Warriors

Draymond Green, Warriors looking for crisper NBA Finals Game 2 vs. Raptors

Draymond Green, Warriors looking for crisper NBA Finals Game 2 vs. Raptors

TORONTO - Since training camp opened eight months ago, the Warriors have been searching for a complete game. 

That goal continued to elude them Thursday night at Scotiabank Arena, as turnovers and subpar defense doomed the Warriors to a 118-109 loss to the Toronto Raptors in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. 

In 48 minutes, the champs nearly doubled the Raptors in turnovers, failing to get back in transition. With Game 2 fewer than 48 hours away, the team will look for a remedy. 

"I don't think we played our 'A' game," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Friday afternoon. "I think that's obvious. I think we did some good things and there are a lot of areas we need to improve."

Showing clear signs of rust after nine days off, Golden State allowed Toronto to shoot 50 percent. The Raptors were led by forward Pascal Siakam, who scored 32 points on 14-of-17 from the field. Marc Gasol scored 20 points, while Kawhi Leonard added 23 points as Toronto's starting five outscored the Warriors' unit 93-73, aided by 24 fastbreak points. 

"It's a team effort, five-man group," Kerr said. "And if your transition defense is bad, then there's not a whole lot you can do because you're talking about the best players in the world coming downhill in a fast game, five-on-four or four-on-three, It's just too easy to score for any team, but especially a team like Toronto that's in The Finals."

"All transition defense is is effort and communication," Warriors forward Draymond Green added. "So it's on us to make sure that we make that effort in getting back and getting our defense set and communicating -- who has ball, who is picking up shooters."

Entering Thursday's Game 1, the Warriors didn't play a game for nine days, three of which were taken off completely. While the rest helped Golden State's battered roster heal, no amount of team scrimmages can replicate a game. In an effort to match up better with Toronto, Kerr elected to start Jordan Bell. The maneuver didn't help, as the Raptors, led by Siakam, attempted tp run the Warriors out of the gym. 

"They definitely have a lot of speed," Green said. "I think we definitely come across some teams with a lot of speed. But we have seen it now. You can hear about it all you want. Our coaching staff has preached about it since we found out we were playing them: transition defense, transition defense. It's different once you see it and once you feel it."

While Green finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists -- his fifth triple-double of the postseason -- his six turnovers hindered the Warriors' ability to find a rhythm, as the team gave the ball away 17 times. 

Still, despite their poor play, the Warriors had their chances. When Toronto took a 79-68 lead with 4:19 to go in the third quarter, Golden State used a 13-6 run to cut the lead to four. Early in the fourth quarter, when the Raptors pushed their lead back to eight, Golden State used a quick 6-1 run to cut the lead to three with ten minutes to go. 

[RELATED: Warriors leaning on legs to get healthy to three-peat]

In two regular-season matchups, neither team came into a game with their full squad on the floor, leading to a feeling out process through the first two quarters. Now, with Game 1 behind them, the champs will be looking to improve Sunday evening. 

"Now that we got a feel for it, we know how to adjust," Green said. "We know how important that it is, and it's on us to then make the effort."

NBA rumors: Warriors privately 'cool' on playing when season returns

NBA rumors: Warriors privately 'cool' on playing when season returns

To play or not to play?

That is the question facing the Warriors as the NBA nears a decision on how many teams will participate when the league resumes the 2019-20 season.

While coach Steve Kerr said the team is operating as if the season is over, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that owner Joe Lacob told his fellow owners that the team was "willing" to play if all 30 NBA teams were asked to play.

But ... Wojnarowski also reported, citing sources, that the Warriors have been "far more cool to the idea in private."

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Based on Wojnawowski's reporting from Friday, the NBA Board of Governors are expected to approve commissioner Adam Silver's proposal for a 22-team restart plan later this week, meaning the Warriors -- who hold the worst record in the league -- would not be asked to play any more games this season.

The Warriors don't have anything left to play for this season. They are the only team that has been officially eliminated from playoff contention. Does it make sense for the players to go through several weeks of training camp to play a handful of meaningless games?

"It's a hard thing to put your mind in that space, 'I'm gonna go out here and compete and bust my a-- and know in five games we're just gonna be back in the offseason again,' " Warriors star Steph Curry told former teammate Anthony Morrow recently on "The Life Podcast."

[RELATED: Warriors facility opens, players show up]

Would it be advantageous for the Warriors to get a brief look at Curry playing alongside Andrew Wiggins? Sure, but they don't need to risk injury to either player when the goal is making sure the team is ready to bounce back for the 2020-21 season.

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Steph Curry reacts to Damian Lillard's comments on 'meaningless games'

Steph Curry reacts to Damian Lillard's comments on 'meaningless games'

Damian Lillard created headlines last week with his comments about the NBA's potential plans for resuming the 2019-20 season.

"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team," the Portland Trail Blazers star guard told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. "But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now.

"If we come back and I don't have an opportunity to make the playoffs -- I will show up to work, I'll be at practice and I'll be with my team. I'm going to do all that and then I'm going to be sitting right on that bench during the games."

What is Steph Curry's reaction to that?

"I feel what he's saying because it's hard mentally to go with this long of gap, and then prepare for games you know don't matter," the Warriors' superstar said on the "The Life Podcast" with Anthony Morrow and Justin Jack. "I get it.

"It's a hard thing to put your mind in that space, 'I'm gonna go out here and compete and bust my a-- and know in five games we're just gonna be back in the offseason again.'"

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

Golden State did re-open Chase Center facilities Monday so players could work out again, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock. 

But all indications are that the Warriors won't be playing any additional games this season, and will not be included among the teams that eventually will take the court in Orlando.

[RELATED: Oakland's own Lillard rips Orlovsky for calling him spoiled]

"Between now and Thursday's vote of the board of governors on the plan to restart the season, the NBA is working to complete the details of a 22-team format," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe wrote Monday.

So for Lillard and the Blazers -- who currently sit in a three-way tie for ninth place in the Western Conference -- it appears they will get the opportunity to claw their way into the playoffs.

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