Archive for the ‘ Golden State Warriors Blog ’ Category

Harrison Barnes and Festus Ezeli are now restricted free agents

harrison barnes

The Golden State Warriors have extended qualifying offers to forward Harrison Barnes and center Festus Ezeli, the team announced today.

By extending a qualifying offer prior to the June 30 deadline, Barnes and Ezeli will become restricted free agents and Golden State owns the right to match any offer sheet they may sign with another team. The Warriors did not extend qualifying offers to guard Ian Clark and forward James Michael McAdoo, who will become unrestricted free agents.

Barnes, 24, appeared in 66 games (59 starts) in 2015-16 and averaged a career-best 11.7 points to go with 4.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 30.9 minutes. The fourth-year forward, who was selected seventh overall by Golden State in the 2012 NBA Draft, tallied a single-season career-best six games with at least 20 points during the Warriors’ 73-win campaign.

Ezeli, 26, appeared in 46 games (13 starts) in 2015-16 and set career-highs of 7.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 16.7 minutes. The fourth-year center, who was selected 30th overall by Golden State in the 2012 NBA Draft, scored in double figures 13 times and recorded six double-doubles during the 2015-16 regular season, both single-season career-bests.

Definition of Warriors season

The NBA playoffs are down to one game. NBA Finals Game 7 is Sunday night at Golden State. And for some key Warriors players, a Game 7 loss would define the entire season as a failure. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Definition of Warriors season

After nearly nine months reaping the benefits of unity, being of one mindset, the Warriors are, in at least one regard, splintering as they approach Game 7 of the NBA Finals.

A loss would slap the term “failure” on this season, say guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson.

“Yeah, pretty much, because that was our goal from the beginning,” Curry said Saturday, on the eve of Game 7, echoing comments Thompson made two days earlier.

A loss would not define the season as a failure, says coach Steve Kerr, who took mild umbrage that someone would frame such a question.

Stephen Curry and Steve Kerr fined by NBA

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and head coach Steve Kerr have each been fined $25,000 for separate incidents, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Curry has been fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece into the spectator stands.

Curry, occurred with 4:22 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 115-101 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 6 of The Finals on June 16 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Kerr has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of the officiating during his press conference following the same game.

Stephen Curry pranks media with ice pack

The Warriors lead the Cavs 3-1 in the 2016 NBA Finals. The defending champs won’t have Draymond Green’s services for Game 5, but they’re still in good shape. Now, as for guard Stephen Curry, is he fully healthy? Nobody knows. He’s looked like himself for some stretches of some games, but plenty of other times has looked like a regular, mortal, pretty good guard. He’s clearly mostly healthy, or else he wouldn’t be out there at all. But as for real injuries? Here’s CSN Bay Area with the latest:

Stephen Curry pranks media with ice pack on shoulder

It was with a completely different look that Steph Curry walked to the interview podium Sunday after Warriors practice.

There was a large ice pack wrapped around his right shoulder, a visual that was particularly notable in the wake of weekend reports he is coping with a shoulder injury.

The ice pack was, according to Curry, his comedic response to reports he was having problems with his shoulders.

“I can’t even keep a straight face,” Curry said. “Whoever said I was getting shoulder surgery and all that kind of stuff, we’ve got bumps and bruises, but every – we’ll be all right.”

Tyronn Lue fined by NBA for comments

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue has been fined $25,000 for public criticism of officiating, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

Lue made his comments during the postgame press conference following the Golden State Warriors’ 108-97 victory over the Cavaliers in Game 4 of The Finals on June 10 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green has been assessed a Flagrant Foul 1 upon league office review, it was announced today by Kiki VanDeWeghe, Executive Vice President, Basketball Operations.

In accordance with NBA rules, Green will serve a one-game suspension without pay for accruing his fourth Flagrant Foul point of the 2016 postseason. He will serve his suspension Monday, June 13 during Game 5 of The Finals at Oracle Arena.

The incident occurred when Green made unnecessary contact with a retaliatory swipe of his hand to the groin of Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James with 2:48 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 108-97 win in Game 4 of The Finals at Quicken Loans Arena.

Under league rules, any player who accumulates four flagrant foul points over the course of the playoffs will be automatically suspended for one game, and every additional flagrant foul will result in either a one-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 1) or a two-game suspension (for a Flagrant Foul 2).

