Warriors

How Draymond Green, Warriors will make up for offseason of lost scoring

How Draymond Green, Warriors will make up for offseason of lost scoring

Many Western Conference teams have added quality players this summer, making the road to the playoffs harder than before.

Meanwhile, for the Warriors, they unfortunately dealt with an offseason of upheaval and turnover. For a team known for revolutionizing the NBA with their high-powered offense, the Warriors now face a tough task ahead of recreating their past success after key departures and injuries.

Last season, the Warriors were second in the NBA in scoring at 117.7 points per game, trailing the Milwaukee Bucks. With the loss of Kevin Durant (26 points per game) and Klay Thompson for most of the season (21.5 points), the team will have to make up for a significant deficit in scoring.

DeMarcus Cousins averaged 16.3 points per game in 30 regular-season games, however during that stretch, other stars sacrificed their point totals to accommodate him, so making up for that point total is somewhat of a wash when accounting for the others full-season statistics. The combination of Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, Quinn Cook, Jonas Jerebko and the other now-former bench pieces accounted for roughly 20 points per game.

So while rough and inexact, the Warriors to start next season will have to make up for players that totaled about 70 points per game. How will they do that?

It starts with the remaining stars. Steph Curry should not be counted on to score much more than his 27.3 points per game from last season. It was the second-highest total of his career, trailing the 30.1 he scored during his unanimous MVP season.

The amount of attention that Curry will draw from defenses should keep him somewhere in his normal scoring range. Draymond Green, on the other hand, should be fully prepared to increase his scoring output. After putting up 7.4 points last regular season, Green stepped up his fitness and overall game by scoring 13.3 points per game in the postseason.

Draymond's career-high in regular-season scoring average came in 2015-16 when he totaled 14 points per game. The Warriors will need him to approach the next regular season with that same sort of aggression and confidence on the offensive end.

The addition of D'Angelo Russell is a major factor in making up for any offensive deficit. Russell averaged a career-high 21.1 points last season, and the Warriors hope that he can repeat that or even better it in their fast-paced, efficient offensive system. If Russell can average 22 or 23 points per game, then combined with Draymond's potential scoring increase, the team will have 30 points taken away from the 70 point deficit between two players.

Making up for the remaining 40 points will be difficult, and it starts with one holdover from last season, Kevon Looney. After scoring 6.3 points per game last season, Looney will now have a larger role and expected to put up more shots. He is an underrated and capable scorer, who might even add a three-point shot to his arsenal next season. If he could raise his output to 10-12 points on average, that would be a helpful boost.

Adding Willie Cauley-Stein, Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III to the mix has the potential to make up for a good amount of the missing offense. Cauley-Stein averaged nearly 12 points per game last season, and there is no reason to believe he will not be able to do the same when coupled with great pick-and-roll initiators in Curry, Green and Russell.

Burks is a natural scorer, and when right is able to put up double-digit points every night. If he were to average 12 points per game and shoot the three-ball at a rate of 37 percent or better, the Warriors will benefit greatly. Robinson III has not averaged more than six points per game in his career, so it is not fair to expect him to exceed that total.

His long-range shooting suffered considerably last season, but he was able to shoot about 39 percent from deep over the three seasons combined before that. If Robinson III can return to form, six points per game next season would definitely be welcome to the team.

[RELATED: Giants' hot streak weirdly coincides with Kevin Durant leaving Warriors]

With Looney's increase of about four points, and the three new free agents dropping about 30 points per game, the Warriors have now made up for nearly the whole deficit they had lost from last season. If the team can get contributions from Alfonzo McKinnie, Omari Spellman, Jacob Evans III, Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall or Alen Smailagic, to make up for inevitable injuries or underachievement from the rotation players, then their offense should be humming as always.

With the expectation that Klay Thompson will return at some point later in the season, the Warriors should be ready to compete with the best teams in the NBA on the offensive end.

Now about the defense ...

Warriors' Steph Curry continues activism with police brutality protest

Warriors' Steph Curry continues activism with police brutality protest

On the corner of Perkins and Grand in Oakland, Warriors guard Stephen Curry put both of his hands up and spoke a sentence black folks have been chanting for much of their American existence. 

"Hands up!" Curry yelled amongst fellow protestors near Oakland's Lake Merritt. "Don't shoot!"

On the same block, Curry took a knee in protest of police brutality that has crippled Black America. The image was a reminder of the activist Curry has become off the court in recent years.

His latest act came in the wake of George Floyd's tragic death in Minneapolis police custody. Floyd -- a 46-year-old Black male -- died after officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was detained after allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill and resisting arrest, although nearby security cameras showed he didn't resist. In his final moments, Floyd could be heard screaming, "I can't breathe" and "mama." 

The killing has inspired protests all over the world. Wednesday's protest -- organized by Curry's teammate Juan Toscano Anderson -- drew an estimated 300 people to walk around Lake Merritt. Fellow Warriors Klay Thompson and Damion Lee also attended the protest.

The location of Curry's kneel is noteworthy. Lake Merritt is situated three miles away from North Oakland, where the Black Panther Party was formed. A mile away from the intersection Curry kneeled, the Panthers started the free breakfast program for kids. For much of its history, Oakland has been the country's epicenter for change and Curry was a part of the latest iteration. 

Social causes aren't new for the guard. Last summer, Curry financed the creation of the Howard University golf program. With his contribution, the Bison men's team will play in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, while the women will play as independents. In addition, he outfitted them all in Under Armour apparel -- the shoe company that sponsors him -- and funded three scholarships for the school. 

In 2014, before Game 5 of Golden State's first-round playoff series against the Clippers, Curry was among a group of players ready to boycott if Clippers owner Donald Sterling wasn't banned by NBA commissioner Adam Silver following leaked racist remarks. Three years later, he said President Donald Trump's words were rooted in "racism" after he criticized LeBron James' intelligence in a tweet. Curry even spoke out against Under Armour in 2017, after CEO Kevin Plank called Trump an "asset" to the United States.

“If there is a situation where I can look at myself in the mirror and say they don’t have my best intentions, they don’t have the right attitude about taking care of people,” Curry told The Mercury News in 2017. “If I can say the leadership is not in line with my core values, then there is no amount of money, there is no platform I wouldn’t jump off if it wasn’t in line with who I am. So that’s a decision I will make every single day when I wake up. If something is not in line with what I’m about, then, yeah, I definitely need to take a stance in that respect.”

Curry's latest act comes on the same day New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees doubled down on his take that athletes shouldn't kneel during the national anthem. 

[RELATED: Poole: Brees reveals he's part of problem, not solution]

Brees' comments are a common retort for an uninformed person of privilege. Feigning patriotism behind the flag while ignoring why Colin Kaepernick and Curry kneeled in the first place. Disregarding that Kaepernick consulted a green beret before his demonstration and kneeled in respect for the anthem. Brees' stance, like that of many other similar public figures, is lazy, ignorant and dangerous. 

Curry, unlike Brees, will be on the right side of history at his current pace. 

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Steph Curry among Warriors at Juan Toscano-Anderson's Oakland protest

Steph Curry among Warriors at Juan Toscano-Anderson's Oakland protest

How did Warriors superstar Steph Curry spend his Wednesday afternoon?

He took part in a peaceful protest against police brutality and systemic racism at Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Curry and his wife, Ayesha, kneeled during the protest.

Juan Toscano-Anderson, an Oakland native and Warriors forward, organized the event.

"No matter the color of your skin, where you're from, how much money you got -- it doesn't matter," Toscano-Anderson said to those who gathered. "We're all human beings. We're all here for the same purpose.

"Right now, it's about black people. But for humanity, there's people all over the world being oppressed. We're just trying to take a step in the right direction."

[RELATED: Brees still believes kneeling is 'disrespecting the flag']

Additional members of the Warriors arrived after the walk began.

Protests around the country continue in response to George Floyd's tragic death last week while in police custody in Minneapolis.