Warriors

Ask Kerith: Steph Curry's 3-point pace; could Warriors score 200 points?

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NBC Sports Bay Area

Ask Kerith: Steph Curry's 3-point pace; could Warriors score 200 points?

Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, takes you inside the two-time defending NBA champions as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #askkerith

Tip-off

I checked NBA.com this week, and there it was, front page: Is Curry making another MVP push? I s’pose that’s what happens when you change the game with 40-foot threes. NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh also broke down Steph’s impact on his way to declaring he’s “the new Michael Jordan.”

Speaking of Steph ... let’s get to your questions!

Game on!

@jayneisagirlsname Will Steph beat his single season 3 point record this season?

It’s possible. Steph has 62 threes in 12 games, leading the NBA by a wide margin. At this pace, and I’m using rough math, Steph could sink about 423 threes to beat his single-season record of 402, which he set during his unanimous MVP season.

Let’s slow down, though. Steph is averaging 5.2 threes per game. That’s a lot, and while he’s capable of sinking multiple threes every game, I don’t know if that average is sustainable. It depends what the offense needs him to do. It depends on the other players around him, like if Steph pulls back to feed someone else who’s feeling it. And it will depend on his health this season.

Health could be the biggest factor, and Curry left Thursday's game early with an adductor strain. Let’s also give Steph some room to have a few off nights.

Steph said his outstanding start comes from the work he did in the offseason to get his body and his mind right. Records won’t be his first thought, but it’s fun to keep an eye on them.

@Dubs.williams13 While Fitz and JB have gotten their fair share of criticism, I’ve always enjoyed their commentary. How is it working with guys like them who just seem to enjoy what they do and who they do it with?

Bob Fitzgerald and Jim Barnett are regarded as one of the top duos calling basketball in the country, and I love working with them. Play by play is difficult, and Fitz has it mastered. He weaves in big storylines, senses the feel of the game, folds in stats, and oh yeah, talks out what’s happening second by second.

Play by play is the bones, and the color commentator adds the flesh. Jim Barnett augments the game with a player’s perspective and “back in my day” stories that have me laughing as I listen. They’re an excellent team.

This chemistry was born from years together, in some challenging years where you still have to put on a compelling broadcast even if the team you’re describing is struggling. It’s a great test for a broadcasting crew (including the director, producer, graphics folks, etc., back in the broadcast truck that beams the show into your living room) to ask, did we cover the down years the same as the great years? Did we keep that standard? Fitz and JB keep the standard no matter what.

On a personal level, as I’m in my zone doing my job at games, I’m paying attention to a million little things. I can tell Fitz and JB are stars because they grab my attention as I’m working. That’s tough. I catch myself listening to them like a fan. I said in an earlier mailbag that working in sports dulls the fandom, so if listening to them gives me a buzz, they’re something special.

@jchanspeed Pineapple on pizza? (Thumbs up emoji or barf emoji)

Shrug emoji. No thanks to fruit on pizza.

@ryanvfranco Do opposing teams feed you guys on the road? If so, who has the best spread?

Food questions are always welcome in this mailbag. Yes, reporters are fed on the road. About 70 percent of the time, the meals are free. The other times, teams ask that we kick in $8 or $10 to their community/charity fund for a plate.

Houston has the best spread, and they turned it up for playoffs.

@trey5fanpage Have you seen the growth between Steph & KD from last year to now ? They seem even closer & are playing even better together with more fluidity.

Their growth comes from familiarity with their styles of play, plus personalities that mesh well. They both want to win. Seems simple, right? But the question about how two offensive powerhouses can not only co-exist but make each other better is unique to examine.

I asked KD about this, and he said a bond grows, then you endure tough playoff series, injuries and the grind of basketball seasons together. They respect each other. When you see the work your teammate does and the sacrifices they make to win, it’s real. It helps that they’re both easy-going off the court. Similar vibes and intentions keep things smooth.

Steph is the point guard, so he sees the floor and runs things, then KD comes in with his basketball IQ to read what’s flowing. Two unselfish guys work together in a way other teams admire. And envy.

