Warriors

Biedrins on returning to form: 'I think I can get there'

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Biedrins on returning to form: 'I think I can get there'

OAKLAND -- Warriors center Andris Biedrins said at media dayon Monday that he is ready and committed for the upcoming season. Ordinarily, aplayer wouldnt have to make that kind of declaration on Day 1, but Biedrinscircumstances arent ordinary.Biedrins was the only Warriors player who didnt participatein optional workouts earlier this month, and then coach Mark Jackson publiclyexpressed disappointment about it.But Biedrins was alongside his teammates on Monday, thefirst official day of training camp.My commitment level has always been the same as it is now and like it was before, said Biedrins, entering his ninth NBA season. Thatdoesnt mean just because I wasnt here I wasnt practicing. I was practicinghard, twice a day, for the past month. I feel great. As long as I can help,come in here in great shape at the start of training camp with the other guys,thats almost the same thing.Like he has done in previous offseasons, Biedrins spent mostof the month of September in Santa Barbara working out.None of this would be in issue, of course, if it werent forthe fact that Biedrins career is in a three-year free fall. In 2008-09,Biedrins averaged 11.9 points, 11.2 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game. Sincethen hes been a shell of himself, and his numbers and playing time haveshrunk.RELATED: Andris Biedrins career stats News
Nobodys been able to explain why exactly this has happened,including Biedrins. But he said on Monday he thinks he can return to the playerhe once was.I think it is (possible to get back to where he was),Biedrins said. I think physically Im there. A lot has to do with just kind ofbelieving in yourself more than I am. Ive had frustrating years and you kindof stop believing in yourself so much as you did before like three years ago.Thats the main reason. But I think I can get there.Assuming Andrew Bogut is healthy, Biedrins is going to haveto get there coming off the bench. And hes expected to get some competition atbackup center from rookie Festus Ezeli.He just needs to realize thats hes not a bad basketballplayer, Bogut said of Biedrins. Regardless of what people say, he can helpus. My message to him would be: You can help us. What people say? Who cares?You proved that (you could play) a couple of years ago. No excuse why he cantdo it now.

RELATED: Five takeaways from Warriors media day
Whatever your past coaches, whatever your past generalmanagers, whatever the past fans have said, who cares? He can help us. I thinkif he hears that from us, it will help him.The key for the Warriors will be to try to keep Biedrins inthe fold. He has had flashes over the past few years but hes been nowhere nearconsistent.We need to get his confidence level back to where he canhelp us, Bogut said. Hes 7-foot, he can move, hes mobile. He can rebound.He can block shots. We need to get him to do it again.Biedrins acknowledged on Monday that his confidence haswavered in the recent past. But he feels that might be changing.I think its much higher than it was last year, Biedrinssaid of his confidence. I think I had a great month now and I was practicing alot and I feel good about myself. So, well see when training camp starts andIm excited to play with the guys.

Curry claims he didn't throw mouthguard at ref: 'I've got a pretty good aim'

Curry claims he didn't throw mouthguard at ref: 'I've got a pretty good aim'

Just before the Warriors officially lost the game in Memphis on Saturday night, their superstar point guard lost his cool.

After not getting a foul call with 43 seconds left in the game, Steph Curry chucked his mouthguard in the direction of referee Scott Wall in a fit of rage reminiscent of Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Wall immediately ejected Curry, who continued to argue with the officials.

After the game, Curry wanted to make it clear he wasn't trying to his Wall with his mouthguard.

"If I tried to throw it at him and hit him, I've got a pretty good aim," Curry said told reporters after the game. "I've thrown my mouthpiece plenty of times and thrown it on the floor. Probably not the best thing to do, but I've done it. I own up to it.

"If I was trying to throw it at him or hit him, I would have been able to executed that."

Curry explained why he reacted the way he did.

"That last play, I thought I got fouled. My frustration boiled over, did something stupid, deserved to get kicked out and that's what happened. Obviously learn from it and try not to do it again," Curry told reporters.

Now Curry and the Warriors wait to see if the NBA will suspend or fine him. He has an expectation of what the punishment will be.

"Don't think it will be a suspension or anything. My pockets will be a lot lighter," Curry said after the game.

What's caused Warriors' slow start and why it should come as no surprise

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What's caused Warriors' slow start and why it should come as no surprise

It’s much too early to get legitimately nervous, much less start tumbling into a panic.

The Warriors are going to be fine.

Eventually.

They most certainly are not yet what they will become in about two weeks, when they settle in for a four-game homestand that begins Nov. 6. That’s 10 games into the season, and it’s conceivable the Warriors might be 6-4.

After a 111-101 loss to the ever-tenacious Grizzlies on Saturday in Memphis, the Warriors are 1-2 and, by their lofty standard, looking about as lost as a stray cat in a hurricane.

“We’re obviously not ready. We knew that,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’re not ready to put together a full effort. And I’m not doing a great job of putting together combinations, finding the right motivation to get guys going, to get some joy and laughter in here.

“It’s just one of those rough patches. And, hopefully, we can climb our way out of it. I’m sure we will. It may take some time.”

It will take some time, and of that there is plenty.

Do not blame this lull entirely on China, not when there is so much more. The Warriors are coming off their third consecutive prolonged season, this one followed by the training camp disruption caused by spending eight days in Oakland, eight days in China, followed by eight days in Oakland leading up to opening night.

It’s easy to see the timing is off on an offense that relies on precision. The spacing is off on an offense that requires room to operate. The energy is lacking on a defense that lapses into ordinary without its bedrock intensity. Both body and spirit appear less than peak.

“We’ve been playing hard,” Kevin Durant told reporters at FedEx Forum, “but I think we’ve got to take it up a level.

“We’ll be fine. It’s 79 more games left. I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”

Understand, a team that won an NBA-best 67 games last season and posted a league-record 16-1 postseason doesn’t lose it because opponents load up. When the Warriors are on their game, opponents don’t matter.

For now, though, there is an individual listlessness that results in collective slumber. Stephen Curry has gambled himself in foul trouble in both losses and was booted in Memphis. Andre Iguodala missed an entire game and Draymond Green missed the fourth quarter of the first loss, a game in which the Warriors gave up a 13-point lead over the final 12 minutes.

And Durant’s 4.6 blocks per game is impressive. It also happens to be offset by his 6.3 turnovers per game.

“That’s on me,” he said. “I’m turning the ball over at a high rate right now. I’m really pissed at myself about it. I’ve just got to hold on to the ball. Just make the correct pass. I think I’m just rushing. I just need to calm down, settle down, and that would ignite the whole team. But if I turn the ball over, that’s contagious.”

The Rockets turned 17 Warriors giveaways into 21 points. The Pelicans turned 14 into 20. The Grizzlies turned 17 into 24.

Asked what has to change, Klay Thompson went to exactly the right place, saying “probably our defensive intensity from the jump.”

That’s where it starts, at least on the court. Meanwhile, there is more video work, more group texts about details and the need for more time for their bodies and minds to become one.

“We’ll be better,” Durant said. “We’re still finding a groove with each other. We’re still getting back into shape as far as playing our game, the flow, just the reads off not calling plays. We’ve got to get used to that again.”

Thompson is, however, displaying a modicum of impatience.

“We’ll come out Monday and we’ll play a great game,” he said. “I guarantee it.”

He’s probably right. The Warriors will be playing at Dallas, against a Mavericks team that is built to be devoured by the powerful.

That might be a quick fix. But it won’t be the final fix. That is weeks away.