“The cumulative points system is designed to deter flagrant fouls in our game” said VanDeWeghe. “While Draymond Green’s actions in Game 4 do not merit a suspension as a standalone act, the number of flagrant points he has earned triggers a suspension for Game 5.”

James has been assessed a technical foul upon league office review for his role in the altercation, which included a physical taunt.

The Cavs are in big trouble in the 2016 NBA Finals. You know that, because they are down 3-1 to the Warriors, who were the best team in the league this season. But having some historical perspective is often helpful. Here’s the News Herald reporting:

Cavs in big trouble, down 3-1 in NBA Finals

The Cavaliers are trying to do something historical in the NBA Finals, as in first-man-to-row -a-bathtub-across-the-Atlantic-Ocean-from-the-United-States-to-England historical.

Ten teams in the 70-year history of the NBA have triumphed after being down 3-1 in a playoff series. But it has never happened in the Finals. The most recent team to do it, the Cavs don’t need to be reminded, was the very Warriors they are trying to beat. Oklahoma City had a 3-1 lead and then lost in Oakland, lost at home and lost Game 7 in Oakland last month in the Western Conference finals.

As if that isn’t bad enough for the Cavaliers, who trail the Warriors, 3-1, heading into Game 5 on June 13 in Oakland, only twice in the 10 comebacks did the road team prevail in Game 7, which is what the Cavaliers would have to do to topple the defending champions.

The Cavs are down 3-1 to the Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals. Game 5 is Sunday in Oakland. The first three games of the series were blowouts, so a few free throws in either direction wouldn’t have made much of a difference, but Game 4 was close. Did LeBron James deserve more free throw attempts? Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

Tyronn Lue says LeBron James deserves more calls

LeBron James barked plenty toward Warriors Stephen Curry and Draymond Green on the court during the second half of Friday’s Game 4, and the Cleveland All-Star forward transferred some of his ire toward the officials after the 108-97 loss.

“I’m not quite sure what I can do to get to the free-throw line, but I’ve got to continue to be aggressive for our team,” James said. “I’m getting hit, but the refs are not seeing it that way on my drives. I’ve got to continue to be aggressive. That’s who I am for our team. That’s what opens up the floor for a lot of our shooters.” …

“He never gets calls,” Cleveland head coach Tyronn Lue said. “He attacks. Outside of Russell Westbrook, he’s one of the guys who attacks the paint every single play, and he doesn’t get a fair whistle all the time because of his strength, his power and guys bounce off of him. But those are still fouls. We’ve got to play through the officiating.”

Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting on Sunday’s Finals Game 2, which thanks to Draymond Green and friends resulted in a blowout Warriors victory for a 2-0 Golden State championship series lead:

Draymond Green shines, Warriors win NBA Finals Game 2

The Cleveland Cavaliers came into the NBA Finals with a clear defensive game plan that essentially insults Warriors forward Draymond Green.

The strategy: Lay off him and spend your defensive energy on his teammates, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in particular.

This did not go well for the Cavs in Game 1 and was downright disastrous in Game 2 Sunday night.

Given plenty of room to shoot or pass, Green as a frequent ball-handler did plenty of both and was largely responsible for a 110-77 demolition of the Eastern Conference champions before an ecstatic sellout crowd (19,596) at Oracle Arena…

Green poured in a game-high 28 points, draining 5-of-8 from 3-point distance, adding seven rebounds and a team-high-trying five assists. He committed one turnover, posting a plus-20 in 34 minutes of playing time.

Warriors win NBA Finals Game 1

The Warriors on Thursday took a 1-0 NBA Finals lead against the Cavaliers. Game 2 is Sunday in Oakland. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

Warriors win NBA Finals Game 1

This time, they brought Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love at full strength. They hounded Stephen Curry into a miserably quiet night and rendered Klay Thompson a virtual non-factor.

And, still, the Cleveland Cavaliers came up empty in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The Warriors unleashed the full strength of their numbers Thursday night at Oracle Arena. Shaun Livingston scored 20 points to lead seven players in double figures - Curry was the seventh to get there and Thompson never did - as Golden State pulled away in the second half for a 104-89 victory.

