Two young backcourts: Which one is better?


Two young backcourts: Which one is better?

The Warriors front office has made it perfectly clear thatthey like their backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.A lot.A week ago, the Warriors signed Curry to a contractextension worth 44 million over four years. Owner Joe Lacob and generalmanager Bob Myers did that despite Curry coming off a season in which he missed40 games because of a persistent right ankle problem.They also did it despite concerns about Currys position,and whether hes best suited to play point guard or two guard. Nevertheless, Curry is a one-of-a-kind shooter and very nice offensive weapon. The Warriors arebanking on Curry as a point guard, of course and an upper-tier one at that.Back in March, the Warriors traded their leading scorer andfan favorite, Monta Ellis, in large part to open a spot for Thompson, a rookieat the time.The Warriors selected Thompson with the No. 11 pick in theJune 2011 draft, and it didnt take the teams front office long to determinethat it wanted Thompson to be the long-term solution at off-guard.Thompson has shown nothing but upside since he started getting consistent minutes. It's obvious that Thompson is one of the team's biggest assets.Similarly, the Cleveland Cavaliers front office likes theirbackcourt of Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, too.A lot.And thats why Wednesdays game between the Cavaliers andWarriors at Oracle Arena really holds some intrigue. There are a pair of youngand interesting backcourts that are about to match up.Irving, who won the NBAs Rookie of the Year award lastseason, is very good and getting better. Its not difficult to find people whobelieve Irving already is one of the upper-tier point guards in the league.Irving is averaging 23.8 points and six assists per gamethis season, and though his turnover count is high, few believe that will be anissue down the line.The Cavaliers selected Waiters with the No. 4 pick in thedraft in June, and hes averaging 16.3 points per game and shooting 48 percentfrom the floor.Waiters is different than Thompson. Thompson is taller andprobably a better shooter. But Waiters is a bulldog, a relentless player whohas made a name for himself with toughness and an ability to score.Hes got an all-around game and has shown the ability toknock down perimeter shots and get to the rim and finish.Curry and Thompson are different than Irving and Waiters.But they are similar in a couple of respects. One is that both duos are young,and the other is that both teams front offices believe in them.Those backcourts will be easy to compare on Wednesdaynight.

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


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.


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.