After Myers sends him a message, Klay finds his stroke

After Myers sends him a message, Klay finds his stroke

OAKLAND -- Acutely aware of Klay Thompson’s recent struggles with his shot but with no desire to join the stream of Warriors coaches and teammates encouraging the All-Star guard to keep firing, general manager Bob Myers offered a different message.

“I told him to have fun,” Myers said Sunday night, after Thompson played a key role in the Warriors taking a 132-113 win over the Cavaliers in Game 2 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena.

Thompson rediscovered his stroke, scoring 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-7 beyond the arc. It was only the second time in 14 postseason games that he shot higher than 50 percent, and the only time he was above 60 percent.

Thompson also grabbed seven rebounds and played typically stellar defense, but it was the sight of the ball dropping through the net that delighted the Warriors and made for a warm welcome back for coach Steve Kerr.

“I just felt like he was poised to come out and make some shots tonight, and he did,” said Kerr, who returned to the bench after a six-week absence. “And his defense again was tremendous. He guards so many people out there and he has such a responsibility with Kyrie (Irving) and switching onto LeBron (James), and I thought he was fantastic.”

Thompson missed his first shot, a 3-point attempt, but made the next three, a short jumper, a layup and a free throw -- all in a 19-second span in the first quarter.

“It did feel good to see the ball go in,” he conceded. “More importantly, it felt good to get the win. I think tonight I was just in a good rhythm. It started with getting to the basket early and taking good shots. If I do that, it’ll all even out.”

Thompson entered the game shooting 36.6 percent, the lowest figured among any Warriors player averaging more than 10 minutes a game. That has made him a popular topic of debate throughout the playoffs.

Thompson insisted he didn’t need to change much regarding his approach, and his teammates and coaches consistently expressed little concern, pointing to his general contributions to the team’s perfect postseason.

“We're never worried about him and his shooting or anything and spotlight that's on that,” Stephen Curry said. “He does so much for us on the defensive end, his presence just on the floor as a threat to shoot even if he doesn't get an attempt up.

“But definitely when he’s making shots, and a lot of timely shots tonight, they were huge. I know he didn't lose confidence in himself, at all, and knew he was helping us win, even though he wasn't shooting the ball well.”

Thompson’s defense has been a key throughout, and his primary assignment in The Finals has been Cavs star Kyrie Irving, who is shooting 40 percent (18-of-45) through the first two games.

It is Thompson’s shooting, though, that provides a different dimension to the Warriors on offense. He gives them a third sharpshooter, and the Cavaliers are short on solid defensive counter options.

He appeared to be enjoying himself.

“Everybody else was telling him to keep shooting,” Myers said. “I figured I’d leave that alone. I said, ‘Have fun.’ It’s supposed to be fun. We all need to tell ourselves that. Yes, it’s intense. Yes, it’s hard, strenuous, challenging. But there should be some part of it that you can use those three letters and have fun.

“I have no idea if that mattered or not, but I didn’t want to say the same thing everybody else was saying.”

Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut


Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut

OAKLAND -- Like much of the NBA and everyone with an interest in the Warriors, Omri Casspi has watched the emergence of Quinn Cook, who came out of the G-League and is making a strong bid to make the postseason roster.

Casspi, out since spraining his right ankle last Friday against Sacramento, happens to be at or near the top of the list of the tiny group of players that might be dropped should the Warriors decide to add Cook.

The 6-foot-9 veteran forward has heard the chatter.

“First of all, it’s you guys talking,” Casspi said, referring to media. “I don’t really feel it from the organization. At the end of the day, I’m focused on getting healthy and playing. That’s all I can control.

“I feel like the team needs me and know what I can do for the team. My focus is on getting healthy and playing.”

The Warriors have until April 11 to submit their playoff roster.

Casspi’s roster spot is in danger for three reasons.

One, he has lost confidence in his long-distance shooting, which was influential in the team’s decision to sign him to a one-year minimum contract last July.

Two, his defense has been a glaring weakness, with teams attacking him at every opportunity.

Three, he had fallen out of the rotation when the team was fully healthy and didn’t return until after succession of injuries. Casspi exceeded 10 minutes of playing time in only one of the 12 games before injuries to several teammates became a factor.

Stephen Curry’s ankle woes this season, along with Cook’s impressive play, are making a persuasive argument for adding the third-year point guard.

For now, Casspi is determined to get back on court after missing the last two games.

“With my role on this team, when I’m healthy I want to go out there and play, maybe not 100 percent healthy, but close to it,” he said. “That’s what I’m focused on, on feeling good and running up and down and being able to cut and move and be out there again with the guys.”

As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay


As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all worked up sweat Wednesday, putting the Warriors ever closer to being whole again.

Only Draymond Green did not full participate in the non-contact practice session, but he’s expected back in a matter of days.

So while the Warriors are a little more than a week away from possibly having the full squad available, they’re starting to feel a little less vulnerable.

“They’re all kind of day-to-day,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Steph is closer to playing than KD and Klay.”

Curry has not played since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle. He missed the last six games. Durant (rib cartilage injury) and Thompson (right thumb sprain) sustained their injuries on March 11 at Minnesota, though Durant played one more game, March 14, before receiving a diagnosis. Durant missed the last three games, Thompson the last four.

Green sustained a pelvic contusion Monday night at San Antonio, but believes he will be available this weekend, either Friday against Atlanta or Sunday against Utah.

Curry, though, is fully cleared for all activities.

“Steph looks great,” Kerr said. “He’s chomping at the bit. But we’ll see how he responds in the next couple days before we decide whether he plays or not.”

Durant loathes acknowledging pain or injuries, and his return will be dictated by his ability with withstanding the contact inevitable in the course of a game.

“I don’t expect KD to play this week,” Kerr said. “It’s not like a timetable . . . just sort of a feel thing. It’s symptomatic with him.”

Thompson seems, at this point, the furthest away from full activity.

“Klay did some stuff," Kerr said, “but not full participation.”