eyes of the five most significant layers of the team.

CEO Joe Lacob was there, as was general manager Bob Myers, assistant GM/chief scout Larry Harris, assistant coach Ron Adams and…forward Draymond Green.

This is a glimpse into the inner workings of the Warriors, a hoops democracy in which every voice is given a chance to be heard.

It’s conceivable, though, that no one’s words carried more weight than those of Green, who continues to prove his value to the franchise goes beyond defending, rebounding, playmaking and scoring.

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Know those Stephen Curry mouthpieces that you see on TV more often than you’d probably like? Well, here’s a golden opportunity to look at one all the time, from the comfort of your own home, with the TV turned off. You can even wear it. Maybe it’ll make you shoot like Steph. It won’t. But maybe it will. It will not. But it could. Anyway, here’s ESPN.com reporting:

Another Stephen Curry game-used mouthguard is going up for sale.

This particular one was used by Curry in Game 4 of the 2018 NBA Finals as the Golden State Warriors completed their sweep of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

It will hit the auction block in California-based firm SCP Auctions’ next sale that begins July 26 and concludes Aug. 11.

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Warriors 2018 NBA Draft goals

The Warriors won the NBA championship again. As fantastic as their starting lineup is, there are always improvements that can be made on the bench. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News reporting on Golden State’s 2018 NBA Draft needs/goals:

For the first time in the Steve Kerr era, the Warriors need to draft a player that can contribute right away, preferably at the wing position. The need is there because the Warriors need cheap players to fill out a roster that is already over the salary cap with eight players (not including Kevin Durant) and they want to add more youth to the roster, with the draft being the most direct way to do that.

“It’s been four years of our major core playing a lot of minutes, so the idea of having some youth that could step on the floor and give us some good minutes is appealing,” Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Tuesday.

And while Myers said that the Warriors would select the best player available with the No. 28 pick in the first round, that’s window-dressing. They want a wing — any size will work — that’s preferably an upperclassman (they’re more likely to be able to contribute) right away.

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Head coach Steve Kerr is obviously having great success with his star-filled Warriors team. There’s no reason to even think that the two sides won’t continue together. Here’s the SF Chronicle with the latest on upcoming contract extension talks between the two sides:

Steve Kerr expects contract extension talks to go smoothly

“We’ll get that done pretty quickly,” Kerr said Monday. “I don’t think there will be much to it. It should happen relatively quickly.”

Kerr and Golden State began to discuss an extension last summer, but Kerr opted to wait a year for final discussions to be sure he was healthy enough to make a long-term commitment. Now, after coaching every game in the Warriors’ run to the 2017-18 NBA championship, Kerr is ready to sign an extension.

“Whenever he wants to start, we’ll figure it out,” general manager Bob Myers said. “I think the nice thing is we developed a camaraderie and we feel like he wants to be here. We want him here. We’ll work it out.”

Kerr, 52, rebuffed an offer from the Knicks in May 2014 and signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Warriors.

The Warriors were an amazing team, then they added Kevin Durant, and now they’re a bit too amazing to handle. Though, most Warriors fans probably don’t mind. he team currently has a 3-0 NBA Finals lead against the Cavs. Kevin Durant has been fantastic. And will reportedly remain with the Warriors next season, per the Mercury News in reference to what Durant said on ESPN:

Durant’s current contract — a two-year $51-million deal he signed last summer — contains an opt-out clause after the first year. In April, ESPN reported that Durant would opt out and then sign a new deal with the Warriors as a free agent. Durant, 30, gave up almost $10 million in salary last summer so the Warriors could afford to keep Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston on the roster.

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The Cavs have a logjam on the bench in the backcourt, with multiple options. Because LeBron James handles the passing that a point guard would typically handle, the team’s biggest need from both starting and backup guards is good outside shooting, and defense. According to ESPN.com, the Cavs will now give Rodney Hood more of a shot:

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue says he will switch up his rotation in Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Wednesday by giving minutes to seldom-used wing Rodney Hood against the Golden State Warriors.

“We’re going to give Rodney a chance,” Lue said Tuesday. “He’ll get a shot, and see how he does. He’s been working, staying ready. So we’ll see.”

Hood was the Cavs’ starting shooting guard in their playoff opener — a 98-80 loss to the Indiana Pacers — and has seen his role diminish dramatically since then, going from a bench player to receiving six DNP-CDs in Cleveland’s past 10 games…

He had much more success during the regular season for the Cavs, including a seven-game stretch from late March through early April when Hood averaged 13.9 points on 49.3 percent from the field and 44 percent from 3 with 2.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.0 steals per game.

