Warriors

Draymond Green: Warriors training camp profile

Draymond Green: Warriors training camp profile

The Bulls did it twice, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way. The Lakers accomplished it once, behind Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In the 42 seasons since the NBA-ABA merger, those are the only franchises to win three consecutive NBA Finals.

When the Warriors come together for training camp on Sept. 25, their goal is to become the third.

Here is a look at those players with guaranteed roster spots.

SIXTH IN A SERIES

Player: Draymond Green
Position: Power Forward
Height/weight: 6-7, 230
College: Michigan State
Age: 28
Salary: $17.47M (Year 4 of a five-year contract worth $82M per Spotrac).
NBA 2K Player Rating: 87

2017-18 in review: Though Green’s defense generally was stellar, it didn’t meet the standard set the previous season, when he was rightfully voted Defensive Player of the Year. He also struggled with his 3-point shot. No question he felt the affects of several injuries, most notably nagging shoulder soreness. Yet he still led the team in rebounds, assists, blocks and steals. Green was, despite the numbers, still an overall force worthy of his third consecutive trip to the All-Star Game.

Key stats: 70 games (70 starts), averaging 11.0 points (45.4 percent FG, 30.1 percent 3p), 7.6 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks per game.

Season highs: Points (25), rebounds (16), assists (16), blocks (six), steals (four, three times), minutes (40).

2018-19 outlook: Insofar as Green does not take well to failure, expect him to raise his overall defense to a level that would put him back in the DPOY conversation. Assuming a summer of physical healing, his shot should improve enough to once again force teams to guard him up top. Green’s fiery ways will continue -- they’re a crucial element of the team’s chemistry -- but don’t be surprised if there is a reduction in technical fouls related to jawing with officials.

Jonas Jerebko caps off impactful night vs. Jazz with memorable game-winner

Jonas Jerebko caps off impactful night vs. Jazz with memorable game-winner

SALT LAKE CITY -- Jonas Jerebko was feeling his way through his new team, showing up early, staying late and always projecting professionalism. Until Friday evening, he didn’t have much to show for his commitment.

His coming out could not have been timed any better for the Warriors, or for Jerebko. Facing the Jazz, for whom he played last season, in an arena he knows well, he made the play that saved what had been a long, treacherous night.

Jerebko’s tip-in of a Kevin Durant miss with 0.3 seconds remaining lifted the Warriors to a 124-123 victory, delighting his teammates and breaking hearts all over what had been a roaring throng at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

“It felt great,” Jerebko said. "Being back here, I had a great time here. To come back, I said I wanted a win, so it felt great.”

It looked even better. After Jerebko’s tip dropped in, he was mobbed by so many Warriors the bench was practically vacant. Because the clock showed zeroes, officials were busy determining how much time might be left. The Warriors in their celebration were almost oblivious to that.

Utah’s last shot, a prayer by Donovan Mitchell, hit the side of the backboard and the Warriors ran into the locker with the joy that comes with a stirring comeback.

“It was an amazing moment,” Stephen Curry said. Curry scored 22 of his 31 points in the second half, when the Warriors wiped out a 16-point deficit.

“I didn’t see how he got to that position, to get the offensive rebound. It was a timely tip-in. Once I saw him go crazy, I knew time was almost out. It’s a great moment. He’s new to the team and made a big play, especially being back here in Utah.

“I know it’s early in the season, but these type of games are exciting and fun. We’re thankful to get the win, so we’ve got to celebrate accordingly.”

Jerebko’s game-winner capped off a night when he made a considerable impact. Coming off a scoreless six-minute stint in the season opener, Jerebko came off the bench with 5:03 left in the first quarter and took exactly 30 seconds to do what the Warriors wanted when they signed him as a free agent in July.

He drained a 3-pointer. He buried another triple with 2:45 left in the quarter on his way to 10 points and six rebounds over 24 minutes. Jerebko was 4-of-5 from the field, including 2-of-3 from deep.

“It’s always nice to see the first one go in,” Jerebko said. “But I feel real comfortable shooting the ball. I’ve got great players around me, so if I’m open I’m going to shoot it.”

The Warriors were trailing most of the second quarter, all of the third and for the first five minutes of the fourth. Kevin Durant, who scored 24 points in a lackluster first half for the Warriors,

Golden State needed everything it got from Jerebko, along with 38 points -- 24 in a marvelous first half -- from Durant and Curry’s scoring output. Draymond Green rallied from a fitful first 39 minutes to play a strong final nine, finishing with 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

But this night belonged to Jerebko, who as a free agent signed a one-year deal in July. Everyone in the locker room was smiling, but no one’s grin was bigger than his.

“He’s one of us,” Kerr said. “Anytime you’re a new guy with a team, you’re trying to make your mark. You do it in practice by going hard. You do it with your work ethic.

“But as soon as you hit a game-winner, that pretty much solidifies it.”

The Warriors need Jerebko to provide scoring off the bench. He did on Friday.

And he did it with style.

 

Klay Thompson reminds Jazz they cut Jonas Jerebko after buzzer beater

Klay Thompson reminds Jazz they cut Jonas Jerebko after buzzer beater

Minutes after Jonas Jerebko broke his former teammates' hearts with a game-winning, buzzer-beating tip-in on Friday night, Warriors guard Klay Thompson reminded the Utah Jazz of something.

The Jazz could have kept the 31-year-old Swede ... not that they needed another reminder. 

Utah waived Jerebko on July 7, one year after he signed a two-year contract with the team. Five days later, his deal with the Warriors was official.

Jerebko played just under 24 minutes against his old club, scoring 10 points (on 4-of-5 shooting), with six rebounds, a steal, and an assist.  His ninth and tenth points -- and his sixth rebound -- were the difference on Friday. 

The Jazz got more salary-cap space when they cut him, but Jerebko got the last laugh on Friday.