Draymond Praises Curry’s Patience and Growth In Game 2

Even at the age of 34, Stephen Curry still proves he’s a student of the game, even in his 13th season, according to running-mate Draymond Green.

” He didn’t come out guns blazing like he did in game 1… He just allowed the game to come him. I think maybe for the first six or seven minutes of the game, I don’t think he had a point… He didn’t chase after anything, he made the right play.

As Green pointed out on his podcast The Draymond Green Show, Steph’s mentality shifted from game 1 to 2. Instead of hunting for shot attempts, Steph let the game come to him. He was prepared for the Celtics to blitz him after his scorching start in game 1. The two-time MVP appeared calm, relaxed and collected as the Celtics jumped to an early 13-5 lead and responded with 8 quick points to close the opening quarter. Curry ended the 1st quarter with 10 points after only scoring 2 points in the first eight minutes and finished the game with 29 points.

Draymond Green emphasizes the importance of Steph’s growth over the years.

” In that situation (being down 0-1) you’re really chasing after it. That was huge for him to let the game come to him. Just like a season vet does. I know everyone is like ‘ah man Steph Curry’s growth’ like it’s never too late to grow. It is never to late to grow. Actrually, to take that a step further, in this game once you stop growing, you are done… “

Steph was hunting Al Horford off the pick and roll throughout the game, but he did not settle for the step-back three. Instead, Steph used those opportunities to create space for Kevon Looney in the paint, knowing the Celtics would overplay him anytime he attacked the teeth of the defense. Those plays showcased Steph’s growth in terms of decision-making throughout his 12-year career. Although Steph is an apparent mismatch for Al Horford offensively, he didn’t settle. Instead, he used his mismatch to the team’s advantage and put the Celtics in a precarious position defensively.

The Celtics were the top-rated defense throughout the regular season and postseason. Their athleticism, length, collective defensive IQ, and ability to switch on screens present issues for the Warriors. If the Warriors want to avoid playing a game 7 back at Chase Center, Steph will have to take what the defense gives him and restrain from playing hero ball. Much like he did in game 2.

The series is tied 1-1, with game 3 scheduled to tip-off on Wednesday night in Boston at 6pm pacific time.

Klay Thompson Struggles Continue, Kerr Vows to Help Him

For the first time since the 89-90 season, the Golden State Warriors are 0-8 on the road after another underwhelming performance against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night.

Stephen Curry scored 50 points in the 119-130 loss in Phoenix, but his surrounding cast only contributed 62 points collectively. Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole both had rough nights offensively. Thompson ended the night 6 for 17, while Jordan Poole ended his 0 for 5 from the field.

Klay Thompson has struggled to find a rhythm through the opening portion of the season. In his pre-game interview, head coach Steve Kerr clarified that he believes Klay’s struggles are mental, not physical.

“In some ways right now Klay has to get out of his own way and free himself up and just play, enjoy the game instead of wrapping himself up in every single shot. … He needs to just relax and play”

In 12 games played this season, Thompson is averaging 15.1 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game while converting 35% from the field, and 33% from beyond the arc. His shot selection has faced a lot of criticism this season. Over 60% of Thompson’s shot attempts have come from the 3PT range and, in many cases, have been heavily contested.

Thompson’s irrational confidence has played a vital role in his success. He is overthinking, overcompensating, and overcorrecting instead of letting the game come to him. His ability to move on to the next possession made him such a lethal threat on the offensive end in years past.

In his postgame interview, Steve Kerr said he believes he can help Klay overcome his early season slump.

Thompson missed the 2019-20 and 2020-21 NBA seasons after suffering a torn ACL during the 2019 NBA Finals and rupturing his Achilles tendon during a private offseason workout leading up to the 2020-21 season. After a 941-day hiatus, Thompson returned to the court and helped the Warriors win their fourth championship in 8 seasons. He averaged 20.4 points, 2.8 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game.

Unlike previous seasons, Klay has something to prove to himself this year. The narrative around the league is that he isn’t the same two-way player he once was. It was reported that he was “visibly irritated” when TNT analyst Charles Barkley questioned Thompson’s ability to turn back the clock. Since then, Thompson hasn’t been himself. He is forcing shots, overlooking open teammates, and barking back at the noise of the media.

This season, Thompson is obviously in a different headspace in light of recent criticism. For the first time in his NBA career, he feels doubted by his peers and is willing to do anything to prove them wrong, even if it’s to the team’s detriment.

With that said, this isn’t the first time Thompson has struggled during the early portion of the season, and there is no reason he cannot play through this slump with the help of Steve Kerr.

Takeaways From the Warriors 116-113 Win Over the Kings

Here are three takeaways from the Golden State Warriors 116-113 win against the Kings to end the team’s 5-game losing skid.

Stephen Curry to the Rescue

Stephen Curry brought out the cape last night against the Sacramento Kings. It was apparent from the start that the reigning finals MVP wouldn’t let his team drop their 6th game in a row. He led the team with 47 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists on 17 of 24 shooting.

During his postgame interview, Draymond Green had this to say about Curry’s explosive game.

The Warriors found themselves down 12 heading into the half, and with momentum building for the opposition, Curry took it upon himself to stop the bleeding.

Curry scored 17 of his 47 points in the fourth quarter to help push the Warriors back into the win column. Whenever the offensive stagnated, Steph found a way to create shot opportunities for himself. He was slashing to the cup, pulling up with confidence off of screens, and using pump fakes to create open looks at the rim. One game-changing play came in the closing minutes; Steph called over Draymond for a screen, got the mismatch he wanted in Kevin Huerter, and confidently drilled a 28-foot step-back jump shot to give the Warriors a three-point lead. Talk about saving the day.

Jordan Poole Non-Aggressive Against Kings

Jordan Poole has paved his way through the league with his undoubted work ethic, high motor, and ability to devastate opposing teams on the offensive end. The Warriors rewarded Jordan Poole with a lucrative 4-year 140 million contract extension after a breakout season, but his play has been underwhelming in 11 games. Poole is shooting 30% from beyond the arc, and has a plus-minus of -8.8. On Monday Night, Poole was not aggressive offensively. He took one shot in the first half and ended the game with only four attempts. Steve Kerr elected to start Poole in the second half, hoping it would flip the 23-year-old guard’s switch, but to no avail. Poole was kept quiet offensively and was limited to just three shot attempts in the second half.

Although it is only 11 games into the season, the Warriors need Jordan Poole to get out of this funk. The Warriors are the best version of themselves when Jordan Poole plays at his best. His skillsets offer a unique element in Steve Kerr’s lineups. Pooles presence allows Steph to play off the ball, puts another dynamic shooter around Draymond, and gives the Warrior’s second unit an offensive punch.

James Wiseman Logs DNP

For the first time this season, Steve Kerr decided to keep former #2 lottery pick James Wiseman out of the rotation. The 21-year-old has much to learn before being awarded a spot in Kerr’s tightening rotation. Although Wiseman is improving, the margin of error has become too small on a roster mixed with championship pedigree and young raw talent.

It is clear that the talent is there, but putting it together after three college games, a down rookie season, and a season-ending injury. Wiseman has a -6.9 plus-minus in 10 games. He appears lost in the offense and disinterested when he doesn’t have the ball.

Steve Kerr has been adamant that Wiseman needs time and reps on the floor despite the ups and downs. For now, I expect Wiseman will be given more opportunities throughout this week of games, but he will need to be more engaged than he has been. Currently, Wiseman is averaging four rebounds per contest, ranking him sixth on the team behind Draymond Green (6.1), Kevon Looney (6.6), JaMychal Green (4.7), Andrew Wiggins (6.1), and Stephen Curry (7.1). Steve Kerr will want that stat to improve drastically by the end of the regular season.