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We’re only two games into the 2018 NBA Finals, so it’s a bit early to pick a clear Finals MVP candidate. But it’s a two-player race so far, between LeBron James and Stephen Curry. Here’s a Warriors-area outlet, NBC Sports Bay Area, stating the early case for Steph:

Steph Curry is the obvious choice for Finals MVP so far. Yes, it is only two games into the series, and as the Warriors know very well, anything can happen. But unless the Cavaliers were to come back and win the series, Curry has to be the odds-on-favorite. While he has had dominant moments in the Finals, his masterful play actually started at the end of the Western Conference Finals. Over the last three games (including Game 7 of the WCF) Curry is averaging 29.7 points per game on 45 percent shooting from the field, 49 percent shooting for deep (on a staggering 14 attempts per game) coupled with 9 assists and 7 rebounds. Curry has dished out 27 assists over the last three games, his highest mark since exactly a year ago, when he tore up the Cavs in the 2017 NBA Finals. Also this fun fact: Steph Curry has out-rebounded one of the Cavaliers’ best rebounding big men, Tristan Thompson, in each of the Finals games thus far. If that sounds familiar, it is because last Finals, Curry had more boards than Thompson in three of the five games, and finished with more rebounds overall in the series.

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Here’s an opinionated take from an Oklahoman column on Kevin Durant’s latest discussion as to why he chose to leave the Thunder to join the Warriors:

Kevin Durant seems to have a different take every 15 minutes on why he left the Thunder for the Warriors. You know the list. It’s long.

But here’s a new one. In a long story published in The Athletic over the weekend, Durant used “validation from my peers” as his reason for crushing parity in the NBA. Durant’s addition to an already-loaded roster lifted Golden State above all competitors while also eliminating OKC as a viable threat to the Warriors.

“Validation” from his peers is a laughable concept, of course. Durant drew all kinds of criticism from the NBA’s elite for his weak move. It’s hard to imagine any NBA player thinking more highly of Durant in the last two years than they did before his move West.

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The Warriors won NBA Finals Game 1 in overtime and then easily took Game 2. The action now shifts to Cleveland for Game 3 on Wednesday. Here’s the SF Chronicle with a look at GS forward Kevin Durant’s play so far:

In Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday, Durant appeared in a haze, following up blown coverages on James with clanged jumpers. His missed box-out on the 6-foot-6 J.R. Smith late in regulation — not Curry’s 29 points and nine assists — would have been a major talking point had Smith not inexplicably forgotten that the score was tied in that crucial moment.

“Last year was a pretty smooth ride, and we were clicking,” Golden State head coach Steve Kerr said Saturday. “We didn’t have injuries. We had a pretty healthy run. I think this year, it’s just been harder overall, just because of the cumulative wear and tear of the journey.

“Kevin has still been great. He hasn’t probably been as consistent as he was last year, but neither have we. I would say that about every one of our guys.”

Durant made good on his vows to be better in Game 2, attacking the rim with purpose and kicking out to open shooters early in the shot clock. His well-executed possessions gave the Warriors an early lead and, ultimately, helped pave the way for one of Curry’s signature scoring binges.

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The Warriors were without Andre Iguodala in NBA Finals Game 1 and may be without him in Game 2. But now Klay Thompson is questionable for Sunday’s Game 2 with a banged-up ankle. Here’s Cleveland.com reporting:

Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson suffered a high left ankle sprain in Game 1 of the Finals and said he plans to play in Game 2 Sunday.

The Warriors are officially calling him “questionable.”

Thompson was injured in the first quarter of Golden State’s 124-114 win when JR Smith fell into his leg diving for a steal. He limped to the locker room and returned to the game for the start of the second quarter and finished with 24 points and five 3s.

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Kevin Love cleared for NBA Finals Game 1

Some good news was released by the Cavs today. Kevin Love has completed the NBA’s Concussion Return to Play Program and will be available to play tonight in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

According to ESPN.com, “Love was still in the league’s concussion protocol as of Wednesday afternoon. He was injured during a head-to-head collision with Boston Celtics rookie Jayson Tatum in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals.”

The Cavs and Warriors begin their 2018 Finals series tonight in Oakland.

The Warriors continue to be without Andre Iguodala, but are otherwise healthy.

NBA Finals Game 1 between the Cavs and Warriors takes place at Golden State tomorrow night, and so far one key player is definitely out while another’s status, as of this hour, remains uncertain.

The Warriors have their stars in tact — Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green are good to go — but the next player on the list of key contributors, Andre Iguodala, remains out with a leg injury.

The Cavs are in worse shape. The squad is clearly led by LeBron James, but their other player who fits in the star category is Kevin Love, and as of this afternoon he hasn’t been cleared from the NBA’s “concussion protocol” program that aims to protect players and make sure it’s safe for them to play after a head injury. He still may play, but as of Wednesday afternoon he isn’t ready yet.

Without Love, the Cavs will rely on the hustle of Tristan Thompson, and scoring from a lot of players who will collectively have to step up and play the games of their lives at the Finals level.

Don Nelson has advice for Warriors

It’s always worth hearing what pro coaches who have no reason to censor themselves suggest in regard to other teams’ coaching strategies. In this case, it’s a legendary former Warriors coach discussing the current squad. Here’s NBC Sports Bay Area reporting:

What would former Warriors head coach Don Nelson like to see Golden State do differently in Game 5?

