Warriors

DeMarcus Cousins names Klay Thompson his favorite Warrior -- here's why

DeMarcus Cousins names Klay Thompson his favorite Warrior -- here's why

Newest Warrior DeMarcus Cousins already has a favorite teammate with Golden State, and it's one he has played with in the past. 

"Just to put this out there, my favorite by far is Klay," Cousins said Thursday at his introductory press conference at the Warriors' facility in Oakland. "Our short time in the summer, for him to be a dull as he is, there's never a dull moment." 

Cousins played with Thompson, as well as Warriors Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Cousins averaged 9.1 points and 5.8 rebounds in eight games with Team USA on his way to winning gold. 

"I really enjoyed my time with Klay, but they're great guys," Cousins said. "Me and Draymond clicked right away. We're two goofballs who like to joke around a lot. We clicked right away. Same thing with KD and same thing with Steph. 

"It's a great group of guys, easygoing people ... outside of Draymond," Cousins said as he laughed. "But it's a great group, and we'll mesh well." 

Even though he's Cousins' favorite Warrior, in classic Klay fashion, he still hasn't reached out to his new center. 

Jonas Jerebko's importance to Warriors explained with one statistic

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AP

Jonas Jerebko's importance to Warriors explained with one statistic

Editor’s note: Grant Liffmann and Drew Shiller are the co-hosts of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, they will drop their Outside Observations on the state of the Dubs, and this time, it’s Grant’s turn.

Jonas Jerebko has been a valuable weapon off the Warriors’ bench this season -- and more than you probably realize.

The team greatly benefits from the 6-foot-10 forward’s ability to stretch the floor, his vastly underrated tenacity when rebounding, his desire to make the right, efficient pass, and his overall energy and toughness on the court. But to simplify Jerebko's contribution is to examine how the Warriors fare in relation to his scoring totals.

When Jerebko scores 10-plus points in a game, the Warriors are 9-1. The one loss they endured came in the Nov. 29 game in Toronto, when Jerebko helped Kevin Durant lead a valiant comeback that eventually ended in an overtime defeat. When Jerebko scores five points or fewer in a game, the Warriors are 5-7.

It has been well-chronicled that the Warriors’ bench lacks a clear scoring role player, so it helps when Jerebko steps up and hits shots.

Having Jerebko open lanes for the Warriors' stars also is crucial to the team's success. The Warriors are 10-1 when Jerebko makes two or more 3-pointers in a game, and Jerebko is +116 in point differential when on the court in those games.

Last season, the Warriors were desperate for shooting from deep off their bench, turning to the likes of Nick Young and Omri Casspi, but the duo never found consistency, and the team suffered from a lack of spacing in the second unit. Jerebko has shored up those issues so far this season, and the Warriors' record reflects it.

'Zo cleaning the glass

Alfonzo McKinnie also is making his presence felt, especially on the glass. When McKinnie pulls down two or more offensive rebounds in a game, the Warriors are 7-1.

Kevon Looney is the Warriors’ best offensive rebounder, but McKinnie also has proven to be valuable contributor in that category. He has a nose for the ball, and doesn’t let a play die once a shot goes up.

McKinnie plays like a guy who’s fighting for playing time every time he steps on the court, and that has helped him become a key member of the bench.

Klay’s 3-point success tied to team success

Many times, it feels like the Warriors really hit their stride when Klay Thompson is firing and hitting from deep, and the numbers support that. When Klay shoots 40 percent or better in a game, the Warriors are 11-1.

That’s no coincidence.

Klay has been uncharacteristically inconsistent from long range this season, leading him to take more contested mid-range shots. When Steph Curry is out, opponents focus on limiting Klay from shooting 3-pointers. But when Curry is playing, of course, the defense shifts the focus to stopping him, leaving Klay with the ability to sink daggers from deep.

If he makes them, the Warriors usually win. Simple as that.

Follow Grant on Twitter @GrantLiffmann for his observations throughout the Warriors’ season

David West explains how Steph Curry is the 'head honcho' of Warriors

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USATSI

David West explains how Steph Curry is the 'head honcho' of Warriors

Programming note: Watch tonight's Warriors-Kings game streaming live at 7 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.

Who is the unquestioned leader of the Warriors? Is it Steph Curry or Draymond Green or Andre Iguodala or Steve Kerr? 

"These guys lead by committee," David West explained on 95.7 The Game. "It's always been a group effort. There's never been one guy ... there was no singular leader. I don't think you can have a singular leader in terms of a basketball team. You got guys who lead in different ways. 

"They're not any different in terms of how other teams work."

[RELATEDDavid West believes Kevin Durant will play for Warriors next season]

But don't get it twisted. West made it very clear who the Warriors look to for guidance and leadership and perspective.

"Steph is still the head honcho in terms of the direction of the group, and the group goes as he goes," the two-time NBA champion said. "And he knows to manage that group in that locker room.

"People don't realize, when he gets hurt and he's not in the lineup, it changes everything. When he's in the lineup and he's in the locker room healthy, he knows how to manage. Now he's not somebody that's gonna be demonstrative and be blowing up and cussing people out.

"But he's gonna be making sure he's communicating with everybody and he's gonna get the team motivated to play and be ready to go."

The Warriors didn't seem too motivated and weren't ready to go on Wednesday night vs the Raptors, so is West calling out Curry? (that's clearly a joke, people)

Curry had his worst game of the season vs Toronto -- 10 points (3-for-12 FG), 3 assists and 4 turnovers -- and hasn't fared too well against the Kings in his career:
-20.8 points per game (tied for 4th fewest vs any team)
-45.4 percent from the field (5th worst vs any team)

But knowing him, he will bounce back and score 67 points tonight...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller