Chris Mullin

Watch Steph Curry impress in sharp pre-game warm-up as return nears

Watch Steph Curry impress in sharp pre-game warm-up as return nears

Steph Curry didn't take the floor during the Warriors' loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday at Chase Center. 

The injured Golden State star did beforehand, however, looking game-ready as he went through a pregame workout. 

Curry hasn't played since breaking his left hand on Oct. 30. He was cleared for contact in practices Saturday, scrimmaging with his teammates for the first time since picking up the injury and subsequently undergoing two surgeries. The 31-year-old said Saturday that lingering nerve damage in his left hand has taken some getting used to, but that he is targeting a March 1 return

Former Warriors Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin dealt with the same injury during their NBA careers. Mullin had three separate hand surgeries during his, and he said Curry's biggest adjustment will come from playing with his teammates again.

"He practices at game pace," Mullin said of Curry on Sunday during Warriors Pregame Live. "He takes game shots all the time. His fitness will be there. It's (about) getting acclimated to the players around him, finding the spacing and the timing."

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Though Curry didn't injure his dominant hand, he relies on his left a lot to pass and when he finishes at the rim. He won't lose trust in his shot, but Richmond thinks the two-time MVP has to ensure he sticks with the process.

"I went through that same injury [and so did] Mully," Richmond said Sunday. "It's all about confidence when you come back. ... I think, for him, he wants to find that confidence that it can be hit, and then he can come back from it." 

The Warriors owned the NBA's worst record after Sunday's loss, which clinched their third losing streak of six games or more. Curry's return won't lift Golden State out of the league's cellar, but it undoubtedly will lift his teammates' spirits in an otherwise dreary season.

Why Warriors' Run TMC era is one of biggest what-ifs in NBA history

Why Warriors' Run TMC era is one of biggest what-ifs in NBA history

Tim Hardaway, Mitch Richmond and Chris Mullin -- the artists formerly known as "Run TMC" -- spent just two full seasons together as teammates with the Warriors, and yet they still hold an iconic place in the history of the franchise. Why is that?

Well, aside from the exciting style with which they played -- they led the league in scoring in their very first season together and revolutionized the NBA in many ways -- it likely has to do with how quickly it all came undone. After giving the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers a run for their money in a second-round playoff series during the 1990-91 season, Richmond was traded to the Kings the following November, and Warriors fans were left to wonder, 'What if?'

It turns out the fans aren't the only ones still pondering the possibilities of what a lengthy Run TMC might have been like. The three components do so, as well.

"That was the best time we played," Mullin told NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh. "That was the most fun we had. The one thing we regret is we didn't get enough time to maybe ... two years, man. That's a quick time to make a decision. ... Point being, think about if they had broken up Steph [Curry] and Klay [Thompson] after two years."

Whoa. Good point, Mully. Just like Run TMC, the Warriors reached the playoffs in the Splash Brothers' second season together. But unlike Run TMC, Curry and Thompson have stuck together since, and have gone on to lead the organization to not one, not two, but three NBA championships.

[LISTEN: The Habershow podcast with Run TMC]

In response to Mullin, Haberstroh called Run TMC, "One of the biggest what-ifs in NBA history." Mullin didn't disagree.

"That's why it's still alive, too," he explained. "It's one of those things that keeps it alive, right? It does. 

"And we'll buy into it," Mullin said with a chuckle. "We'll say we would have won four championships, no question."

That's quite a statement coming from a trio that won exactly one playoff series together, but to Mullin's point, there's no way for us to ever know.

 

Warriors' Willie Cauley-Stein credits Draymond Green on uptick in defense

Warriors' Willie Cauley-Stein credits Draymond Green on uptick in defense

The Warriors have won two in a row and it might as well be 20. That's the feeling you get with what we're given this season, and Willie Cauley-Stein wants to keep the momentum going, especially on defense.

He credited the boost in confidence toward Draymond Green.

"I think that's why the last, you know the last week -- two weeks, you've seen that production on blocks, it's because of Draymond," Cauley-Stein said on the Warriors Postgame set on Monday following the 113-104 win over the Timberwolves.

The communication factor, in addition to Cauley-Stein knowing Green has his back, also goes into that success, as NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Chris Mullin pointed out.

"That's the biggest scenario, you know what I'm saying? If you don't talk in this league, you're going to get beat," Cauley-Stein added.

"Plain and simple."

Since Dec. 19. the Warriors are averaging 5.3 blocks per game with an overall look of higher production on the defensive side of the ball. And they can use every ounce of it.

The big man also admitted it's been a challenge this season with the injury bug biting just about everyone on the Warriors, including himself as he suffered a sprained foot just before training camp.

But hearing the cheers of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson from the bench certainly keeps the energy up.

That win over the T-Wolves is the second win in a row for the Warriors and the first win-streak of the season. It's not a lot, but it's something.