Warriors slap themselves awake before sleep time at All-Star break

Warriors slap themselves awake before sleep time at All-Star break

The Golden State Warriors had a hard time getting involved with the task at hand Wednesday night – namely, packing for the weekend.
Their basketball work, on the other hand – well, they came as close as a team can come to doing it in their sleep. And if there is a lesson in that, it can be found upside the Sacramento Kings’ collecting skulls. 
In boxing the Kings, 106-83, almost entirely on the strength of an overwhelming third quarter, the Warriors eased into the All-Star break four games clear of the San Antonio Spurs and playing largely against their own standard until the playoffs begin a million years from now.
Wednesday’s odd twist, which didn’t really move the needle all that much, was that Draymond Green got hurled into the ether in the final minute of the first half for two staccato waves of disgust and a pungent and disputatious colloquialism at official Ron Garretson. The technical fouls are his ninth and 10th of the season, closing the gap between him and league leader DeMarcus Cousins to seven, and that of suspension by the NBA’s Bureau Of Politeness to six.
But in his absence, the Warriors put up their 16th 40-point quarter of the season, blitzing the Kings, 42-15, largely behind Klay Thompson’s shooting (17 points on five-of-six) and Patrick McCaw’s ridiculous defensive work (he was plus-28 in 10 minutes).
And it wasn’t so much that they were beating the Kings as a show of solidarity for their wronged colleague (Green was called for a wonky foul but earned the two technicals) but as a realization that they were going to have to work much harder and more efficiently to slap themselves from their first-half torpor.
And slap they did, as they usually do. Thompson was the obvious catalyst, McCaw the omnipresent annoyance, and Kevin Durant (21/7/7) was properly Durant-y, but they also excised DeMarcus Cousins (a paltry 13/4/6 in 22 minutes) from the Kings’ game, in all putting down a 28-2 run in less than seven minutes to more than negate the fact that the Kings were three points better in the other 41.
But that’s Golden State in a pretty mahiogany box. The Warriors do that a lot, which is why they have won 34 of its 47 victories by double digits, and 17 by 20 or more. They have elevated the bar of stimulus for their home crowds to the point where they sounded almost Staples Center-disinterested through the first half. It took a Thompson 3 and then a Curry 3 a minute later to get them involved at all, but as the Kings kept going down the floor to achieve nothing over 16 possessions, the crowd got their time-released jollies and went home satisfied if not tingly. 
The game spoke very little new of the Warriors, but it showed the Kings what the reward for finishing eighth will be. True, the Kings will take anything given that they have missed the playoffs with a stirring consistency this past decade, and since the Warriors are almost certainly going to win the conference and Oklahoma City is almost certainly uncatchable, the Warriors would be their only fate.
And it would be a fate that would probably look a lot more like Wednesday’s than the Kings’ overtime win two Saturdays ago. Such is the gulf between the two, Draymond Green or no Draymond Green.
Not that that’s news or anything, but it’s all there is before this eight-day break. The Kings are in a death-war with Denver and Dallas and Portland and New Orleans and Minnesota, and the Warriors . . . are just the Warriors. Even if, as they were Wednesday night, just the Warriors for 12 minutes.

Former agent Christian Dawkins to blame? Jordan Bell knows 'exactly what happened'


Former agent Christian Dawkins to blame? Jordan Bell knows 'exactly what happened'

So here's a story for you:

At 9:25pm on April 16, 2017, The Vertical's Shams Charania sent out the following tweet:

This angered Jordan Bell, who soon thereafter tweeted twice:

So what actually went down? It turns out that former agent Christian Dawkins -- who is a key figure in the FBI's investigation into corruption in college basketball -- may have been responsible.

Bell explained everything to Logan Murdock on the Planet Dubs Podcast.

"I was mad ... I know exactly what happened. One of the agents I met with -- the one who got in trouble. What's his name? Dawkins or whatever. Something like that. When I met with him, he was throwing me shade -- he acted like he didn't know who I was. 

"We had dinner and he's on his phone like not really paying me attention. I'm like, 'Why am I meeting with you?  You're wasting my time.' ... I kid you not, he didn't read over his (research). It had all of the top power forwards, big guys in the draft. And he was like, 'Let's just look at this.'

"And he's looking at it, and he was like, 'Oh! You're Top 3 in everything!' And he started getting excited and I was like, 'I'm cool. I'm done with this meeting.'"