This was the sixth consecutive time the Warriors conquered the Cavs, including the last three games of the 2015 Finals and two regular-season contests. The Warriors also have reeled off four consecutive victories in this postseason, since they fell behind 3-1 to Oklahoma City in the Western Conference finals.

InsideHoops.com NBA Finals Game 1 stats roundup:

Warriors 49% FG, 9/27 threes, 9/10 FT
Cavaliers 38% FG, 7/21 threes, 18/20 FT

Warriors 29 assists, 9 turnovers
Cavaliers 17 assists, 15 turnovers

Kyrie 26 pts on 22 shots
LeBron 23 pts on 21 shots, 12 rebs, 9 asts
S. Livingston 20 pts, 8 of 10
K. Love 17 pts on 17 shots, 13 rebs
Draymond 16 pts, 11 rebs, 7 asts, 4 stls
H. Barnes 13 pts
Iguodala 12 pts, 7 rebs, 6 asts
Steph just 11 pts on 15 shots, 5 rebs, 6 asts
Barbosa 11 pts, 5 of 5

Mere days ago, the Warriors were down 3-1 to the Thunder and looked overmatched. They weren’t playing up to the level we’ve come to expect from them. Stephen Curry’s shot wasn’t golden. Draymond Green was erratic and not helping the squad. But then the efficient, effective Warriors that we’re used to seeing returned for Game 5 and again in Game 6, and suddenly we have a tied series and an upcoming Game 7. Monday night should be epic. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

Warriors in good shape to achieve rare comeback

The Warriors have a chance to do what few thought they could do and something rarely done before, because they’ve managed to send the Western Conference finals to a winner-take-all Game 7 on Monday.

The Warriors are the 31st team in NBA history to force a Game 7 after trailing 3-1 and the first team to do so in a conference finals since Portland in 2000 against the Lakers.

Among the first 232 teams that trailed 3-1 since the league went to a seven-game format, only nine have won the series.

Things certainly looked bleak for the Warriors after consecutive 20-point losses had them facing elimination for the first time in Steve Kerr’s two-year tenure, but they’ve won two in a row to get the odds back on their side. Home teams are 100-24 in Game 7s. In conference finals, teams that rallied from a 3-1 deficit to play Game 7 at home are 8-2.

A few days ago, the Thunder had a 3-1 lead in their Western Conference Finals series against the Warriors. But after last night it’s a tied series, with Game 7 in Oakland on Monday. Here’s the Oklahoman reporting on some key late turnovers that helped seal OKC’s fate last night:

Late turnovers hurt Thunder in Game 6 loss

Forget the Thunder’s disappointing 55-win record this season or Golden State’s record-setting 73-win march to history. Forget the first round breeze by Dallas, the second round shock of San Antonio, the first five games of this series and the first 45 minutes on Saturday night.

Go back to October or mid-March or two weeks ago and lay out this scenario for Sam Presti or Kevin Durant or Russell Westbrook: You’re up three at home with possession of the ball and under three minutes to play. Close it out and you’re in the NBA Finals. None of what came before it matters. Not the midseason struggles, the KD free agency chatter or the historic dominance of their two conference rivals. KD and Russ will jump at that scenario every time. The bumpy road had navigated them to that very spot on Saturday night, a conference title in their grasp. But in three of the most agonizing minutes in the franchise’s young history, they fumbled it away.

Neither star had a first half turnover in Game 6. Not one in 24 minutes. But Durant and Westbrook combined for eight turnovers on Saturday night. Six — 6!!! — came in the final three minutes. That’s six on the Thunder’s final eight possessions, all committed by Durant and Westbrook. The final one didn’t matter. KD fumbled it away with seven seconds left. But by then, the damage was already done, the colossal loss already decided.

With many recent playoff games coming by way of blowout rather than dramatic close victory, fans need all the thrilling games they can get. And Thunder at Warriors Game 5 Thursday night provided just that. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Thunder-Warriors Game 5 provides much-needed drama

Finally, the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder provided a game that more completely explains why there should be two more of them.

Not because of the identity of the victor, mind you. The Warriors extended the Western Conference Final with a sweatbox-quality 120-111 win over the Thunder in Game 5, forcing a trip back to the Midwest. No, we speak of more of its quality, and the way it more accurately reflected the strengths, weaknesses, quirks and hidden face cards of these two teams.

