Jazz's Snyder prophetic of Green's continued dominance

Jazz's Snyder prophetic of Green's continued dominance

OAKLAND -- Call it foreshadowing or maybe just a little bit of gamesmanship, but Utah Jazz head coach Quin Snyder raved about Warriors forward Draymond Green before Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Thursday evening. It’s doubtful that Green heard the comments. Or maybe he did.

In early December, Green received a text from his mother in pregame telling him that Snyder had made an off the cuff remark about his shooting before the Jazz and Warriors battled at Vivint Smart Home Arena.  

Green responded by hitting 4-of-6 from downtown while his Warriors pulled out a 106-99 victory.

Snyder carefully navigated his comments about Green in pregame on Thursday evening, heaping praise on the 27-year-old forward.

“As a coach, he’s the kind of player that you want to coach,” Snyder told a room full of reporters. “Part of the reason you want to coach him is because he has an edge. Not of that to me is ever personal. I admire him. You admire his competitiveness.”

Utah’s coach went as far as to compare Green to legendary point guard Magic Johnson because of his ability to do just about everything.

“His toughness and his tenacity and his ability is something that you respect and admire because he’s such a unique player,” Snyder added.

Green opened the series with a bang, roasting the Jazz for 17 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals and a pair of blocks in Game 1. The versatility that Snyder raved about was on full display.

In Game 2, Green made sure to show Snyder his range one more time. He began the contest with a huge block on 7-foot-1 center Rudy Gobert and then drained a 3-ball on the other end. Green continued to bomb away, dropping in four straight triples in the opening frame before bricking a final attempt as the quarter came to a close.

When it was all said and done, Green hit 5-of-8 from long range on his way to 21 points. He added seven rebounds, six assists and picked up four steals as the Warriors took a 2-0 advantage in the series and 6-0 in the 2016-17 playoffs.

Scary Moment

With 7:24 remaining in the fourth, Green went down holding his left knee. The training staff helped him to the bench, but he returned to the court to a huge ovation minutes later and helped finish off the 115-104 victory.

Curry's injury all but assures Cook's spot on playoff roster

Curry's injury all but assures Cook's spot on playoff roster

OAKLAND -- Welcome to the NBA playoffs, Quinn Cook.

Any question about whether the Warriors would add Cook to their postseason roster was clarified Saturday when an MRI test on Stephen Curry’s left knee revealed a Grade 2 MCL sprain.

Curry will be reevaluated in three weeks, which coincides with the beginning of the playoffs. It’s conceivable he will be out six weeks, in which case he would miss the entire first round and, should the Warriors advance, part of the second round.

The Warriors wouldn’t dare go into the playoffs with Shaun Livingston, the primary backup to Curry for four seasons, as the only designated point guard on the roster.

So the defending champs will turn to Cook, who was waived by lowly Atlanta last Oct. 13, four days later signed a two-way contract with the Warriors, and spent most of the past five months toiling away with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Cook’s value has been rising in recent weeks, though, as he has proved capable of producing at the NBA level. He’s the only member of the Warriors to score in double figures in each of the last five games, averaging 19.8 points, on 55.7-percent shooting, including 50 percent from deep, during that stretch.

He’s not Curry -- nobody is -- but Cook has been a terrific fill-in.

“We all love him,” Kerr said. “He’s a wonderful teammate. He’s not only a hell of a player, but the gets it. He’s a worker. He brings this great life and intelligence to the group, so he’s a big part of what we’re doing.”

Neither Kerr nor general manager Bob Myers has given any indication if they plan to add Cook to the roster. For Cook to be eligible for the postseason, the Warriors must pull him off his two-way deal and sign him to a standard NBA contract by April 11. The playoff roster must be submitted to the league by noon on April 13.

Under no circumstances can Cook be added without one of the 15 players currently under an NBA contact being released.

Meanwhile, Kerr and Myers have given every indication that they love, love, love the way Cook has responded to a need in the absence of Curry.

“He’s been great,” Myers told 95.7 FM The Game this week. “He’s been great all year, with the G-League as well. We actually targeted him as our two-way guys.”

Myers added another line that is significant: “It’s hard to find fault with Quinn as a human being.”

That testimony to Cook’s character matters because the Warriors are big on having players that fit into their culture. Cook, who turned 25 on Friday, has been a seamless fit.

Cook, for his part, credits at least a part of his success to the tutelage of Curry. The two became acquainted back in 2011, when Cook was a freshman at Duke and Seth Curry was a junior. Due to the lockout, the NBA season didn’t start until December, allowing Stephen Curry some time to hang around the college.

“It’s not like you’re always seeking him,” Cook said. “He seeks you. He knows that we all want to learn. He knows that he is where we want to get to, individually.

“When I got here, he took me under his wing. We developed a great relationship before, but now it’s even greater.”

Curry spends time going over game plans with Cook. They talk strategy. It’s an example of Curry’s leadership that he donates himself to a player who was signed mostly to play in the G-League and be available, if needed, for NBA games.

It’s too much to ask Cook to mimic Curry. It’s not too much to believe Cook can help the Warriors in the postseason, even if Curry is healthy.

With Curry out, and Livingston always on a minutes restriction -- any more than the mid-20s is a danger zone -- Cook is essential.

Curry out at least three weeks with Grade 2 MCL sprain

Curry out at least three weeks with Grade 2 MCL sprain

Stephen Curry will be reevaluated in three weeks after an MRI on Saturday revealed that the Warriors point guard suffered a Grade 2 sprain of his left MCL, the Warriors announced on Saturday. 

Curry sprained his left MCL with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter of Friday night's win over the Atlanta Hawks. Teammate JaVale McGee landed awkwardly on the two-time MVP's left leg, and Curry limped to the bench. He then headed to the locker room where he received further treatment, and did not return. 

Curry has missed 21 of the team’s 71 games this season. Before Friday, he missed the previous six games after spraining his right ankle against the San Antonio Spurs on March 2. 

Back-to-back ankle and knee injuries previously dogged Curry in the 2016 postseason. In his first game back from a right ankle sprain in the first round against the Houston Rockets, Curry suffered a Grade 1 right MCL sprain, and missed the next four games.