Warriors

Analysis: With Durant, Warriors will be different, but better

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Analysis: With Durant, Warriors will be different, but better

Programming note: Watch Kevin Durant's introductory press conference today at 1:30pm on CSN Bay Area, and STREAMING LIVE right here.

The Takeover has been a staple of the Warriors’ rise in recent years, with Steph Curry or Klay Thompson or Draymond Green going nuclear to put his stamp on a moment or a quarter to bury an opponent.

It’s part of The Show that is the Warriors. It’s the highlight. Fans jamming themselves into Oracle Arena do so as much to glimpse The Takeover as to experience the victory that follows, much as a boxing crowd yearns not to see a decision but to witness a knockout.

That won’t change Thursday, when Kevin Durant is introduced as the newest Warrior, his signature on a contract signaling an epic change for the team that entertained global observers while winning 140 games over the past two seasons and a record 73 in 2015-16.

Assuming good health, the regular-season wins total will be similar, high-60s to low-70s. Offensive efficiency will improve. So should rebounding, and the defensive numbers will be very good.

What will change, however, are the individual statistics of Curry, Thompson and Green.

The Splash Brothers now have a third sibling, which logic dictates is a benefit to all. And Green, a gold-plated toolbox of a player, will have another toy.

[RELATED: Warriors to introduce Kevin Durant on Thursday]

Though Curry’s scoring average will drop from a career-high 30.1 and he’s not likely to repeat as scoring champ, his shooting percentage should rise as defenses scramble to monitor Durant and Thompson. Curry’s assist totals, which have declined in each of the past two seasons, should go back up.

Life will be easier for Curry, and he’ll still have plenty of opportunities to transcend. The Steph Takeover is going nowhere.

Thompson’s scoring average, which has gone up in each of his five seasons and was 22.1 last season, almost certainly will decline. As the man most likely to break to offense with a questionable shot, he’ll have operate more judiciously. He will, as he knows Curry is not the only teammate that can demoralize defenses with shooting. The quality of Thompson’s shots will get better, and he’ll make them at a higher percentage. He’ll handle the ball a lot less, which is a good thing.

Life will be easier for Thompson, too, because he’ll prosper from the KD effect. And nobody is a better catch-and-shoot scorer than Klay Thompson. The Klay Takeover happens several times a season – the last one being a memorable Game 6 in the Western Conference Finals. There is no reason to expect that to change.

Green has the amazing ability to provide whatever it is the Warriors need most. He observes and responds. Need assists? Love it. Need scoring? OK. Need rebounding? That’s what he does. Green led the Warriors in assists and rebounding. Curry will threaten his assist numbers, and Durant is vastly superior rebounder to the departing Harrison Barnes.

The Draymond Takeover is the most variable of all, as Green can punish defenses as much with his will as with his skill, whether it’s rebounding and running one-man fast breaks or carving up defenses with artful passing. Nobody’s game, not even Curry’s should benefit more from the acquisition of Durant.

The KD Takeover is, well, both unfair and inevitable because Durant can take over a game as well as anyone, including Curry. At 6-foot-10, with the full offensive arsenal – he generates quality shots off the dribble or off the catch, operates well out of the high or low post and passes nearly as well as Green – no one in the NBA is tougher to defend.

When Durant is on fire, defenders are ambient noise. He’ll be given room to operate, more than he’s ever known; that’s one of the reasons he’s joining the Warriors.

The KD Takeover will be on display come October, and having it available is why the Warriors can become the most lethal offensive club in NBA history.

For those wondering if there will be enough balls to go around, Durant has spent the bulk of his career playing with Russell Westbrook, who dominates the ball as much as anyone not named James Harden.

Coming to an offense that believes in ball movement and rhythm, this will be an exceedingly welcome change for Durant.

San Francisco brewing company releases 'LeBron Tears' IPA

San Francisco brewing company releases 'LeBron Tears' IPA

San Francisco's Barebottle Brewing Company is adding insult to injury after the Warriors swept the Cavs in the 2018 NBA Finals. 

Warriors fans can now drink the sadness of LeBron James and the Cavs. Kind of. 

On Saturday, Barebottle announced they have released a new IPA named "LeBron Tears." Here's how they describe the hazy IPA:

Little known fact: KD, Steph, and Klay take opposing teams' hopes and dreams, and turn them into soul crushing 3-pointers. We took the tears from Sir James' Game 1 loss and distilled them into a hazy IPA, just for you. We also decided that Tears pair well with Mosaic hops. Sad!

The Warriors won Game 1 in overtime, 124-114. The game was tied after regulation with J.R. Smith grabbing a missed free throw with 4.7 seconds and ran out the clock by dribbling away from the hoop. 

James scored 51 points with eight assists and eight rebounds in the loss. The Warriors have now beat James and the Cavs three out of the last four years in the Finals. 

LiAngelo Ball works out with Warriors: 'I feel like I'm ready'

LiAngelo Ball works out with Warriors: 'I feel like I'm ready'

OAKLAND -- The second of the three breathlessly publicized Ball brothers worked out for the Warriors on Friday and did so in shoes unaffiliated with the family brand.

LiAngelo Ball wore Nikes.

The 6-foot-5, 230-pound forward nonetheless made it through nearly two hours of drills, joining five other draft hopefuls under the supervision of Warriors officials at the team’s Oakland facility.

The Warriors have one pick in next Thursday’s draft, 28th overall. Ball, 19, is considered a second-round pick, at best.

“I feel pretty good going into the draft,” Ball said. “I feel like I’m going to get drafted. I feel I could produce for a team.

“But if I don’t, then it’s going to be the G-League or just go as a free agent and join a Summer League team or something like that.”

Scouts consider Ball a better shooter than his older brother, Lonzo, who was drafted second overall by the Lakers last June. The third Ball brother, LaMelo, 16, is playing in the Junior Basketball Association, a creation of LaVar Ball, the bombastic family patriarch and proprietor of Big Baller Brand apparel.

LiAngelo Ball lasted one game at UCLA last year. He was suspended after a shoplifting arrest in China in November and withdrew from UCLA a month later.

He wound up, at the request of his father, playing professionally for Vytautas Prienu in Lithuania, where he averaged 12.6 points, with 41.5 percent shooting, in 14 games. The time in Europe, Ball says, served to enhance his overall game.

“It wouldn’t have been where I’m at right now, because going overseas helped more, in my opinion,” he said. “In college, I didn’t get the kind of playing time that I thought I’d get. When I went overseas, I was able to develop better.”

Ball concedes his ball-handling needs work. Scout like his shooting and athleticism but have found him indifferent about passing and defending. He has less than a week to make an impression before the draft on Thursday.

“I feel like I’m ready,” Ball said. “I’ve been training for this since a young age. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, so when the time comes I’m ready for it.”