With praise pouring in, McCaw's father keeps him grounded

With praise pouring in, McCaw's father keeps him grounded

SAN DIEGO – The praise is coming in waves at Warriors rookie Patrick McCaw. It’s coming from teammates and coaches and opponents. It’s enough to make the soft-spoken 20-year-old believe he’s worthy of a maximum contract.

Like, next week.

Acclaim finds those who enter the NBA with the game of a baller and the composure of a veteran, and when they do things beyond what could reasonably be expected of someone who was drafted in the second round.

“I’ve never really received this much praise,” McCaw says.

There is, however, a voice that keeps him grounded. It is that of his father, Jeff McCaw Sr.

Patrick and his father talk after games, with dad offering both advice and critique. It doesn’t matter if his son gets four steals, as Patrick did in his preseason debut on Oct. 1, or hits the game-tying shot in regulation and the game-winner in overtime, as he did in his fourth game, last Friday in Denver.

“It’s great to always have him in my ear, giving his final thought after I hear things from KD (Kevin Durant) and Zaza (Pachulia) and Steph (Curry) and Klay (Thompson),” Patrick says. “And he still has that one thing that they might have missed out on.”

That’s what dads are for, particularly when they have a background in the game. Jeff McCaw was a high school point guard who later turned to coaching at the high school level in greater St. Louis.

Though he didn’t create Patrick in a factory, Jeff instilled much of the principles that define his son’s game, best described as “find a way to make a positive impact at both ends.”

McCaw’s defense is solid, his anticipation top-notch. He shoots well, though not exceptionally. He has a good handle and he sees the court exceedingly well. Being around the game almost since he could walk, Patrick always seems comfortable on the court, no matter the situation.

“He’s definitely an NBA player,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr says.

“He’s a smart player; he knows how to play the game,” Warriors teammate Andre Iguodala says of McCaw. “He’s going to play.”

That’s the kind of praise McCaw has been hearing since July, when the UNLV product shined during Summer League in Las Vegas. It hasn’t stopped.

“I’m still kind of a fan of myself, and I really don’t take any of the accolades or things like that to my head,” he says. “Even the buzzer-beater (against the Nuggets) . . . I just looked at it like another game.”

They all look like just another game, though the real games begin until next week. And Patrick expects Jeff McCaw will be on the line, having watched the game in person or on TV before relaying his postgame analysis.

Patrick is accustomed to it. He seems to embrace it, marveling at tips he believes can enhance his development.

“He can remember almost every play,” Patrick says of his dad. “If it was a missed steal or anything, he knows it. It’s kind of crazy, it’s kind of weird, getting that call from him and knowing he’s going to tell me exactly what I did wrong or right.”

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss


Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

OAKLAND -- If Quinn Cook plays at anything close to the level he performed Friday night against the Kings, the Warriors should avoid any catastrophic stumbling in the absence of their top three scorers.

They stumbled plenty in a 98-93 loss to Sacramento, but not because of Cook. The two-way player who has spent most of the season with G-League Santa Cruz scored a team-high 25 points, shot 10-of-13 from the field and played respectable defense.

He did more than could have been reasonably expected.

“I felt like this was coming,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was fantastic. He really lit it up and gave us a huge boost.”

The Warriors ran into problems elsewhere, shared among the usually reliable veterans who need to be particularly reliable in the absence of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Usual starters Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined to shoot 6-of-20.

Usual reserves Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Nick Young shot a collective 13-of-39.

In the second half, when Warriors mustered only 34 points -- a season-low for any half -- the six vets combined to take 32 shots and missed 24.

Those are atrocious numbers and they explain what went wrong in a game that was there for the taking.

They’re also an anomaly.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Green said. “But we got some good shots. We got ‘Dre on a couple of pull-ups in the lane, I got a couple open shots, Nick got a couple open shots, Zaza got a couple open ones. D-West had one pop in and out. (Kevon Looney) had two pop in and out.

“We just got cold. But hopefully those shots will fall tomorrow.”

West, returning after missing four games with a cyst on his right arm, was 1-of-6 from the field. He came into this game as a 60.8-percent shooter this season.

Igoudala was 4-of-10; he shot 70 percent over the previous 10 games. Young was 5-of-15, well below his 44-percent shooting this season. Livingston’s 3-of-8 shooting is uncharacteristic of someone shooting at least 50 percent for four years running.

If history is any indication, Green (5-of-14) and Pachulia (1-of-6) are not going continue to miss at the rate they did in this game, the first this season in which the Warriors were without all three of their top scorers.

If history is any indication, the Warriors can’t be counted on to score 34 points on 27.3-percent shooting in the second half of a game.

“I loved how our guys battled,” Kerr said. “They really competed well and made some big plays. We just couldn’t get the ball to go down quite enough in the second half.”

That’s going to change, perhaps as soon as Saturday night in Phoenix, were the Suns are playing to lose.

So if Cook plays steady basketball, the Warriors will fall off and their fans won’t become a basket case while waiting for the three shooters. The Warriors surely believe that.

“He really showed up. I’ve been waiting on that Quinn,” Green said. “We needed that. It was great for him to come out and play like that. And most importantly, his shots were falling. Since he’s been playing (more often) he’s been playing well, but his shots weren’t really falling. But tonight, they fell for him.”

They won’t always fall at a rate of 77 percent. They won’t have to once his teammates drop in a few more of their own shots.

Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings


Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings

OAKLAND -- Omri Casspi sustained a sprained right ankle with 9:00 left in the second quarter of the Warriors-Kings game Friday night and did not return.

After dropping in a short hook shot with 9:04 left in the quarter, Casspi landed awkwardly, rolling his ankle and dropping to the floor clutching his lower leg. Down for a couple minutes, he eventually got up and limped into the locker room, accompanied by physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane.

Casspi played six minutes off the bench, producing 6 points, one assist and one rebound against his former team.

He joins Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Pat McCaw and Klay Thompson on the sideline.