Even at the age of 34, Stephen Curry proves he is still 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.
We are officially 8 days away from the NBA draft as speculation regarding the Warriors #2 pick continues. At this point, there are no inklings on who’s at the top of the Warriors draft board. But, it’s safe to assume that James Wiseman, Anthony Edwards , and Lamelo Ball are at the top of it.
Each player has extraordinary talent that would instantly contribute to the Warriors roster. Here are some of the pros and cons of each prospect.
Let’s be honest, James Wiseman is an athletic freak that would instantly give the Warriors the size, length, and athleticism the Warriors were lacking last season. There’s no doubt his 7 foot 6 wingspan will benefit the Warriors on both sides of the floor. Wiseman averaged 3 blocks per game during his short stint at Memphis, showcasing his ability to protect the rim and alter shots in the paint. His speed, agility, and quickness allows him to guard the perimeter on defensive switches. That’s not to mention that Wiseman held opposing teams to 33% from the field during his 69 minutes of collegiate play. That type of production defensively would be huge for the Warriors, who thrive on generating defensive stops and scoring in transition. Wiseman enjoys playing above the rim, and Golden State’s potent offense full of nonstop player movement and off-ball screens should give the rookie plenty of opportunities. Especially as a lob threat.
November 12th, 2019 was the last time James Wiseman competed in an organized basketball game. Yes, you read that correctly. Wiseman only played 69 minutes for the Memphis Tigers before being suspended for 12 games due to issues with his eligibility. Instead of serving the suspension, Wiseman elected to sit out and to focus on the draft, entirely unaware that the pandemic would further delay his name being called. With that being said, there will be a 13 month gap between Wiseman’s last college game and his NBA debut. It raises concerns about how far he is in his development, and how quickly he will adapt to the next level because of it. Now don’t get me wrong, Wiseman has all of the tools to become a lethal rim protector in this league, but the Warriors are in win-now mode and may choose experience over raw talent.
Anthony Edwards is a shifty athletic guard that can score on all three levels of the court. He utilizes great body control when he is attacking the paint. He has a quick first step and is a handful to guard in the open court due to his solid body frame and overwhelming strength. That’s not mentioning his ability to bully smaller guards in the post. The Warriors could benefit from a guy like Edwards because of his freakish athletic ability, strength, agility, and nonstop motor. Edwards would lead the 2nd unit and provide the Warriors with much needed bench scoring. Something the team lacked last season. Also, Edwards has the physical traits to become a decent perimeter defender when he puts in the effort. He averaged 1.3 steals per game at Georgia and at times, was able to generate blocks with his athleticism and defensive instincts. (0.6 Blocks per game)
Edwards didn’t exactly shoot lights out from 3-point land during his time at Georgia. In fact, he only converted about 29% (72/255) of his attempts last season. As we all know, the Warriors offense is designed to space the floor out with outside scorers. So, his ability to knock down corner threes would be crucial to the Warriors success. With that being said, that doesn’t mean Edwards wouldn’t be effective on the Warriors if his 3-point shooting doesn’t improve. It just means he would need to adjust his shot selection to better fit his role. Much like Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala had to during the teams five year finals run.
Lamelo Ball is probably the biggest name in this entire draft because of his raw talent, and off the court stardom. Ball, who played last season in the NBL, isn’t a stranger to professional basketball. In fact, he has played professionally against grown men since he was 16. Ball has elite court vision and ball handling ability. His ability to create his own shot is what makes him such a lethal offensive weapon. There’s no question, the Warriors could use another ball handler, and Ball wouldn’t be a bad choice. At 6’ 7” Ball has the size and length to get to his favorite spots with ease. He has a quick shot release and has no problem shooting over smaller defenders. But most importantly, Ball is lethal in transition, and can make opposing teams pay with his pinpoint accuracy and ability to finish above the rim.