Andrew Wiggins Is Changing The “Bust” Narrative

When the Golden State Warriors decided to bring Andrew Wiggins into the fold after the departure of Kevin Durant in 2020, many sports analysts marked it as the end of the Warriors dynasty.

The former #1 pick in 2014 had a disappointing start to his career in Minnesota. A mixture of inconsistent play, horrendous coaching, and unrealistic expectations surrounding the franchise led to him being labeled one of the league’s all-time busts.

Wiggins has changed that narrative in his third season with the Dubs, proving he can be a two-way player on a championship contender. Wiggins has arguably been the Warriors’ best player throughout the postseason. In his first 14 playoff games, Wiggins is averaging 14 points per game on 47% shooting, 6 rebounds, 1 block, and 0.8 steals per game. That’s not to mention that Wiggins has been hot from beyond the arc, converting 41.5% of his 3PT attempts.

The Warriors have also asked Wiggins to fill Klay Thompson’s previous role of defending the opposing team’s best guard, including NBA’s Most Improved Player Ja Morant and MVP candidate Luka Doncic.

Wiggins is proving he is a problem on both ends of the floor, and his recent play has First Things First Host Nick Wright regretting calling Andrew Wiggins a “bad basketball player.”

Wiggins has been called a bust, overpaid, and inconsistent throughout his career. Questions about his ability to be a vital piece on a championship roster have surrounded him for 8 seasons. And now, as the lights begin to get brighter, he continues to shine.

Suppose the Warriors want to be the last team standing in June. In that case, Andrew Wiggins will have to keep attacking mismatches, make intelligent basketball plays, and bring the intensity on the defensive end.

The Warriors now have a commanding 3-0 series lead against the Dallas Mavericks and can punch their ticket to the NBA Finals with a win on Tuesday in Dallas.

Thompson Torches The Bucks For Season High 38 Points

Klay Thompson’s “I’m here, I’m back” moment has arrived at the perfect time.

Thompson’s prolific 38-point performance against the Milwaukee Bucks may be a warning sign for the rest of the league. Tonight’s game was by far Klay’s best game since his return, scoring a season-high 38 points on 15/24 shooting, six rebounds, and five assists.

In 17 minutes of action in the first half, Thompson caught fire, scoring 18 points and draining five momentum-swinging three-pointers to push the lead to 9 heading into the half. Thompson’s hot hand can not be overlooked, but what stood out the most was his shot selection and ability to read the court.

Throughout the season, Klay struggled with his shot selection. He wasn’t letting the game come to him and was trying to facilitate for himself. After the match, Kerr praised Thompson for finding a rhythm within the offense.

“I thought he just let the game come to him early. He didn’t hunt shots. I thought over the last few games; he’s been taking tough ones early, which has kept him from getting into a rhythm. Tonight it felt like he was taking better shots early, cleaner looks, and you know Klay, once a couple of them go in, the tougher ones become a lot easier for him”.

Klay concurred with Kerr’s comments when asked about his shot selection post-game.

“I agree, and I think it changed tonight because my shots were in rhythm, mostly off the catch. Doing what I do best moving off the ball and just staying patient to let the ball come to me within the offense”.

It appears the 5-time all-star has knocked off the rust with 14 games left in the regular season, just in the nick of time for the Warriors to elevate their position in the standings and gear up to make a deep push in the playoffs.

Iguodala: The Warriors Are Doing What They’re “Supposed to Do” In response to 7-1 Start.

Through 8 games this season, the Golden State Warriors started the season red hot. They currently have the best record in the league (7-1) and will face their most brutal stretch of the season this week against the Hawks, Bulls, and Nets.

Should the Warriors be considered title contenders this early on in the season? Andre Iguodala has a different mindset.

“We’re okay; we’re a work-in-progress,” Iguodala continued, “We’ve had a more favorable schedule, so I don’t think you look too much into it. We’re doing what we’re supposed to do.”

