Warriors

Ex-Warriors Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala chime in on double-team debate

Ex-Warriors Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala chime in on double-team debate

We're talking about pick-up.

Not a game. Not a game. Not a game. We're talking about pick-up.

Ah, yes, the doldrums of the NBA offseason. We have officially arrived. You can tell because the NBA world's focus has drifted to a rather ridiculous topic over the last 24 hours.

It all started when video surfaced of Suns guard Devin Booker getting visibly frustrated as a result of being double-teamed in a pick-up game featuring several other NBA players, including Ben Simmons, Joakim Noah and Trey Lyles.

"Hey bro, we're not doubling in open gym," Booker can be heard saying. "I see that s--t all season. Come on, man. Let's work on our games."

"Yeah, we are," Noah retorted. "It's part of the game." 

On Wednesday morning, Hawks guard Trae Young voiced his thoughts on the subject, aligning himself with his pal Booker.

Young's thoughts have since made the rounds, with numerous former and current NBA scouts and players chiming in. Ex-Warriors star Kevin Durant couldn't resist.

Apparently, this isn't the first time Durant has expressed such feelings. Two of his now-former teammates got under his skin doubling him in a practice (warning: NSFW language).

It's a bit ironic that Iguodala mentioned it being right after the All-Star break, as Twitter detectives have tracked down visual evidence of Durant himself participating in a double-team against Steph Curry in what technically was an exhibition -- the NBA All-Star game.

Durant responded to that tweet, pointing out how that double-team was drawn up by coaches, whereas there aren't typically any in your average pick-up game. That's a fair point, but here's the problem with his reasoning: Bonafide NBA players like Simmons, Noah and Lyles don't need a coach to tell them when, who or how to double-team.

[RELATED: Kerr wants Livingston involved with Warriors for years]

If Booker wants to work on his offensive game in open gym, others should be allowed to work on their defensive game, too, right? And, frankly, wouldn't Booker benefit more in the long run from working on his game against the same kind of defense he actually faces?

If you want to work on your NBA game, then don't be surprised when you encounter NBA defense. Anything else is simply batting practice.

Nick Young predicts Warriors miss playoffs, Lakers win 2020 NBA title

Nick Young predicts Warriors miss playoffs, Lakers win 2020 NBA title

Nick Young has never been one to blend in with the crowd, and he's not about to change anytime soon.

Even though his NBA playing days are behind him, Young still is very much keeping tabs on the league, and -- this might shock you -- he has some noteworthy opinions. In speaking to Adam Caparell of Complex, Young offered some thoughts on the upcoming NBA season, and as you'd expect, he didn't shy away from hot takes.

One of those takes, in particular, concerned the Warriors.

When asked if he had one crazy prediction for the upcoming NBA season, Young provided a double dose.

"I will say either New Orleans making the eighth seed or Denver not making the playoffs," Young initially replied. "I don't think the Warriors going to make it this year. If they do, it's the eighth seed."

Predictions for the Warriors are all over the place, and Swaggy P is no different. ESPN projects Golden State as the third-best NBA team over the next three seasons, but some of the company's personalities have a considerably lower opinion of the Dubs.

[RELATED: Why center-by-committee is Warriors' best course of action]

Young won his one and only NBA championship as a member of the Warriors, but clearly, that's not biasing his predictions. As for who he thinks the 2019-20 NBA champion will be, however, he went with one of the other five teams he played for in his 12-year career.

"Lakers."

I suppose they can't all be hot takes.

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With Kevon Looney on mend, Warriors' best plan is center-by-committee

With Kevon Looney on mend, Warriors' best plan is center-by-committee

SAN FRANCISCO -- With two practices remaining before opening night on Thursday, the Warriors have yet to identify their regular starting center.

That likely will be the case for at least a few weeks, according to coach Steve Kerr.

Though Marquese Chriss started the final four preseason games and appeared to have the edge, the return of Kevon Looney -- after being sidelined by a hamstring strain for nearly three weeks -- on Sunday provides some flexibility.

“Loon scrimmaged,” Kerr said after practice. “I just talked to him and he said he felt good. He’ll continue to get more work in as the week goes on. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to go on Thursday night.”

Asked if Looney, the only big man on the roster with experience as a Warrior, might be the starter Thursday against the Clippers, Kerr did not dismiss the possibility.

“He probably would be,” he said. “But I’d probably do it based on matchups from game to game.”

As the Warriors prepared for training camp, it was generally assumed that the majority of the minutes at center would go to Willie Cauley-Stein and Looney. Cauley-Stein, acquired as a free agent after four seasons with the Kings, was the presumed starter, with Looney maintaining his role as an early sub.

That was before Cauley-Stein sustained a mid-foot sprain a few days before camp.

That was before Looney strained a hamstring on the first day of camp.

And before Marquese Chriss -- signed to a non-guaranteed contract one day before camp -- started four of five preseason games, opening eyes and minds and earning a roster spot.

Chriss, 22, might have the most comprehensive set of skills. Cauley-Stein, 26, offers the greatest length (7-foot-3 wingspan) and most experience as an NBA starter. Looney, 23, is most familiar with the team’s playbook and culture.

[RELATED: Warriors GM Myers happy with what Chriss brings to team]

Those three represent most of the center committee, with leftovers going to Omari Spellman.

“We lack size, obviously with Willie and Loon out,” Kerr said. “So, if we get Loon back, we’d probably look at the other team’s lineups and see what makes the most sense.”

The Warriors have been here before. Damian Jones and Looney rotated starting assignments at center last season before DeMarcus Cousins was cleared to play. Both Zaza Pachulia and JaVale McGee were utilized as starters in each of the two previous seasons.

A rotation of three, however, provides tremendous flexibility -- a platoon system of sorts -- while also presenting potential challenges to court chemistry.

Above all, it maintains the spirit of competition while also keeping everyone fresh.

Until someone emerges as the clear starter -- Cauley-Stein has progressed to non-contact drills, but he’s not expected to return until next month -- a center-by-committee system seems the smart way to go.

Indeed, for now, it may be the only way.