If rebounding is defense, the MVP becomes simple choice

I never thought rebounding was defense.

I thought rebounding was rebounding. Rebounding was what you had to do to get from defense to offense — kind of like a task or obligation or responsibility. I can’t speak for everyone, but that’s the way I thought of it. And, yeah, I thought everyone pretty much thought that, too.

Until Don Nelson told me about 10 years ago he thought rebounding was absolutely part of defense — that it was the final step, the culmination of the process of getting a stop.


I never thought rebounding was part of a player’s defensive resume or a team’s defensive resume. Nelson disagreed. At the time he said rebounding was the last action of a successful defensive possession.

Continue reading

Posted in Warriors | Leave a comment

‘Warriors WrapUp’: Long day for Stephen Curry ends with 42-point game — and a 120-111 victory over Phoenix; Warriors clinch No. 1 seed throughout postseason; 13 straight wins

Warriors guard Stephen Curry went out on Wednesday and played a round of golf outside Phoenix. Apparently, he shot a 75 at the Seville Golf and Country Club, in Gilbert, AZ.

Later in the day, Curry shot the lights out at Talking Stick Resort Arena downtown, leading the Warriors to a 120-111 win over the Suns. Curry finished with a game-high 42 points on a wonderful night of shooting: 15-for-26 from the field, including 8-for-13 from beyond the arc.


With the win, the Warriors (65-14) clinched the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and throughout the NBA postseason. It is the first time in NBA history that a team has won 65 games in three consecutive years. Oh, and the win was their 13th straight.

Curry scored 23 points in the first quarter alone and had one stretch where he scored 19 consecutive points. He had 16 points in the game’s first six minutes, going 5-for-6 from the field and 4-for-4 from 3-point range.

The Warriors played without Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, both of whom got the game off.

The Warriors, of course, have put together this 13-game winning streak without Kevin Durant, who is rehabbing his injured left knee. After Durant was injured in Washington in late March, the Warriors lost 5 of their first seven without him, then embarked on this streak.

The better news for the Warriors is Durant is expected to return for Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle Arena.



Posted in Warriors | Leave a comment

‘Warriors WrapUp’: Klay Thompson’s 41 points keys Golden State to 121-107 win over T-Wolves; 12 straight victories for Warriors; Kevin Durant expected to return Saturday

Sometimes figuring out why one team won and why one team lost doesn’t take a lot of thought. Which was the case in the Warriors’ 121-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors made shots from beyond the arc and the Timberwolves didn’t. Simple as that. And nobody made more than Klay Thompson, who finished with seven 3-pointers and a 41-point evening. The Warriors went 14-for-32 from beyond the arc (43.8 percent), which doesn’t sound too crazy if you’re familiar with them. But they buried 14 of their first 24 3-pointers, which took out any drama from the final 18 minutes.

Meanwhile the Timberwolves went 4-for-19 from beyond the arc.


It was the Warriors’ 12th consecutive win, a streak which interestingly enough began after a March 11 loss to the Spurs in San Antonio when the Warriors rested four players: Stephen Curry, Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Speaking of the Spurs, they remained 3.5 games in back of the Warriors in the battle for the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.

This is the second 12-game winning streak of the season for the Warriors — though all of the wins on the current streak have come without injured forward Kevin Durant. The Warriors have been playing without Durant since Feb. 28, when he injured his left knee in a game against the Wizards.

The Warriors are expecting Durant to return for Saturday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Oracle.

The Warriors put this one away in the third quarter, like they’ve put so many games away in the third quarter. Golden State outscored the Timberwolves 36-26 in that quarter and are now a plus-446 in third quarters this season.

No. 2 is San Antonio, which is plus-223 and the Rockets are third at plus-190. No other team is plus-100.

The Warriors’ third-quarter highlight came courtesy of Stephen Curry, who buried consecutive 3-pointers to give Golden State a 94-75 lead with 4:29 remaining. Curry finished with 19 points and nine assists.

At that point in the game, the Warriors were shooting 61.4 percent from the field and 56.5 percent from 3-point range. Golden State finished the game shooting 52.4 percent.

It was the Warriors’ 204th victory over the past three regular seasons, which matches the Chicago Bulls’ mark from 1995-96 to 1997-98 for most regular-season wins in a three-season span.

Posted in Warriors | Leave a comment

‘Warriors WrapUp’: Golden State handles Wizards 139-115 for 11th straight win; Jennings says Warriors ‘disrespectful’; Curry finishes with 42; Draymond Green gets triple-double

It would be a little bit of an understatement to say that Stephen Curry started well in the Warriors’ 139-115 victory over the Washington Wizards at Oracle on Sunday. “Well” doesn’t do justice to Curry, who was in on all of the Warriors’ first 23 points.

Yep, Curry nailed four three pointers and handed out five assists in the game’s first seven-plus minutes, helping to get the Warriors — and their fans — into the game. Curry slowed down a little bit, but he still finished the first half with 22 points and six assists, and he buried 6-of-9 3-pointers. Despite hanging in for much of the first half, the Wizards still found themselves down 67-57 at halftime.


