Warriors

Blazers reportedly add Carmelo Anthony after Warriors, Kings losses

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USATSI

Blazers reportedly add Carmelo Anthony after Warriors, Kings losses

The confetti rained down as the crowd roared.

Over the past five years, such jubilant celebration for the Warriors often was reserved for playoff series victories and NBA championships.

On this night back in early November, however, Golden State showered its customers with party streamers to celebrate the team’s first regular-season win at Chase Center.

The Warriors soundly defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 127-118, featuring a lineup devoid of stars D’Angelo Russell, Draymond Green, and Steph Curry, all of whom were sidelined with injuries.

Portland, at full-strength going into the game, became the laughingstock of NBA Twitter for the next 48 hours.

It hasn’t gotten better for Portland since, as the Blazers have lost four of their last five games, including another head-scratching loss to the Kings on Tuesday.

Abraham Lincoln once said “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

For Portland’s general manager Neil Olshey, that knot reportedly comes in the form of 10-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony.

Anthony hasn’t played in an NBA game since November of 2018, back when he had a 10-game run with the Houston Rockets to begin last season before the team parted ways with Melo on Nov. 15.

The Blazers are in desperation mode, standing 4-8 in an unquestionably loaded Western Conference and now are dealing with the loss of up-and-coming power forward Zach Collins for multiple months with a shoulder injury.

All those empty gym Instagram workouts seem to have finally paid off for Anthony, whose role and impact remains to be seen with a team that was just four wins away from the NBA Finals in 2018.

While his scoring acumen is unquestioned, his defensive ability -- especially after a full year away from the NBA -- might hurt a team already featuring several liabilities on that end of the court.

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: How die-hard Warriors fans can stay optimistic]

However, this likely will be a short-term experiment if Melo doesn’t make a discernible impact immediately. Dec. 15 marks the first day teams can trade players signed during the summer free agency period, so Portland can pursue help on the wing through that avenue if Anthony, whose contract is non-guaranteed, doesn’t produce as advertised.

Warriors' Draymond Green out, Eric Paschall doubtful Friday vs. Jazz

Warriors' Draymond Green out, Eric Paschall doubtful Friday vs. Jazz

It's always tough to beat the Jazz in Utah, as the Warriors were reminded last month. Golden State was going to be a massive underdog Friday night as it was, and Thursday's injury report certainly won't change that.

After suffering an embarrassing home overtime loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, the Dubs will try to right the ship against Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert & Co., but they'll have to do it without at least one of their best players -- and we don't mean Steph Curry or Klay Thompson.

Draymond Green is listed as out (rest) for Friday's game at Vivint Smart Home Arena, while rookie Eric Paschall is doubtful with left hip soreness. Additionally, both Ky Bowman and Alen Smailagic are on G League assignment. 

[RELATED: Dubs' Bowman won't play vs. Jazz, will make G League debut]

With Green out and Paschall doubtful, one would expect Golden State's (relatively) healthy bigs like Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss to get some extended playing time against the Jazz.

Why Gary Payton believes Warriors' Steph Curry isn't true point guard

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USATSI

Why Gary Payton believes Warriors' Steph Curry isn't true point guard

You might think of Steph Curry as a point guard.

After all, he's short, brings the ball up the court sometimes and appears on the far left of those nifty starting lineup graphics prior to tip-off with PG next to his name.

But in this age of run-and-gun positionless basketball, is Curry really a point guard? Not if you ask Gary Payton.

In fact, the nine-time NBA All-Star believes there only are two true point guards left in The Association.

"That's a question that is kind of difficult for old people," Payton told NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock and Kerith Burke on the "Runnin' Plays Podcast" when asked about the best point guards in today's game. "You look at Stephen Curry. You put him as a point guard. He's not a point guard. He's a two-guard. You look at [Russell] Westbrook. He's not a point guard. He's a two-guard. You look at James Harden. He's not a point guard, he's a two-guard.

"To me, there are only two guards in this league that are true point guards. That's [Rajon] Rondo and Chris Paul. 

"Now, Chris Paul has turned into a shooting guard more, but Rondo is a true point guard," Payton continued. "He looks first to get people off. He does his defense and he makes people better around him. Not, let me score 30. Not, let me shoot a jump shot first. He's not doing that ... If we name a lot of point guards that's right now in this NBA, they are not point guards."

At least Harden can finally be in the same category as Steph, right?

[RELATED: Loss to Knicks shows Warriors have earned NBA's worst record]

While Steph might not be the prototypical point guard in the old-fashioned sense, there's no doubt he'll one day be enshrined in Springfield, Mass., as one of the greatest scoring guards in NBA history.

In any era, that's pretty, pretty good.