Damian Lillard explains how Warriors play differently with DeMarcus Cousins

Damian Lillard explains how Warriors play differently with DeMarcus Cousins

If anyone knows a thing or two about how the Warriors play, it's Damian Lillard, who was part of a Trail Blazers team that Golden State just dispatched via sweep in the Western Conference finals.

Lillard, an Oakland native, joined Mistah F.A.B. on the rapper's Instagram Live after the Warriors lost to the Raptors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

The Blazers star provided first-hand perspective on the Warriors' style and shared his thoughts on the game with F.A.B. 

One of the main takeaways from the game was the return of DeMarcus Cousins, who called his improbable Finals comeback an "incredible feeling."

When the rapper asked Lillard if the addition of Cousins slows down the Warriors' pace, Lillard gave a detailed response.

"I wouldn’t say he slows Golden State down just because they play through the pass, they play on the pass, so they always passing the ball ahead, and they end up throwing it to the trailer, and they end up playing off of that," Lillard said. "So it ain’t like he’s slowing them down  .... like he bringing the ball up and they throwing it to him on the block or nothing like that. They move the ball so I don’t think he slows them down.

"I just think ... They know how good he is. So if they throw the ball to Jordan Bell, they’re going to just cut off it expecting the ball. But they know he can’t put that s--t on the floor and scoring, or shooting it. So it's almost like they're respecting [Cousins] .. so they don't move as much. They don't move with the same purpose when he's got the ball because they know he can do something with it too."

Cousins had an up-and-down performance in the first NBA Finals game of his career. In eight minutes off the bench, he finished with three points on 0-of-2 shooting (3-of-4 from the foul line). Cousins had two assists and two steals, including a few nifty passes to set up easy buckets for his teammates. But he also appeared slow on defensive rotations and picked up two fouls. He was a minus-1 in the plus/minus.

[RELATED: Why Dubs had better recognize Raptors as toughest Finals foe yet]

Lillard compared the Warriors' style with Cousins on the floor to that of a lineup with Kevin Durant, as there's been plenty of talk about how the Warriors play with and without the two-time NBA Finals MVP.

"It's the same thing when KD's out there, they don't move the same because they know KD's got the ball," Lillard said. "So they just trust him. They know what it is."

While Kevin Durant still is doubtful for Game 2, Cousins will be active again, ready to contribute wherever needed. It'll be interesting to see what kind of role the big man plays for Golden State as the two-time defending champions seek a win to even the series.

How to watch "Race and Sports in America: Conversations" online, on TV

How to watch "Race and Sports in America: Conversations" online, on TV

There's a movement taking place in this country right now.

The voices of Black athletes are being heard loud and clear. They want change, and they want it now.

Athletes like Warriors superstar Steph Curry are using their platforms to push for racial and social equality. But it all starts with tough conversations. The message needs to be heard.

On Monday, Curry will take part in a wide-range discussion on an NBC Sports' special, "Race and Sports in America: Conversations."

In addition to Curry, the conversation will feature Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, World Series champion and Oakland native Jimmy Rollins, Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, Los Angeles Chargers coach Anthony Lynn, Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, former tennis star James Blake and golfer Troy Mullins.

“We have to continue to double down and keep people accountable in all walks of life, all industries, all forms of leadership, the judicial system," Curry said. "And hopefully for my kids’ generation, their kids, we will see change.”

Here's how to watch "Race in America and Sports: Conversations."

When: Monday, July 13, 2020 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT
TV: NBC Sports Bay Area
Stream: NBCSports.com

Warriors' Steve Kerr shares nickname for proposed second NBA 'bubble'

Warriors' Steve Kerr shares nickname for proposed second NBA 'bubble'

The Warriors might end up going to Chicago in September, as the NBA is exploring a second "bubble" for the eight teams who are not a part of the resumed season in Orlando.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr has a nickname for the proposed event.

"I call it the 'JV Bubble,' " Kerr said on the most recent episode of his "Flying Coach" podcast.

You probably are aware that "JV" is short for "junior varsity."

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

So what are the Warriors doing in the meantime?

"Right now we have our young players coming in -- working out individually," Kerr explained. "One player, one coach at our facility in San Francisco.

"No team activities are allowed at this point."

[RELATED: Kerr shares Warriors' mindset on playing in Chicago 'bubble']

If the Warriors end up participating in the "JV Bubble," it's all but certain that players like Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins will not attend.

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