The only downside to the night for the Warriors was the way it ended — with Brandon Jennings committing a flagrant foul against JaVale McGee, who was attempting a 3-point shot late in the game … but with the shot clock still in play.

That attempt came on the heels of the Warriors spoon-feeding Draymond Green on multiple possessions in order to try to get him a triple double, which they eventually did. But Jennings said he felt the Warriors were being disrespectful, and even Steve Kerr didn’t completely disagree.

Kerr apologized for McGee’s shot and acknowledged that he was “uncomfortable” with it. Still that couldn’t overshadow Curry’s performance.

Curry’s third quarter wasn’t quite as good as his first, though he did have 15 points, while backcourt mate Klay Thompson had 12. By that time, the Warriors led 106-88.¬†Curry’s line was a thing of beauty. He had 42 points in just 35 minutes, going 15-for-22 from the field, including 9-for-14 from beyond the arc. He had eight assists and one lonely turnover.

Curry hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter to give him 300 for the season. He is the only player in NBA history with 300-plus 3-pointers in a single season. He has now done so twice. Last year Curry finished the season with 402 3-pointers, a league record.

The Warriors, of course, have put together this 11-game winning streak without the services of Kevin Durant, who has an injured left leg. Durant continues to make progress and the issue isn’t if he’ll return, it’s when.

Though the Warriors have ruled him out for the next two games — vs. Minnesota and at Phoenix — it is likely he’ll return for the last game or so before the Warriors head into the postseason.

Draymond Green finished with a triple double, scoring 11 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out 13 assists … never mind the Warriors purposely were feeding him for a bucket because he was two points short — until he buried a 3-pointer with under a minute.

Posted in Warriors | Leave a comment

‘NBA This Week’: Interview with Warriors assistant GM Travis Schlenk

Had a good, solid 20-plus minute interview with Golden State Warriors assistant general manager Travis Schlenk during the “NBA This Week.” Schlenk has been around since the Mike Montgomery era, and he has methodically moved up the organizational chart and is now one of the team’s important decision-makers.


We had a chance to ask Schlenk about a variety of topics, including:

–The emergence of Draymond Green as one of the best players in the NBA. Schlenk was largely responsible for the decision to draft Green, and we asked him what he saw in the former Michigan State forward.

Schlenk said that while the Warriors never expected Green to be this impactful, they did like his ability to pass, the fact he played four years in college and his competitiveness. But Schlenk went into more detail about Green and his game.

Continue reading

Posted in Warriors | Leave a comment

‘Warriors WrapUp’: Golden State locks up Rockets, Harden again in 107-98 victory; JaVale McGee makes impact on both ends of floor; 10 straight wins for Warriors

Preview of the Western Conference finals? We’ll see. But nobody will complain if the Warriors and Rockets wind up playing to determine which team will play in the NBA Finals.

Despite both teams essentially being locked into their current seeding, they found a way to play a tough, competitive game at Oracle Arena on Friday — a game that was eventually won by the Warriors 107-98. It was the 10th consecutive victory for the Warriors.


The Warriors (62-14) lead the Spurs in the battle for the the No. 1 overall seed in the West by 3.5 games with just six games remaining. So they’ve pretty much wrapped that up. Similarly, the Rockets are all but locked in to the No. 3 spot — too far behind No. 2 San Antonio and too far ahead of No. 4 Utah.

The Warriors found themselves down most of the night until a 12-0 run midway through the fourth quarter put them in control 100-92. During that stretch, the Rockets came up empty on nine consecutive possessions and went more than six minutes without a score.

It was another long night for Houston’s James Harden against the Warriors, and he’s likely getting tired of them at this point. Harden finished with just 17 points and went 4-for-18 from the floor, including 2-for-9 from the 3-point line. The Warriors did a nice job of keeping Harden off the foul line, allowing him there for only seven attempts.

In four games against the Warriors this year, Harden went 23-for-74 from the field (31 percent) and 5-for-34 from beyond the arc (14.7 percent). He also committed 26 turnovers in those four games.

It was the defense that keyed this one for Golden State. The Rockets scored just 13 points in the fourth quarter and were outscored 19-6 over the final 9:41 of regulation. The Warriors finished their season-series with the Rockets having won three of four.

Stephen Curry finished with 24 points and Klay Thompson 20, but it was JaVale McGee who really gave the Warriors a boost when they needed it. McGee was a big-time factor on both ends of the floor, putting all the garbage in at the offensive end and defending the rim at the other. McGee had 13 points, four rebounds and five blocks in just 11 minutes. But the Warriors outscored Houston by 10 points with McGee on the floor.


Posted in Warriors | Leave a comment

‘Warriors WrapUp’: Golden State rallies from way back, gets signature win over Spurs 110-98; Warriors a virtual lock for No. 1 seed in West; nine straight wins without Kevin Durant

Well, that was the signature win of the year for the Warriors. They went into San Antonio on Wednesday, got behind by 22 points, and then used a stifling and aggressive defense to claw all the way back and then some, winning 110-98.

