Durant: 'Unbelievable teammate; he's the reason why we're so tight'

Durant: 'Unbelievable teammate; he's the reason why we're so tight'

In late July 2016, the Warriors invited JaVale McGee to training camp to compete for the final roster spot.

He signed a non-guaranteed contract for the veteran's minimum of $1.4 million.

It's safe to say that McGee exceeded expectations.

"He's an unbelievable teammate. He brought everybody together. He's the reason why we're so tight," Kevin Durant explained on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "His spirt. His open spirit. He's just always in a good mood. Just his own person. And everybody kind of gravitates to it.

[REWIND: JaVale gifts Draymond-themed blanket to every Warriors teammate]

"He was friends with everybody in a different way. A lot of people don't know that."

Over his first 15 appearances during the regular season, McGee averaged just 3.9 points and 1.9 rebounds over 6.6 minutes per contest.

But across the next two plus months -- 36 games and 10 starts -- he registered 7.1 points and 3.5 rebounds in 10.8 minutes per night.

In the first round of the playoffs against the Blazers, he averaged 9.8 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting over 78 percent from the field.

He scored 12 points in Game 4 at Utah, and 16 points in Game 3 at San Antonio.

"He adds value to your locker room," Durant explained. "That's what underrated when you're playing on a good team, or a team that's thinking about a championship, versus a team that has so many other distractions -- because now, JaVale when he is on a bad team is a distraction -- now with us, it's an asset because he's bringing us all together."

McGee is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in July and it's unclear what the market will be for the 29-year old.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Warriors vs. Clippers live stream: Watch NBA playoffs Game 5 online

Warriors vs. Clippers live stream: Watch NBA playoffs Game 5 online

The Warriors have put the Clippers on the brink. On Wednesday night in Game 5 of their best-of-seven first-round series of the NBA playoffs, they have a chance to bring Los Angeles' season to an end.

Golden State has rebounded since coughing up a big lead in their Game 2 loss to win each of the last two games, including a 113-105 victory in Game 4 on Sunday. With a win Wednesday, the Warriors would advance to the second round, where they would await the victor of the first-round series between the Rockets and Jazz (Houston currently leads three-games-to-one).

Kevin Durant (28.8) and Steph Curry (25.0) have combined to averaged 53.8 points per game so far in the series, the second-highest scoring average for any duo in the playoffs behind Portland's Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum (57.4 ppg).

[RELATED: Why you should expect huge Game 5 for Steph, Warriors]

Here's how you can watch Warriors-Clippers Game 5, as well as NBC Sports Bay Area's pregame and postgame coverage live on the MyTeams by NBC Sports app.

When: 7:30 p.m. PT on Wednesday, April 24 (pregame show starts at 6:30 p.m.)
TV channel: NBC Sports Bay Area
Live stream: MyTeams by NBC Sports app

Desktop users can stream the game here.

Warriors vs. Clippers Watch Guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

USA Today

Warriors vs. Clippers Watch Guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

OAKLAND- Last week, the Warriors left Oracle on the short end of the worst playoff collapse in NBA history. Now, the champs will look to close out the Western Conference first-round series against the Clippers in Game 5 Wednesday night.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6 o'clock with Warriors Outsiders, followed by Warriors Pregame Live at 6:30 and a scheduled 7:30 pm tip-off. 

In parts of the series, the Warriors have shown stretches of complacency, squandering a 31-point lead in Game 2. With a second-round matchup with the Rockets lingering, Golden State will be wise to wrap up their current series as soon as possible. 

Here's everything you need to know about the matchup.


F Kevin Durant 
F Draymond Green
C Andrew Bogut
G Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry

F Danilo Gallinari
C Ivica Zubac
G Patrick Beverley
G Landry Shamet
G Shai Gilgeous-Alexader


Warriors: DeMarcus Cousins (Left Quadriceps Tear) and Damian Jones (Left Pectoral Surgery) are out.

Clippers: None



After shooting just 3-of-14 from the field Sunday afternoon, Curry will look to find his shot in a closeout game. 

The sharpshooter also looks to overcome his propensity to reach during the series. Over his last four games, Curry has accumulated 17 fouls, prompting him to etch the message "no" and "reach" on his shoes prior to Game 4. 

After reminding the media who he is, Durant is averaging 35.5 points, 6.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds over his last two games. 


Gilgeous-Alexader scored a career-high 25 points in Game 4 and has Golden State's attention. 

Meanwhile, the Warriors help neutralize Montrezl Harrell and Lou Williams in Game 4 and will need a repeat defensive performance in Game 5. 

Last week, it looked as if the Clippers may have found the anecdote for the Warriors' all-star cast of characters after LA took Game 3. However - after two dominant performances in Los Angeles - Golden State looks primed to close out the series Wednesday night.  

Officials: Marc Davis (#8), John Goble (#30), Pat Fraher (#26) Alternate: Gediminas Petraitris (#50)