The Warriors veteran forward and future Hall of Famer will not allow the team to get complacent despite the hot start. And he’s right. The Warriors have had a leisurely schedule, beating the Lakers Clippers, Kings, Hornets, Pelicans, and the Thunder twice. Teams with a combined record of 22-32. Does Andre make a fair point? I think so.

On a positive note, the Warriors have done an incredible job with rotation management. Steve Kerr and his staff have seemingly constructed cohesive lineups that go hand in hand with the team’s game plan. The coaching staff has found ways to utilize all 15 players based on matchups and in-game scenarios. With a bench full of savvy vets and raw young talent, the Warriors appear to have a strong enough cast to hold the fort down until Klay Thompson returns to action.

With a tough stretch of games coming up, the Warriors will rely on Jordan Poole, Otto Porter Jr., and Nemanja Bjelica to potentially play heavier minutes. Golden State will need additional playmakers and shot makers to compete against teams with pieces limiting Steph’s impact. Winning these crucial games may very well come down to bench production, and if that is the case, I give the Warriors the advantage.

Despite the hot start, the Warriors still have kinks to work out along the way. Two draft lottery picks need development, and Klay Thompson’s highly anticipated return in the coming months will require minute restrictions, scheduled nights off, and shifts to the rotation.

Let’s see how the Warriors fare against steeper competition before we set our expectations for this team.

Golden State will compete in the first half of a back-to-back against the Houston Rockets today and host the Atlanta Hawks tomorrow.

Kuminga and Moody Combine for 32 In Summer League Victory Over Raptors

Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody dressed up in blue and gold for the third time on Wednesday night. The Warriors rookies combined for 32 points in the Warriors 84-90 win over the Raptors.

Here are a couple of takeaways from the contest.

Kuminga’s Hot Start

Kuminga led the charge with 18 points, four rebounds, two steals, and a block in 28 minutes of action. His size and athleticism were felt early, scoring 9 of his 18 points in the first quarter and drilling 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.

 The 7th overall pick was aggressive from the jump. Kuminga used a variety of euro steps, spin moves, and hop steps to create driving lanes for himself. The flow to his game felt natural, and the rookie had complete control over the game’s tempo. Kuminga’s playstyle resembled Giannis Antetokounpo in a lot of ways. The way he attacks the teeth of the defense, his body control, strong scoring mentality, and high motor on both ends of the floor were relatable. Although Kuminga isn’t on the same talent level as the 2021 finals MVP, he has all of the tools to get there in a hurry.

Moody’s Composure

Moses Moody had a quiet first half, but he ramped it up in the second half. He ended the game with 14 points, two rebounds, one steal, and a block in 23 minutes of summer league action. Moody struggled inside the paint (1-of-8), but Moody did inflict damage from beyond the arc (3-of-7) and at the charity stripe (3-of-4). Despite offensive struggles early, Moody found ways to impact the game. He never projected a sense of discouragement; he just kept shooting with confidence. I was impressed with his composure throughout the game. He stayed aggressive throughout the second half and made game-changing plays down the stretch.

Neither rookie had a perfect outing, but both showcased the abilities that enticed the Warriors to draft them in the lottery.

3 Takeaway’s From The Warriors 128-97 Blowout Loss to The Lakers

The defending NBA champion Lakers weren’t messing around on their business trip to the Bay Area on Monday night.

Over the past two matchups, the Lakers have beaten the Warriors by a combined 57 points while shooting 56% from the field. It is safe to say that the Lakers didn’t forget about the Warriors 113-115 upset in their first matchup in January and wanted nothing more than to prove that their fourth-quarter collapse was nothing but a fluke.

As usual, Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 27 points on 52% shooting, but Lebron’s 4th triple-double of the season and Montrez Harrell’s 27 points off the bench were too much for the two-time league MVP to overcome.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors blowout loss.