“As they watch film, they gotta see that they’re (the Rockets) overplaying all their good players,” Nelson explained on KNBR 680 on Wednesday. “When that happens, you don’t want to go to halfcourt to catch, and then take you three dribbles to get into your attack area.

“You want to catch and be in your attack area upon catch … and then, when there’s pressure on you a long distance from the basket, instead of shooting long — you gotta drive that ball. You gotta create something. There’s a lot of wide open layups there that we’re taking advantage of when we drive.”

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We’re down to four teams still alive in the 2018 playoffs. Every possession matters. Does every heckle matter? Depends how strong the material is, and who the target is. CJ Paul, the brother of Rockets guard Chris Paul, appears to be refining his heckling skills, in Kevin Durant’s direction. Here’s the SF Chronicle reporting:

When cameras caught Kevin Durant shouting at a fan during Wednesday’s Western Conference finals game against the Rockets, it took the announcers a moment to recognize what was happening.

“Don’t wake a sleeping giant when he already has 36,” TNT announcer Chris Webber cautioned the fan.

“That’s C.J. Paul,” commentator Reggie Miller realized. “That’s Chris’ brother.”

Indeed, the man heckling Durant was the older brother of Houston star Chris Paul. And it’s not the first time he’s been caught in a court-side controversy.

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Draymond Green reportedly has a bit of business on his mind during these basketball playoffs. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News reporting:

Nice to see that Draymond Green is getting some down time during the most intense portion of the Warriors schedule.

As the NBA’s MVP — Most Versatile Player — Green is pretty busy during the late regular season and the playoffs.

His versatility extends beyond the basketball court, by the way. Recently, according to TMZ Sports, Green applied to trademark the phrase “Hampton 5.” Not surprising, considering Green fancies himself an entrepreneur-in-training and has set a goal of being a billionaire before he’s 40.

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It’s always fun keeping track of Nick Young, both on and off the court. He’s a personality. Here’s the SF Chronicle with an update on his Warriors rotation role:

Like most NBA head coaches, Steve Kerr has shortened his bench in the playoffs. It came as little surprise when reserve guard Nick Young, one of the Warriors’ more inconsistent players, spent much of the first two rounds anchored to the sideline.

That may change in the Western Conference finals. After Golden State’s Game 5 win over the Pelicans in the second round Tuesday, Kerr went out of his way to mention that Young could be a factor against the Rockets.

“Nick Young played really well against Houston this year, and he’s a good matchup for them,” Kerr said. “I think every series is different, and you have to look at your opponent and figure out what you need to do to match up and to win some battles.”

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Draymond Green crashes Pelicans huddle

The Warriors have eliminated the Pelicans in five games. During Game 5 last night, GS forward Draymond Green successfully eavesdropped on a Pelicans huddle and mostly got away with it. Here’s the San Jose Mercury News reporting:

Draymond Green revealed a bit of his silly side on Tuesday.

In the first quarter of the Warriors’ 113-104 win over New Orleans, he took a break from jawing with Rajon Rondo and firing up his team to engage in some levity.

As Pelicans’ coach Alvin Gentry gave instructions to Rondo, Green walked over and joined their huddle — until a referee yanked him away.

“I saw the play,” Green said. “They were watching something of us. It was good.”

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Kevin Durant buys Malibu mansion

I bought pizza today. You probably bought something recently as well. Well, Kevin Durant made a cute little purchase of his own in April, reports the LA Times:

Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors has shelled out $12.05 million for his own slice of beachfront in Malibu.

Set on a privately gated street, the multilevel contemporary home was originally built in 1976 and extensively remodeled five years ago. Features include open-concept living and dining rooms, wide-plank French oak floors and vaulted ceilings — a likely must-have for the 6-foot-10 basketball player.

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The Warriors and Pelicans begin their second round playoff series tonight. Warriors guard Stephen Curry won’t participate this evening, but he should return soon, perhaps as early as Game 2. Here’s the SF Chronicle with the latest:

Warriors guard Stephen Curry is likely to return for Game 2 of the second round Tuesday night after being ruled out for Game 1 on Saturday.

Golden State head coach Steve Kerr informed Curry after shoot-around Saturday morning that he wouldn’t play Game 1 against the Pelicans. The decision came down to the fact that Curry has only played one 5-on-5 contact scrimmage since he sprained his left MCL in a March 23 win over Atlanta.

“When you’ve been out five weeks and you want to play in the playoffs,” Kerr said, “I don’t think one scrimmage is enough.”

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The Spurs looked totally down and out in their first-round playoff series against the Warriors, yet were able to come up away with a Game 4 win. Here’s the San Antonio Express News reporting:

Spurs acting coach Ettore Messina made one key defensive adjustment in Game 4, assigning Danny Green to defend Klay Thompson from the start. Thompson had been abusing matchups against the smaller Patty Mills throughout the first three games, averaging 25.6 points. With a bigger, longer defender on him in Game 4, Thompson went 4 of 16 from the floor and finished with 12 points. The Spurs also took the novel approach of putting point guard Dejounte Murray on Draymond Green, limiting the Warriors forrward’s upside as a playmaker.

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