Kevin Durant was brilliant. Stephen Curry was healed. Russell Westbrook was deliciously erratic and indomitable in the best Iversonian tradition. Andrew Bogut rose from the morgue to play perhaps his best important game since those in the Denver series two years ago, and Stephen Adams struggled as a result. There was give and take, yin and yang, hoi and polloi and a wonderful sense of balance between two teams that would do this mostly sub-mediocre postseason an enormous solid by having the NBA declare it a best of 13-series.

There were very few bright spots for the Warriors on Tuesday, but if you forced us to pick one it was awesome third quarter play from shooting guard Klay Thompson, helped make a game out of this thing. For a stretch, at least. But the Thunder were collectively the clearly stronger squad last night. Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting:

Klay Thompson erupts in 3rd quarter but Warriors still lose Game 4

Thompson understandably saw himself as partly culpable for his team’s 72-53 halftime deficit. He scored all of four points in the half, on just four attempts from the field, and spent more time than usual on the bench because of foul trouble (he picked up his third with 7:55 left in the second quarter).

He emerged from the locker room with fresh bravado, essentially winging it — and scored 19 consecutive Warriors points during a scintillating, third-quarter stretch. By the time Thompson’s personal run ended, his team trailed only 80-74 and harbored genuine hopes of an epic comeback…

He finished with a team-high 26 points, on 9-for-17 shooting.

Draymond Green continues to struggle

The champs are in trouble. After getting blown out in Game 3 and beaten fairly soundly in Game 4, the Warriors are down 3-1 to the Thunder in the Western Conference Finals. One Warriors in particular who has struggled in dramatic fashion has been Draymond Green. Here’s CSN Bay Area reporting:

Draymond Green continues to struggle

Green’s performance in a 118-94 loss to Oklahoma City in Game 4 brought neither him nor the Warriors any comfort.

Game 3 was the worst of his four-year career, and Game 4 was about as bad.

“I don’t think the last 48 hours affected me,” Green said. “But I think it’s the first time in my life that I didn’t respond to critics. That’s what’s kind of been my story.”

A second-round draft pick in 2012 that was selected for the All-Star team in February played 38 minutes. The sum of his production was 6 points (1-of-7 shooting from the field), 11 rebounds, two assists, three steals, one blocked shot – and six turnovers.

Warriors forward Draymond Green escaped suspension for his kick to Thunder center Steven Adams, though he still needs to be extra careful for the rest of the playoffs, as the Oklahoman explains:

Draymond Green must still be extra careful for rest of playoffs

On Monday, the Golden State Warriors forward was fined $25,000 and his Flagrant “1” foul on Thunder center Steven Adams in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals was upgraded to a Flagrant “2”. The ruling puts Green dangerously close to missing a postseason game, but keeps him eligible for Tuesday’s game at Chesapeake Energy Arena…

Green said Monday that his first thought was the Flagrant “1” was going to get rescinded and that he wouldn’t be facing a suspension…

Green already had a Flagrant “1” foul (worth one point) entering the series with the Thunder. Add that to the upgrade to a Flagrant “2” (worth two points), and Green is one point away from an automatic one-game suspension. Under NBA rules, if a player’s playoff total exceeds three points, he’s suspended for the game after his point total has exceeded three.

Draymond Green not suspended for Game 4

Draymond Green not suspended for Game 4

Warriors forward Draymond Green has many talents, and one of them appears to be nailing Thunder center Steven Adams in a painful place during playoff games.

It seemed possible that the league might suspend Draymond Green for Game 4, but their decision, revealed around 7:30pm ET Monday night, was to fine Draymond Green $25k and upgrade the foul on him to a Flagrant 2.

The incident occurred with 5:57 remaining in the second quarter of the Thunder’s 133-105 win over the Warriors in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals on May 22 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

“After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green’s foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine,” said Kiki VanDeWeghe, the league’s Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations.

“During a game, players – at times – flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul,” VanDeWeghe continued, “but Green’s actions in this case warranted an additional penalty.”

The Thunder currently lead the Western Conference Finals 2-1. Game 4 will be played in OKC Tuesday night.