One of the biggest knocks against Lamelo Ball is his inconsistent jumpshot. His form is far from fluid, and his release point is low. Also, Ball shot poorly from deep last season, only converting 25% of his shots. (While averaging 6 attempts per game) Ball would need to adjust his shot selection to be effective in Golden State. Another question about Ball’s fit on Golden State is his motor on defense. In the past, Ball has played some lazy defense. He appeared to be disinterested on the defensive side of the ball. The Warriors pride themselves on the defensive side of the ball. They thrive when they generate stops and get out in transition. Ball has the physical tools to become a decent on ball defender, but he needs to be engaged each time down the floor. Ball would likely lead the Warriors 2nd unit if they take him #2 overall
Golden State finds themselves in a unique position. Why? Because they aren’t your typical lottery pick. They already have the foundation of their roster put in place. Therefore, they aren’t obligated to make a selection. In fact, there are rumors floating around that Bob Myers has already tried trading the pick. But if they don’t, they will likely choose the prospect who will fit the teams scheme best.
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.
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.
When the Warriors selected Jonathan Kuminga as the 7th pick in the 2021 NBA draft, many questioned how much the 19-year-old rookie could contribute to a roster with championship aspirations.
Kuminga was drafted into a unique situation. Unlike most teams drafting in the lottery, the Warriors already had superstar talent, championship pedigree, and one of the deepest rosters in the league.
Carving out a role on a team consisting of Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Andre Iguodala, and a returning Klay Thompson was no easy task. Still, Kuminga has appeared to do it with ease.
The rookie has taken advantage of his opportunities with the absences of Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala throughout the season. Kuminga averages 14.7 minutes per contest, 8.1 PPG, 2.9 REBS, and has a field goal percentage of 50.9%.
Kerr praised Kuminga’s rapid improvement during his post-practice press conference.
Without question, the Warriors played their worst brand of basketball in February, losing 4 of 9 games. While the Warriors were treading water heading into the All-Star break, Kuminga began to thrive at the perfect time.
In February, Kuminga has ramped up his production for the blue and gold. He averages 15.4 PPG, 4.8 REBS, and 1.8 AST while converting 58.8% of his field-goal attempts. Additionally, the 19-year-old rookie is having his best month from the charity stripe, converting 73.2% from the line.
With uncertainty surrounding the availability of Andre Iguodala, the Warriors will look to Kuminga to step in his place. Kuminga has showcased his versatility, athleticism, and ability to adapt to different roles throughout the past month.
Steve Kerr will be able to utilize Kuminga the same way he has with Iguodala since 2015, a multi-position player that can generate production on both ends of the floor. The 19-year-old appears to be finding his nitch on this team, and it would be hard to imagine a scenario where he’s not in the Warriors rotation from now on.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kelly Oubre’s name came up in recent trade discussions. But the chatter didn’t disrupt his energy on the court last night against the Timberwolves. In fact, a conversation with Steve Kerr gave the 25 year old the motivation he needed to perform at his best. And most importantly, ” Go get this fucking win”
Shams Charania from the Athletic reported a discussion that took place between the Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans. The conversation included exploratory talks that would send Oubre to the big easy, but those discussions didn’t go much further than that. Steve Kerr noted that it was “unfortunate” those discussions were made public because the Pelicans sought them out for a trade. Not the other way around.
Last night, Kelly Oubre led the Warriors past the Timberwolves. He finished the game with 20 points on 7/9 shooting, while also contributing 9 rebounds, and three assists in 24 minutes of action. That’s not to mention the contagious energy he brought to the court. It was clear from the beginning that Oubre wasn’t going to let the trade talk affect his game on the court, and neither was Steve Kerr. If he could help it.
Well, it appears Steve Kerr’s words of encouragement worked.
The Warriors did get the win, and Kelly Oubre was a huge contributor. He finished 2nd on the team in scoring (20), and also finished the game with 2 steals and a blocked shot. It appears his conversation with Kerr helped him get his mind right.
It isn’t easy to perform at a high level when your name is circulating in the rumor mill, but Oubre still put together his best performance of the season. Despite his name trending all over the internet.
Oubre is no stranger to chatter around the NBA. He is used to his name being in the spotlight. So far, he has proven he can elevate his game despite the uncertainty of his future. With that being said, I fully expect the trade rumors surrounding Oubre to continue. His $14m contract is the most tradeable on the team and I would be shocked if Bob Myers didn’t entertain trade scenarios that came his way.