Warriors

Blazers' CJ McCollum describes what separates Warriors from everybody

Blazers' CJ McCollum describes what separates Warriors from everybody

Programming note: Watch the NBA Finals pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday, May 30 at 4:00 p.m., streaming live on the MyTeams app.

The Golden State Warriors swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference finals.

The Dubs also ended Portland's season in 2016 and 2017.

Blazers guard CJ McCollum clearly knows what it's like to face the team that will be playing in its fifth straight NBA Finals.

"The biggest difference you see with the Warriors compared to everybody else is how aligned they are," McCollum said on his podcast, Pull Up. "Obviously, they've had some issues off the court this season. But once they step on that court, the communication is there. The understanding of where everyone is supposed to be is there consistently.

"You don't ever really see them have crazy lapses. Offensively, constant movement off the ball and everyone is always looking to get Steph open; always looking to screen for Klay. And when they're open, the ball is delivered on time and on target consistently."

Steph Curry's numbers were incredible in the sweep: 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 47 percent shooting from the field, 42.6 percent from deep.

Klay Thompson averaged 21.5 points, but shot below 38 percent from the field and 34.4 percent from beyond the arc.

Fortunately for the Warriors, they also have that Draymond Green guy. The three-time NBA All-Star averaged 16.5 points, 11.8 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 2.8 blocks and 2.3 steals, while shooting over 54 percent.

That's just nuts.

"What makes them so good is Draymond's ability to make decisions in the pick-and-roll," McCollum said. "He did a great job of pushing the tempo and pushing the pace off makes and misses. He initiated the offense and historically has made the right decision on when to finish around the basket, when to kick it out for a 3 or throw the lob.

"Steph is Steph and Klay is Klay, and KD and the rest of those players. But he's a very unique asset. His defensive presence -- being able to guard five guys. He can guard pick-and-rolls, he can guard in the post. He's the ultimate help defender.

"I think he makes their team go."

[RELATEDDraymond calls no LeBron in playoffs 'kind of a mindf--k']

There's a reason head coach Steve Kerr has been calling Draymond the "heartbeat" of the Warriors for years.

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NBA rumors: Knicks contemplating big one-year DeMarcus Cousins offer

NBA rumors: Knicks contemplating big one-year DeMarcus Cousins offer

Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins will become an unrestricted free agent Sunday, and he just might be bound for the Big Apple when it's all said and done.

Marc Stein of The New York Times has the information:

So, the Knicks wouldn't consider the same offer for Cousins if Kevin Durant does sign with them?

If you were hoping Cousins returning to the Warriors was a serious possibility, you shouldn't hold your breath. They only can offer Boogie a maximum of $6.4 million next season.

"I would say that the hope is that frankly he [Cousins] can do a lot better financially than what we could offer him," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters on June 14. "But who knows? Every year is different.

"I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wanted to come back. It's just a question of what are his goals, what is out there for him."

Well, it's safe to assume that "considerable" means way more than $6.4 million, which would be very hard for Cousins to pass up.

[RELATEDBoogie thanks Dubs fans, sends message about next season]

Will any other teams pony up big money for the soon-to-be 29-year-old? Will someone offer a multiyear contract?

Boogie has been through a lot in the last 18 months, and hopefully he gets what he's seeking.

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Steve Kerr issues early message to Warriors fans about next season

Steve Kerr issues early message to Warriors fans about next season

It's way too early to know what sort of expectations the Warriors will bring into next season.

Kevin Durant is a free agent, and it's anybody's guess what the two-time Finals MVP will decide. Even if he does re-sign with the Dubs, he'll probably miss the entire season as he recovers from his ruptured right Achilles.

Klay Thompson also is a free agent. And even though it's widely expected that he will return to the only franchise he's played for, the five-time All-Star will be sidelined for much (if not all) of the 2019-20 campaign as he makes the journey back from his left ACL tear.

Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala both are entering the final year of their contracts.

DeMarcus Cousins most likely is gone. Shaun Livingston might retire, or he could be waived or traded. Kevon Looney is an unrestricted free agent, and it's far from certain that he'll be back for a fifth season.

Jonas Jerebko is a free agent, Andrew Bogut is headed back to Australia, and the Warriors haven't yet extended qualifying offers to Jordan Bell or Quinn Cook.

The Warriors selected three players in last week's NBA draft, and it's unclear if any of them will be mainstays in the rotation.

There's a lot of uncertainty right now.

"We'll see what our roster ends up looking like," Warriors coach Steve Kerr told Tim Kawakami of The Athletic on Wednesday. "Everything's on the table for us going into next year -- from starting jobs, to style of play -- we got a lot to sort through. And from that perspective, I think it's exciting.

"I think our fans ... obviously we want to compete for a championship every year, and our fans probably expect that, and we've had that the last five years. But I think next year, there will be a lot of interest from our fans in watching our young players grow, and watching a team form and watching a style form. And we'll see how all that comes together.

"But I know I'm excited and our staff is excited for what's coming."

Kerr essentially is telling Warriors fans ...

... to make other plans in early June because a sixth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals looks very unlikely.

[RELATED: Kerr provides update on assistant coach Adams' job status]

There already are plenty of people in the basketball world who believe the Dubs will be fighting just to make the playoffs.

Again, it's way too early to make any sort of predictions. But Year 1 in Chase Center is going to be ...

... different in many ways.

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