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

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


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.

Kevin Durant frustrated by distractions he didn't create as Warriors stall


Kevin Durant frustrated by distractions he didn't create as Warriors stall

Sound and fury has enveloped Kevin Durant for over a week, after a confrontation with Warriors teammate Draymond Green raised eyebrows, questions and ire.

Most frustrating to Durant is this drama was created by something didn’t do. Green reportedly delivered the hurtful line -- “We don’t need you. We won without you. Leave.” -- last Monday, and Durant merely received it, along with a ton of flak.

“My whole thing is I didn’t create any of this,” Durant told Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes in a 1-on-1 interview Tuesday. “That’s just my whole thing. I was just playing basketball. Now, I got to answer questions, now I got to talk about this, now I got to feel a way when I was in a great zone playing basketball. …

[RELATED: Stephen A. Smith doesn't see Warriors as KD's top landing spot]

“Now, it’s always going to come back. Like, ‘Are they all right? Man, he didn’t play well. Is he going to leave?’ Why do I even have to think about that at this point? … Then it turned into, ‘K.D.’s going to this place, he doesn’t like the Warriors no more. He should go here, he should go there.’ More distractions.”

Of course, Durant could stop those distractions by telling everyone he’s staying with the Warriors past this season. That won’t happen, though, with so much money and prestige at stake.

So, KD will be left to answer the media’s questions about the future and his perceived fit, particularly with the Warriors slumping by their lofty championship standards.

That became evident the day after the incident, with the Atlanta Hawks visiting Oracle Arena. As the game played out, all the talk centered on how Durant would look on the floor with teammates who might have been irritated by the whole ordeal.

[RELATED: KD says tiff with Green won't affect free agency decision]

Turns out he was thinking about things, too.

“During the game, I’m like, ‘Ah, [expletive], I’m probably going to have to say something about this,’ “ Durant told Haynes. “Why do I have to think about that during the basketball game? And that’s a fight I had to have, focusing on just playing. …

“And that’s what I tend to focus on, but you’ve got so much B.S. that’s being thrown your way that I didn’t create. If I created all of this stuff, then I couldn’t be out here talking like this, but I didn’t create any of this. I’m just out here playing.”

He’s out there playing, but it’s not at his best level. He shot 24 of 64 from the field and just 1 of 13 on 3-pointers during the Warriors’ winless Texas road trip that started with him shutting down a reporter who asked about his relationship with Green. Durant returned home to work with Hall of Famer Steve Nash on his wayward shot, then discovered he’d been fined $25,000 by the NBA for his outburst toward a heckler in Dallas.

KD and Co. are in one of the roughest of patches. The only way out is to win.

Kevin Durant says Draymond Green tiff won't affect free agency decision


Kevin Durant says Draymond Green tiff won't affect free agency decision

Kevin Durant's tiff with Draymond Green sent speculation surrounding his free agency into a frenzy. Would the beef heard 'round the world mean The End Of The Warriors As We Know It?

Well, you might want to put any plans to order a "DURANT NO. 35" New York Knicks jersey on hold until July.

Durant told Yahoo's Chris Haynes on Tuesday that his confrontation with Green won't affect his decision in free agency this summer. 

“Nah, [it won’t factor],” Durant said. “Because at the end of the day, I’m just a ballplayer that’s just trying to be in a great environment to play basketball and groom my skills every day. And I want to compete on a level that once the game starts, I’m just totally comfortable with my surroundings, with just going out there and being me.” 

[RELATED: KD enters the 'lab' with Steve Nash to fix wayward jump shot]

Sources told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole that Green crossed a line by bringing up Durant's free agency when the two argued during a Nov. 12 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Durant was upset that Green didn't pass him the ball on the final possession in regulation of a game the Warriors ultimately lost in overtime, and the two got into it on the sideline.

Green ultimately was suspended one game for "conduct detrimental to the team," as the Warriors experienced what coach Steve Kerr called "the real NBA." Maybe that's why Durant said he was able to quickly move past the exchange with Green.

“I never really felt like it was a problem, because I know Dray and he says some crazy [expletive] out his mouth all the time,” Durant told Yahoo Sports. “But on top of that, it was just that there was so much coming with it from the outside, and so much stuff that we have to answer now.”

In July, Durant can opt out of a two-year, $61.5 million contract he signed last summer. Until Durant puts pen to paper, questions surrounding his Warriors future surely will follow. 

Going on the record to say the last week won't affect his decision might not truly reassure the Warriors, but it beats the alternative. 

Programming note: Watch Wednesday night's Warriors-Thunder game streaming live at 7:30 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.