Points In The Paint

One of the Warrior’s goals this offseason was to add size to their roster. They achieved that by adding James Wiseman and surrounding the perimeter with long, athletic wings in Oubre and Wiggins, but against the Lakers, size wasn’t a factor. The Lakers scored 68 points in the paint even without Anthony Davis, and Montrez Harrell had one of his best performances off the bench with 27 points and five rebounds. The Lakers took advantage of the Warrior’s over-commitment on defense. They put tremendous pressure on their inexperienced frontcourt by utilizing high pick and rolls, strategic backdoor cuts, and identifying mismatches.

No Love From The Charity Stripe

The Dubs left more than a handful of points at the charity stripe against the Lakers, and they failed to convert 8 of them, leaving them at 66% for the game. Missed free throws have been a recurring theme this season in the Bay. The Warriors are currently ranked 22nd in the league in field goal percentage this season. Out of the Warriors starting five, only Stephen Curry and Kevon Looney are shooting over 80% from the charity stripe. A key to the Warrior’s previous success was their ability to cash in at the line. If they want to enhance their chance to win, they have to find success in this area of the floor.

Defense Couldn’t Stop The Bleeding

The defense has been one of the Warrior’s main focal points this season. Steve Kerr understands that his team’s success relies on their ability to generate defensive stops and run the open floor, but they couldn’t stop the bleeding tonight. Golden State held their own throughout the first half, but once the Lakers turned the faucet on, there was no turning it off. Five Lakers players ended with double-digit points. The defending champs were firing on all cylinders and were not going to be denied a victory tonight.

The Warriors are 1-5 in their last six games. They will look to turn things around against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday at 5 pm.

This Recent Stat Suggests Kelly Oubre Jr Should Ditch the Headband For Good

Have you noticed anything different about Kelly Oubre Jr. this past month?

If you didn’t notice, Kelly Oubre Jr. has been playing at an elite level since he chose to ditch his headband in late January. I am sure many of you noticed his recent change in style on the court, but have you looked at his stats since?

Through the first 16 games with a headband, Oubre shot 37% from the field and had one of the worst 3PT percentages in the league at 20%. The lowest percentages of his career.

Without a headband through 19 games, Oubre shot 49% from the field while converting 41% of his shots from deep and playing his best month of basketball to date.

But in all seriousness, Oubre Jr’s recent dominant stretch of games is likely because he has finally grasped Steve Kerr’s offense, not because of his on-court apparel. But it is always fun to speculate.

Oubre Jr’s early-season woes are well-documented. His shot selection and awareness on the basketball court had fans around the Bay Area questioning his fit with the team. His confidence appeared to be nonexistent. But most importantly, he didn’t seem to be enjoying the game. As of late, he is playing like a man on a mission. He has slowly emerged as the Warrior’s second option over the past five games. His confidence is at an all-time high, and his consistency rates have improved dramatically.

NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders once said, “If you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you play well.”

If that is the case, Oubre Jr should consider losing the headband for good because he is playing lights out.

Klay Thompson Struggled Watching Warriors Blowout Loss Against The Nets

It has been exactly 20 months since Klay Thompson last suited up for live NBA action and not being able to share the court with his teammates is taking it’s toll on him.

To make matters worse, Kevin Durant made his return to the Bay Area after missing all of last season, and completely dominated his former team as Klay watched helplessly from the Warriors bench. The Nets beat the Warriors for the second time this season, sweeping the season series.

Footage inside the stadium caught some of Klay’s reactions throughout the game, and let’s just say, he wasn’t happy.

Klay Thompson wasn’t happy with the Warriors play against the Nets, but you could say that about anyone residing in the Bay Area. Golden State failed to execute against one of the top contenders in the NBA. Especially on the offensive side of the ball. Every starter not named Stephen Curry shot a combined 13-for-43 from the field, and struggled to keep the game close when Curry was off the floor. That’s not mentioning the Warriors shot 26% from the field from deep, an area where Klay Thompson’s expertise was desperately needed.

The Warriors won’t be expecting Klay Thompson until next season, but the bright side is his Achilles tendon rehab is on track and he is out of his walking boot. Thompson is the ultimate competitor, champion, and hooper. He knows what he brings to the table, and that is what makes this process so frustrating.