Bell then explained how one of his coaches at Oregon tried to teach Bell a lesson.

The coach wanted Bell to "be a man" and contact all of the agents that he was for sure not going to sign with to let them know.

Bell didn't want to do that because he wanted to announce he was declaring for the draft on his own terms, without any information potentially leaking to the media.

But the Warriors rookie took the coach's advice and texted Dawkins to say he was going in a different direction.

"And I kid you not, like an hour later, I get an (alert) -- I'm upstairs at my coach's house -- 'I hear Jordan Bell declares for (the draft)' and I just started screaming...

"... I feel like I have to go (to the NBA) now ... when that happened, I was like, 'I really want to go back now just to prove him wrong, just to make him lose all credibility."

Bell quickly came to his senses, and at 10am on April 18, 2017, he retweeted the following message:

Interestingly -- the last line of The Vertical's story that broke the news regarding Bell reads:

Bell is projected to be the No. 38 overall pick in The Vertical’s latest mock draft by Jonathan Givony of DraftExpress.

The Warriors paid the Bulls $3.5 million for the rights to Bell at... No. 38 overall.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Steph Curry knows it comes with risk, but he's not going to change the way he plays


Steph Curry knows it comes with risk, but he's not going to change the way he plays

OAKLAND -- When he returns to the Warriors, likely on Friday, Stephen Curry will alter nothing about his game despite coming off a four-month period during which his surgically repaired right ankle endured multiple aggravations.

He’ll be the same Curry that fans have come to know, diving into passing lanes on defense while firing up 3-pointers and darting in and out of paint traffic on offense.

It’s the only way he knows how to play, and he’s played long enough to accept that it comes with risk.

“When I wake up in the morning I’ll know the difference between my right (ankle) and my left,” Curry said Thursday after practice. “But that won’t stop me from being who I am on the floor and having confidence in myself when I get back out there.”

Curry missed 11 games after spraining his ankle on Dec. 4 in New Orleans. He missed two games after tweaking it in shootaround on Jan 10. He missed no games after tweaking it March 2 in Atlanta. He has missed the last six games after tweaking it on March 8 against the Spurs.

“I’ve been very durable over the course of my career,” said Curry, who is listed as probable but fully expects to play Friday against Atlanta. “It’s just that I’ve had three untimely, freak accidents happen.”

Curry stepped on E’twaun Moore’s foot in New Orleans, on Zaza Pachulia’s foot in Atlanta and Dejounte Murray’s foot against the Spurs at Oracle Arena.

Not once in the previous five regular seasons did Curry miss significant time due to his tricky ankle. He missed a total of 16 games during that span, never more than four in a season, and six of those were for reasons of rest.

This season, however, has tested Curry’s patience like nothing since 2011-12, after which he had his second ankle surgery. He concedes that being in and out of the lineup has left him at times feeling “boredom, monotony and frustration.”

Though some of that can be attributed to the rehab process, there is no doubt part of that stems from watching the Warriors from the sideline.

With Curry out of the lineup this season, the Warriors are 13-8 (he missed one game with a hand bruise, another with a thigh bruise). That they are 40-10 when he’s in the lineup illustrates his importance.

It’s not just that he’s important. Curry is the catalyst for the offense and he can only be that if he is playing without regard for the possibility of injury. A hesitant Curry can’t be an effective Curry, so full throttle is the only way to go.

"If we’re trying to win a championship, I need to be out there,” he said. “That’s a given. We want every single guy out there, healthy and available, myself included. That’s the ideal situation.”

If he gets hurt along the way, so be it. As man of faith, he believes that anything that happens is influenced by a higher power.

“It doesn’t matter if I’m shooting 3s or pullups are going into the lane or playing defense, that’s liable to happen any time,” Curry said. “Other than those instances, I haven’t had anything to worry about on the injury front. We are prisoners of the moment when it comes (playing the game). I don’t feel like I’m at a point where I have to change anything based on me being a durable player and being on the court consistently.

“Down the line, if you ask me about it in three of four years, there might be something I might need to change. But not right now.”

There is a segment of fans, worried about Curry’s health and realizing it is tied to the fate of the team, who would like him to dial back his aggression. Maybe avoid the paint and settle for more jump shots. He’s heard the advice and is not unwilling to launch a few more shots from deep.

But Curry is going to go where he sees daylight, and the best chance to make a positive play. He’ll take his chances because hesitation has no place in his mind or his game.