Warriors

Austin Rivers explains how Steph Curry, Warriors transformed NBA offenses

Austin Rivers explains how Steph Curry, Warriors transformed NBA offenses

Austin Rivers knows a thing or two about defending Steph Curry.

The Houston Rockets guard isn't shy about his confidence when guarding the Warriors star, but that doesn't mean Rivers is unaware of Curry's impact on the NBA. To hear him tell it, Curry's transformed basketball as much as anyone in recent memory.

"Comparing him to other players, he's not the most athletic guy on the floor nine out of 10 times," Rivers told Warriors sideline reporter Kerith Burke and guard Quinn Cook on The Uninterrupted Road Trippin' podcast. "But nine out of 10 times, he's usually the best player on the floor, and that's changed the game. Kids used to want to dunk, and now they want to shoot 3s.

"He's changed the way basketball is played. It's a [3-point shooter's] league now."

Rivers said that impact is clearest on his own team. Under Mike D'Antoni, the Rockets lead the NBA in 3-point attempts per game (44.8) and 3-point makes (15.7). 

He thinks you can draw a straight line between D'Antoni's strategy and what Curry and the Warriors have done over the last five years. 

"The effect that Steph has singlehandedly had on the NBA has been huge -- and Golden State, period," Rivers continued. "They've set this trend where now we follow. We shoot 40-to-50 threes a game because we're trying to emulate what works, and what they've had." 

[RELATED: Quinn Cook reveals how Coach K uses Beyonce to motivate Duke players]

They've also had a trickle-down effect, according to Rivers. When he's working basketball camps, he said kids want to emulate one of two players' specific skills: Curry's, or Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving's ball-handling. 

When 6-foot-3 Curry nails a half-court shot, or 6-foot-3 Irving crosses over a helpless defender, Rivers thinks a young player would see either as more attainable than what, say, 6-foot-8, 240-pound LeBron James can on a nightly basis.

"They're not going to be doing the stuff he does, so what's realistic for a person," Rivers asked, rhetorically. " ... They're not freak athletes. They don't dunk on people. They're just skilled. So, that's every kid's dream." 

Something tells us Rivers won't be dreaming of facing either Curry or Irving in the postseason. 

You can hear the rest of Rivers, Cook and Burke's conversation on Road Trippin' in the player below, and subscribe here.

Warriors' Steph Curry second-best leader to Damian Lillard, NBA GMs say

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AP

Warriors' Steph Curry second-best leader to Damian Lillard, NBA GMs say

Warriors superstar Steph Curry is revered by his teammates and organization, and considered a fantastic leader.

Damian Lillard -- by all accounts -- is beloved by his Blazers teammates and franchise, and viewed as an awesome leader as well.

So it wasn't a surprise to see the following results to one specific question in NBA.com's 18th annual GM Survey:

Which player is the best leader?

1. Damian Lillard, Portland -- 41 percent
2. Stephen Curry, Golden State -- 37 percent
3. LeBron James, L.A. Lakers -- 15 percent

Also receiving votes: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee; Chris Paul, Oklahoma City

Sure, Warriors fans probably think Curry should reside in the No. 1 spot. But this finding isn't a knock on the two-time NBA MVP, as it's more highlighting the positive perception (and reality) of Lillard.

Besides, Dame hails from Oakland and practically is slander-free in these parts. He grew up going to Warriors games at Oracle Arena. That's really cool.

[RELATEDNBA GM survey: Curry receives the second-most MVP votes]

But we will remind everybody that Curry and the Warriors eliminated Lillard and the Blazers from the playoffs in 2016, 2017 and 2019.

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Steph Curry reiterates championship goal despite slow Warriors preseason

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USATSI

Steph Curry reiterates championship goal despite slow Warriors preseason

The Warriors have one game to go on their preseason slate. So far, not so good. 

Golden State is 1-3 this preseason, losing all three of their games against the revamped Lakers. The Warriors' latest defeat came Wednesday night in a 126-93 beatdown by Los Angeles at Staples Center. In their three losses to the Lakers, the Warriors have been outscored by 61 points. 

While the Dubs were drubbed by 33 points Wednesday night, star point guard Steph Curry could only watch his team get crushed. The two-time All-Star was on a planned night off. His view of Golden State's loss, however, didn't change his view of the Warriors one bit. 

“A championship is still the goal,” Curry told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. “It’s always been. We’ve experienced it all and we’re going to keep pushing to get back there. That’s the goal. It’s the North Star. The narrative might have changed internally, but we’re still chasing the same goal.”

The biggest difference for Curry and the rest of the new-look Warriors, which had players such as Jacob Evans, Alfonzo McKinnie and Marquese Chriss in the starting lineup in their fourth preseason game, is how they start the season. Simply put, the Warriors can't coast. 

In years past when it nearly felt like a guarantee the Warriors were bound for the NBA Finals, they could use the first quarter of the season as more of an experiment. This year, the focus must ramp up. 

“We’ve always talked about focusing on the first 20 games, but this season, it doesn’t mean as we’ve said before. In the past, it was focusing on the first 20 games just to break up the 82-game monotony of the season. Now, it’s like the first 20 games [are] in a sense of urgency,” Curry told Haynes.

“We’ve got to start off on the right foot and create a new identity and basically have fun playing basketball no matter what happens, while working through some of the unknowns."

[RELATED: Warriors' frontcourt issues highlight season of change]

The unknowns truly are what stand out. Even Curry, who has won three titles through his first 10 seasons in the NBA, doesn't exactly know what this Warriors team is.

The next time Golden State can look for some Lakers redemption is Friday at Chase Center as the Warriors close out their preseason schedule. Less than a week later, the stakes become much higher in the regular-season opener against the Clippers.