@ErwandaEri Kerith, where did Chelsea Lane ended up at and who replaced her?

Chelsea took a job with the Atlanta Hawks. The new Director of Sports Medicine and Performance is Rick Celebrini. His résumé is stacked. Celebrini got Warriors consultant Steve Nash’s endorsement. Nash worked with Celebrini to prolong his Hall of Fame career.

@gswreddit if you were stuck on a deserted island and could only choose one Warrior to be the only other survivor with you, who would it be? Who would be the most resourceful or best companion?

I choose Steph. Rescuers will be looking for him.

While we wait for the rescue chopper, Steph’s physical fitness no doubt will help him whip up a shelter and find food for the both of us while I gather firewood. I’m sure his hot hand can get a fire going. Get it? Hot hand?

If a rescue is a few days out, Steph’s disposition will keep things light. He has an underrated sense of humor. We’re going to need a few prayers, too, and God smiles on No. 30.

@ben.nugent How involved do you actually get with the Golden State Warriors? We see all the post game interviews, but do you actually talk with players behind camera and actually form bonds with the team?

When I report for TV, viewers only see the on-cam parts. So yes ... I actually get to know these guys!

I talk to them during practice. I talk to them before games, during games and after games. I’m in the locker room. I’m on the same road trips, on the same plane, in the same hotel. We’re all in the same boat* (*not an actual boat)

Within the boundaries of professionalism, I have bonds with the players and coaches. That doesn’t mean I’m going to Draymond’s house for dinner. But we all get to know each other because we’re in the same workspace.

@big_thawk Can the Warriors break 200 in a game as Paul Pierce predicted?

Talent-wise, the Warriors could do it. But 200 is not going to happen because it doesn’t make sense to expend the energy.

In Chicago, the Warriors scored 92 points in the first half, and that was with Klay shooting lights out on threes, plus the Bulls were depleted. Remember, Steve Kerr said he felt uneasy during that game when Klay was chasing the 3-point record because he didn’t want to cross the line into showing up an opponent. Steve took Klay out of the game once he had the record, so there wasn’t a pile-on. The reserves played the fourth quarter.

Reaching 200 would mean you’re likely outscoring an inferior opponent so greatly that it could be unsportsmanlike, defense is taking a back seat completely as you chase a number, and the players are burning energy for all 48 minutes with a large lead. That’s unnecessary.

It’s not a regular-season goal for the Warriors to hit 200. They’d rather get the reserves minutes if the scoreboard is creeping up high.

High Five

High five to Steph, KD and Steve for talking about voting ahead of Election Day. Steph and Steve both wore shirts related to voting during some interviews. That’s a lot of people seeing a message.

KD was amusing when he said he was turning in his ballot via the mail, but that he thought about what it would be like to roll up to a polling place and “touch the people.” I’d love to see a 7-footer standing at the voting booth.

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage all season.

Warriors rookie Eric Paschall is finding his way during the preseason

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AP

Warriors rookie Eric Paschall is finding his way during the preseason

SAN FRANCISCO -- Four months ago, the Warriors had a pretty good idea they wanted to select Eric Paschall with their second-round pick. 

Following a four-year college career, Paschall -- though listed at 6-foot-7 -- impressed with his athleticism, defensive prowess and basketball IQ. Only one question remained: Would he fall to the 41st pick?

"We were kind of holding our breath," Warriors coach Steve Kerr admitted Sunday afternoon. "Hoping for him to fall and it happened. We're lucky to have him." 

As the Warriors get through training camp, Paschall is beginning to make good on Golden State's trust. Through two games, he's averaging 11 points, three rebounds in 22 minutes. More importantly, with big men Kevon Looney and Willie Cauley Stein injured, he's been tasked to guard multiple positions defensiveness, often the opponent's best player, impressing the staff along the way.  

"Really excited about Eric," Kerr said. "The strength, the explosiveness. He may be undersized from a height standpoint but he's got long arms so he makes up for some of that. To me, he fits right in, maybe even stands out on an NBA floor athletically from a strength and explosion standpoint."