The victory essentially paves the way for the Warriors to roll into the postseason as the No. 1 seed in the West. The Warriors now lead the Spurs by 3.5 games, with just seven games left to play. Six of those games are at home for Golden State.


Safe to say the Warriors have figured things out without Kevin Durant, who has been out with a knee injury since the beginning of March. The Warriors have won nine straight games, and the icing on the cake is Durant may return by the end of the regular season. In Durant’s absence, plenty of Warriors have picked up the slack — and Wednesday was no different.

After getting behind 29-7, the Warriors (61-14) put it all together and there were all sorts of contributions. David West played a terrific game on both ends of the floor, finishing with 15 points, five assists, four rebounds and two blocked shots in just 22 minutes. Andre Iguodala continued his phenomenal play, scoring 14 points and being an important cog in a defense that stymied San Antonio after their hot start.

The Spurs scored just 41 points in the second half, and shot only 41 percent from the game. Kawhi Leonard, facing multiple defenders and plenty of attention from the Warriors’ help, had 19 points on 7-for-20 from the field. At various times Leonard found himself guarded by Matt Barnes, Iguodala, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson.

Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 29 points and he also played a wonderful floor game, handing out 11 assists and turning the ball over just twice. Thompson finished with 23 points on 9-for-16 from the floor.





Posted in Warriors | Leave a comment

Draymond Green is right on the money about Raiders’ move to Las Vegas; we’re all figuring out how we’re going to handle it

We know that Draymond Green is outspoken, and we know he doesn’t mind voicing his opinion. Particularly when he is asked for it. After the Warriors defeated the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night, Green was asked about the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas and how he feels about it.

As usual, Green didn’t hold back. Among other things, Green said: “If I was a fan, I wouldn’t attend a game the next few years. But that’s just me. That’s ridiculous. No way I’d pay money to attend a game.”

A day after those comments were made, they’re still resonating. The bottom line is that Green struck on a very strong sentiment. The fact of the matter is that Green is dealing with something most Raiders’ fans in Oakland are dealing with: How to approach this team moving forward.

Continue reading

Posted in Warriors | Leave a comment

‘Warriors WrapUp’: Golden State gets it done, beats Rockets 113-106; Harden bottled up; Curry, Thompson with big games

The Warriors guards played well; The Rockets guards didn’t. That’s about all you need to know about the Warriors’ 113-106 win over Houston on Tuesday. Stephen Curry had 32 points, including (what else?) a couple of big buckets late that sealed thing for the Warriors, Klay Thompson did his thing, too, finishing with 25 points.

James Harden suffered another horrible shooting game against the Warriors, going 5-for-20 from the field, while missing eight of his nine 3-point attempts. Harden is 19-for-56 from the field (33.9 percent) and 3-for-25 from 3-point range (12 percent) this year against the Warriors. Eric Gordon, one of Harden’s partners in the backcourt went just 3-for-9 from the floor.

It was the Warriors’ eighth consecutive win and moved them 2.5 games ahead of San Antonio for the best record in the Western Conference.


Continue reading

Posted in Warriors | 3 Comments

‘Warriors WrapUp’: Golden State grinds one out against Memphis, wins 106-94; Curry flurry puts game away; Thompson finishes with 31 points

The Warriors played in the mud most of Sunday night, which is what happens sometimes when you play the Memphis Grizzlies. It took Stephen Curry’s fourth-quarter flurry to finally get the Warriors some separation and they rode it to a 106-94

Golden State (59-14) has now won seven consecutive games and lead the San Antonio Spurs by 2.5 games in the battle for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.


Curry was in the midst of a so-so game when he came back into the game midway through the fourth quarter and the Warriors up just five. Curry promptly delivered a nice pass that turned into an assist after David West buried a jumper and then he followed that up with a 3-pointer. That bucket gave the Warriors a 96-86 lead — their biggest of the game.

Curry finished with 21 points and took care of the finish. Klay Thompson had 31 points, including 7-for-11 from 3-point range, and took care of much of the third quarter. Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 29 points.

After bumping and grinding for more than a half, the Warriors seemed poised to finally put some distance between themselves and the Grizzlies late in the third quarter. Getting contributions from Matt Barnes and Andre Iguodala the Warriors took an 81-72 lead, their biggest of the night up to that point. But Conley spearheaded a quick and efficient 9-0 run and just like that it was all tied. The Warriors took a two-point lead heading into the fourth. It stayed tight till Curry did his thing.

For a good chunk of the first half Memphis did Memphis things to the Warriors, slowing them down and making them appear disjointed. Meanwhile, at the offensive end, the Grizzlies made sure to play at their glacial pace, which is always a good way to try to go about slowing down the Warriors.

But it’s tough to totally slow down the Warriors when they go 17-for-31 from the 3-point line, which they did. Meanwhile the Grizzlies made just 8-for-29 from 3-point range.


Posted in Warriors | Leave a comment