Here’s the Akron Beacon Journal reporting comments from Cavs superstar LeBron James, who has no objection to Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry winning another league MVP award:

LeBron James says Stephen Curry deserved to win MVP

“I think he definitely deserved it,” said James, who finished third behind the San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard. “Look at Steph’s numbers. He averaged 30, he led the league in steals, he was 90-50-40 and they won 73 (games). Do you have any debate over that, really, when it comes to that award?

“But when you talk about most ‘valuable’ then you can have a different conversation, so, take nothing away from him, he’s definitely deserving of that award, for sure.”

Shaun Livingston regrets Game 4 ejection

Here’s the San Francisco Chronicle reporting on Warriors guard Shaun Livingston, a fantastic contributor to the squad and a key member of the supporting cast who was needlessly ejected last game. Fortunately, Stephen Curry came back that same day and steadily rose to the occasion, helping Golden State secure a dramatic overtime win to take a 3-1 series lead:

Shaun Livingston regrets Game 4 ejection

Shaun Livingston was back to his usual calm and introspective self on Wednesday morning, two days after the first ejection of his 12-year career.

The Warriors’ backup point guard joked that he did some yoga and meditation and will listen to some soothing music after getting two technical fouls in the second quarter of Monday’s Game 4 victory at Portland.

“You don’t ever want to leave your brothers out there, so I was wrong for that,” Livingston said following the Warriors’ shootaround. “Definitely, it was a mistake on my behalf to get ejected. I lost my cool. I made a mistake.

“Intentionally, I was going for the technical. I wasn’t going for the ejection.”

Stephen Curry wins 2015-16 NBA MVP award

Stephen Curry wins 2015-16 NBA MVP award

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who led the team to the best regular-season record in NBA history, has won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for the second year in a row, the NBA announced today. He is the first unanimous winner in the award’s 61-season history. Curry, the 11th player to win back-to-back MVP awards, joins Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Steve Nash as the only guards to earn the honor in consecutive seasons.

Curry swept all 131 first-place votes (1,310 points), including 130 from a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters in the United States and Canada, and one from the MVP fan vote.

The San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard finished second with 634 points, and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James was third with 631 points. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook (486 points) and Kevin Durant (147) rounded out the top five. Players received 10 points for each first-place vote, seven points for each second-place vote, five points for each third-place vote, three points for each fourth-place vote and one point for each fifth-place vote.

The 28-year-old Curry helped the Warriors finish a historic 73-9 by leading the NBA in scoring (30.1 ppg), three-pointers made (an NBA-record 402), free throw percentage (90.8) and steals (2.14 spg), along with averaging 6.7 assists and a career-high 5.4 rebounds in 79 games. He shot a career-high 50.4 percent from the field, the NBA’s highest mark among guards, and made 45.4 percent from three-point range, good for second in the league. Curry became the seventh qualifying player in NBA history to shoot at least 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from beyond the arc and 90 percent from the foul line.

Behind Curry, the reigning champion Warriors opened the season with 24 straight victories – one of many NBA records they broke on their way to the all-time single-season wins mark. They set NBA records for single-season road victories (34) and consecutive home regular-season wins (54, including 18 to finish last season). Golden State also became the first team in NBA history to go an entire season without losing back-to-back games or losing to the same team twice.

In yet another NBA record, the Warriors made 1,077 three-pointers, becoming the first team with 1,000. Curry powered the attack with his 402 three-pointers, shattering his own single-season league record of 286 set last season – an increase of 116. Along with leading the NBA in three-pointers made for the fourth season in a row, Curry extended his streak of regular-season games with a three-pointer to an active league record of 152 straight games.

Curry’s other accomplishments this season included:

· He became the fourth player in NBA history to average at least 30 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals in a season, joining Rick Barry (1974-75), Michael Jordan (three times) and Dwyane Wade (2008-09).

· He became the first Warriors player to lead the NBA in scoring since Barry in 1966-67.

· He improved his scoring average by 6.3 points from last season (23.8 ppg), the largest year-over-year increase in league history for a reigning Kia NBA MVP.

· He matched the NBA single-game record for three-pointers made, hitting 12 (including the last-second game-winner) in a 121-118 overtime victory over the Thunder on Feb. 27.

Curry receives the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, which is named in honor of the NBA’s first commissioner, who served from 1946 until his retirement in 1963.

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