Six months ago, Paschall - who signed a 3-year, fully guaranteed $4.2 million deal, in July -- was competing for a third straight Final Four appearance with Villanova, playing against zone defenses and the structure of college basketball. When he entered his first preseason game, Kerr tasked him to guard All-NBA big man Anthony Davis. 

In the second quarter of last week's loss to the Lakers, LeBron James took a pass at half court, dribbled three times and barreled into Paschall's chest for an easy layup, emphasizing the rookie's steep learning curve. 

"It's kind of weird because you see these guys, AD is on the cover of [NBA 2K] and my first game I have to guard him," Paschall said. It's kind of crazy but I'm glad Coach trusts me enough to go out and guard those guys."

An adjustment has manifested off the court as well for Paschal. Long a resident of the East Coast, he wasn't much of a driver and still doesn't have a license, despite being 22 years old. Following practice Sunday afternoon, Paschall waited outside Chase Center as fans walked with a bag packed for a weeklong trip, waiting for fellow rookie Jordan Poole to take him to San Francisco International Airport for the team's trip to Los Angeles. 

While Paschall has impressed thus far, his NBA dreams weren't destined. Despite averaging 26.0 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game as a junior at Dobbs Ferry High School (NY), Paschall only garnered interests from mid-major schools like Virginia Commonwealth, George Mason and Providence before enrolling at nearby Fordham. After transferring to Villanova following a coaching change, Paschall won two national titles but was just a second-round pick. in June's NBA draft

"My whole life I've been underrated, Paschal told NBC Sports Bay Area. "To be able to be here is a blessing in itself."

Entering the season, Paschal comes to an organization in transition. Three months removed from Kevin Durant's departure, coupled with the Klay Thompson's knee injury, the Warriors are left to navigate the start of the season with eight new additions. Nonetheless, the team has established stars like Draymond Green and Stephen Curry, who have defined roles. As his tenure progresses, Paschal hopes to be added to the Golden State's lineup of stars. 

"Eventually, I feel like I can come into my own at this level," Paschal said. "But now, especially as a rookie, you just have to do what they say and do what you got to do to stay on the court but I feel like eventually in this league I'll be able to play my game and I hope it's with the Warriors." 

"I feel like I ended up being in a great spot," he added. "They gave me a great contract and I feel like in these next few years, I feel like I can contribute, to try to do what I can to just bring whatever they want me to bring to the table." 

NBA rumors: Raptors could trade Kyle Lowry after $31M contract extension

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USATSI

NBA rumors: Raptors could trade Kyle Lowry after $31M contract extension

The Warriors don't play the Raptors in an NBA Finals rematch until March, but they might see point guard Kyle Lowry before that. 

Toronto recently signed Lowry to a one-year, $31 million contract extension, pushing his free agency back one year to 2021. That doesn't mean he will be a Raptor for that long, though. 

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski said on "The Lowe Post" that "a lot of the reason Toronto signed him to the deal is he is easier to trade under contract for next year at $31 million."

It sounds like there could plenty of interest in the five-time All-Star from two intriguing Western Conference teams, too. While the two colleagues brought up the Heat and Pistons as possible destinations, Lowe and Wojnarowski also named the Clippers and Timberwolves. 

This certainly could spell bad news for the Warriors. The Clippers are trying to take Golden State's crown as the kings in the West with the additions of Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, and Lowry could be the icing on the cake. 

Lowry played a key role for the Raptors on their way to winning their first championship in franchise history, averaging 16.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.0 rebounds per game against the Warriors. 

Adding Lowry to the T-Wolves could be a tough pill to swallow for the Dubs, too. If the Warriors struggle without Klay Thompson as he rehabs his torn ACL and the new roster can't find chemistry, they could be fighting for playoff contention. Behind star big man Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota might be the team to make a leap this season.

[RELATED: Why Jay Williams believes Warriors will miss NBA playoffs]

With the departure of Leonard, the Raptors might fall in the Eastern Conference standings. It long has been speculated that president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri has wanted to tank to some degree and field a much younger roster. This could be the perfect season to do so. 

Shipping Lowry to a new team would start a fresh era of basketball in Toronto. If that team is in the Western Conference, the Warriors won't be happy.