Warriors

Kevin Durant offers analysis of top West contenders: 'That's a smart move'

durant-harden-cp3-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Kevin Durant offers analysis of top West contenders: 'That's a smart move'

The Warriors were so dominant this past season, they forced several top contenders to make surprising moves in an attempt to compete with the champs during the 2017-18 season.

The Rockets acquired Chris Paul. The Clippers signed Danilo Gallinari and European guard Milos Teodosic. The Thunder got Paul George from Indiana. The T'Wolves added Jimmy Butler and Jeff Teague. Denver signed Paul Millsap. Boston and Cleveland have (tentatively) swapped Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas. The Celtics also signed Gordon Hayward.

And Kevin Durant has some interesting thoughts on most of those moves. While speaking on The Bill Simmons Podcast recently, the NBA Finals MVP was asked about the Rockets, Thunder, Clippers, T'Wolves, Nuggets and the big Cavs-Celtics trade.

Durant on the Irving-Thomas trade:

I don't think that was because of us.

Durant on the Rockets trading for Paul:

I'm not surprised by anything, but it was kind of like 'Hmm. Damn, that's a smart move. I wouldn't think anybody would be that smart to pull that off.' I think it was a great move. You put two guys together that are crafty with the ball, they're going to get everybody shots and they going to get each other shots. It was a ballsy move to pull off by [Rockets GM Daryl] Morey. I don't think anybody would have thought to do that.

Durant on the Thunder added George to MVP Russell Westbrook.

That was a shock too. That was a shock. That was shocking because Indiana just gave him away. And I didn't think OKC would even think about giving up anything for to trade for him. I didn't think they'd do it. That was a ballsy move.

Durant on the retooled Clippers:

Teodosic...I can't wait to see him play. He made the greatest pass I ever seen my life last summer. We was all like 'How the hell did you see that?' He was running towards to the sideline and flicked around his head through two people on a dime, and he was at the 3-point line...with his right hand. It kind of faked me out. I spinned in a circle. I was like 'that's the greatest pass I've ever seen...from anybody.' Best pass I've ever seen. So I'm excited to see how he plays.

You could tell that at some point everybody there needed some new life and energy. Whether it was somebody leaving or somebody bringing in another big player, they needed new energy. And you can sense that now with the Clippers, especailly with Doc just being the head coach now. I think that's going to be good for them.

Durant on the new-look Timberwolves:

[Butler] was hurt. I could tell he was hurt he got traded. Ain't not loyalty, man. Do your thing, Jimmy.

That's a lot of talent. Let's see how that works.

Let’s go down the line with that:

Now Teague. Can’t really shoot that well but he can play. He need the ball though. And Jimmy. He can shoot it, but he need a rhythm so he need the ball, too. [Andrew] Wiggins, he the same way. He need the ball. They can all score. They all good, but somebody gotta give up something….

I’m just saying somebody will have to give up something in their games in order for it to work, and I believe that they will. But [Karl-Anthony] Towns needs to be the guy that they get the ball to, I think, because he’s so good. Jimmy needs to be facilitating. Wiggins is going to be the guy if you need a basket, he’s going to be the finisher.

Durant on the Nuggets:

Yo, they're the second best offense in the league. They were second in the league in the assists, they can shoot the 3-pointer, they got passing in their bigs and they got small guards. I think they need a point guard that they really, really believe in because they were putting [Emmanuel] Mudiay on the bench sometimes because he was hurt and they played Jameer [Nelson] and they were trying to make the playoffs so they didn't want to mess the rhythm up. I get it, but I feel like they need a stable point guard that they trust. And hopefully that's Mudiay because I'm pulling for him. But I like their team, their offense, Mike Malone. Man, when Sacramento let him go, I was like 'What are you doing?' This dude is a guru.

Gameday: Curry out for payback against Conley, new-look Grizzlies

curry-conley-usatsi.jpg
USATSI

Gameday: Curry out for payback against Conley, new-look Grizzlies

When the Warriors set foot in FedEx Forum on Saturday, they’ll find a very different atmosphere as well as a barely recognizable team of Memphis Grizzlies.

The Grindhouse is not the same. Zach Randolph and Vince Carter have left the building. So, too, has the “Grindfather” himself, Tony Allen.

So in their only trip to Memphis this season, the Warriors will focus mostly on point guard Mike Conley and center Marc Gasol, the remaining core members of the team that reached the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons.

The Warriors (1-1) will be playing for the second night in a row, while the Grizzlies (1-0) have not played since their season opener Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:05 p.m.

BETTING LINE:
Warriors by 8.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Stephen Curry vs. Mike Conley: Curry has a long memory, and he will remember not only that the Warriors last season lost twice to the Grizzlies but also that Conley’s 27 points and clutch play offset Curry’s 40 points and led Memphis to an overtime win in Oakland. It won’t matter to Curry that the Warriors posted double-digit wins over the Grizzlies in the last two meetings last season. He may want to take over.

INJURY LIST:
Warriors: F Omri Casspi (L ankle sprain) has been ruled out.

Grizzlies: F JaMychal Green (L ankle sprain), G Ben McLemore (R foot surgery) and G/F Wayne Selden Jr. (R quad injury) are listed as out.

RECENT SERIES HISTORY:
The Warriors have won five of the last seven in Memphis and 10 of the last 13 meetings overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH:
BREEZE OR WHEEZE: Coach Steve Kerr has expressed some concern about the team’s conditioning level. On the second night of their first back-to-back set -- with the Warriors arriving at the hotel at 2:30 a.m. -- it could provide a glimpse of their progress. Kerr said he would consider resting one or two players. Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala, both coming off injuries, would seem logical candidates.

GEORGIA VS. SPAIN: The Republic of Georgia’s Zaza Pachulia and Spain’s Marc Gasol know each other well, having spent years battling internationally and in the NBA. There will be no surprises, but Pachulia will have to avoid foul trouble to remain a part of his team’s defensive rotation against one of the league’s best big men.

HOT KLAY: Klay Thompson is off to a torrid start, shooting 11-of-18 from beyond the arc through the first two games. And now he won’t have to worry about Allen, who relished in opportunities to defend the Warriors All-Star. Memphis replaced Allen with Andrew Harrison, who is not in the Grindfather’s class as a defender.

Klay Thompson makes pledge to North Bay fire relief efforts

klay-thompson-shot-harden-defense.jpg
USATI

Klay Thompson makes pledge to North Bay fire relief efforts

Klay Thompson is putting his money where his mouth is.

[POOLE: Unprompted remarks about wildfires show Klay isn't who you thought he was]

Shortly before Noon PT on Friday, Klay posted a 30-second video to Twitter to let it be known that he is donating to the North Bay fire relief.

"Hey everyone. As we all know, Northern California has been tragically effected by these wildfires for the past few weeks. 

And I will be pledging $1,000 per point I score for the next three home games. And you can donate as well by clicking on the link below.

We will be donating to the Redwood Credit Union's fire relief efforts. Let's stick together because a lot of loved ones and families have been displaced and lost from these terrible events.

Property has been damanged but we can build this thing back up if we stick together and donate.

Thank you for listening."

The Warriors' next three home games are:

1) October 25 vs Toronto (18.7 points over 11 career games)
2) October 27 vs Washington (18.4 points over 11 career games)
3) October 29 vs Detroit (18.2 points over 11 career games)

Hopefully the Warriors will be able to create a lot of good looks for Klay during that stretch...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller