Warriors

How six former Warriors from dynasty run are faring in 2019-20 season

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How six former Warriors from dynasty run are faring in 2019-20 season

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann (@grantliffmann) is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

It has been a nightmare season for the Warriors as they currently sit at the bottom of the Western Conference and just a half game out of the worst record in the NBA. There are many reasons for this collapse, with major injuries being the most significant factor.

The roster was overhauled during the offseason, changing the look of a team that had seen historic success of the past half decade. Some of the players that were part of that success, and are no longer with the organization, are still playing in the league.

Let's check in on them:

JaVale McGee (Los Angeles Lakers): 37 games, 16.5 mpg, 6.9 ppg, 62% fg, 5.8 rebs, 1.7 blks

The former fan favorite has started all 37 games that he has played for the Lakers this season, and has played quite well in his minutes. He currently splits time with Dwight Howard in a center rotation that has been effective for a team that is hoping to make a title run.

McGee has served as a perfect lob threat for LeBron James, and has even made two of his last three 3-point attempts. In a funny story, he even played so well the other night blocking six shots, that he joked that the NBA was suspicious, leading to a drug test following the game.

Quinn Cook (Los Angeles Lakers): 23 games, 12.6 mpg, 4.6 ppg, 42% fg, 33% 3pt, 1.4 asts

It has not been a great season so far for Cook, as he has suffered through inconsistency with his shot, and thusly playing time. After being highly efficient in his two seasons with the Warriors, making 44 percent and 41 percent, respectively, from deep, he has been unable to find his stroke with the Lakers.

[RELATED: Cook joined Lakers as tribute to father]

Other than a few games in which he played heavy minutes and was able to get in a scoring groove, Cook has not been able to adapt completely to his limited minute bench position, but as Warriors fans can attest, he is always able to hit a hot streak at any moment.

Jordan Bell (Minnesota Timberwolves): 22 games, 9.4 mpg, 3.2 ppg, 51% fg, 3.1 rebs

Bell has not gotten much of an opportunity to showcase his athleticism and motor yet with the Timberwolves. He has had brief flashes of success, including a 12-point game last month, but without much playing time, it will be up to him to be a small shot of energy and hustle every time he gets on the floor.

Damian Jones (Atlanta Hawks): 34 games, 16.4 mpg, 6.3 ppg, 69% fg, 3.6 rebs, .8 blks

Jones got off to a hot start with the Hawks, and even started 20 of his 34 games played. However, as of late, his playing time has diminished, falling from over 20 minutes per game in the month of November, to under 10 minutes per game over the last couple weeks.

Foul trouble is still a problem for Jones, but at 24 years old, he is still learning the nuances of defense. Both the Hawks and the Warriors should be happy with the trade that netted the the Dubs Omari Spellman. 

Pat McCaw (Toronto Raptors): 17 games, 27.8 mpg, 6.5 ppg, 44% fg, 35% 3pt, 2.7 rebs, 2.5 asts

McCaw's overall season numbers do not tell the whole story of his season. Pat started the season off the bench, but has since started 11 games and has been a key piece of the Raptors rotation. He has also put up some very impressive games, including one in which he scored 18 points to go with seven rebounds and eight assists, as well as his most recent game, when he scored 13 points, collected five rebounds and dished out a career-high 11 assists.

McCaw is finally realizing his potential, and putting up the numbers that the Warriors expected he would eventually do some day.

[RELATED: Barnes' leadership critical to Kings]

Harrison Barnes (Sacramento Kings): 38 games, 35 mpg, 15.3 ppg, 45% fg, 35% 3pt, 4.9 rebs, 2.2 asts

Since leaving the Warriors, Barnes has become a featured piece on the Mavericks as well as currently on the Kings. The highly-paid forward has put up consistent, though not spectacular numbers with Sacramento. Many Warriors fans were sad to see Barnes leave the team following the 73-win season, but in doing so, the Warriors netted Kevin Durant, so it is unlikely anyone is looking back and wondering what-if.

NBA rumors: League 'angling' to cancel rest of season amid coronavirus

NBA rumors: League 'angling' to cancel rest of season amid coronavirus

As the sports world remains frozen due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NBA reportedly isn't optimistic it will be able to restart and finish its season.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst went on "SportsCenter" on Friday and gave an update on the league's current line of thinking and the realistic possibility that basketball won't return until next season.

"It's been a bad week," Windhorst said in regards to the feeling the season might not be salvageable. "I think there was optimism about progress a week ago, and some things that have happened this week have turned it south about what could happen. A big factor was what happened in China, where they halted the return of their league and one of the big reasons was they really believed that if they just tested the players' temperature all the time that it would. The Chinese are finding that asymptomatic carriers are causing maybe a second wave in that country. They have just slammed the breaks on sports.

"The talks between the players union and the league this week -- I've talked to both sides of this issue -- and it is clear the NBA is angling to set up a deal that enables them to shut the season down. Now, they don't have to do that yet, and the way they are negotiating, they are leaving themselves an option either way. But they are not having talks about how to restart the league, they are having financial talks about what would happen if the season shuts down and I think there's a significant amount of pessimism right now."

The NBA reportedly had been looking at the idea of playing the playoffs in Las Vegas while keeping the players in a bubble without fans, but public health officials have poked holes in that idea.

Windhorst noted the NBA is walking a fine line in finishing this season without impacting the 2020-21 season, and the widespread availability of fast, reliable tests will be needed to finish this season.

"They do have runway here," Windhorst said. "I do think that they could go into August or September to finish this season. But I'm not sure they feel confident about that right now. A big factor is testing. We just don't have the testing. At some point, not only does there have to be a test that is quick and can tell if a player is healthy enough to enter the game, you have to know that you have the tests available so that you aren't taking them away from people who need them."

The NBA suspended its season March 12 after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. Gobert and teammate Donovan Mitchell both have fully recovered from their bouts with COVID-19.

[RELATED: Kerr reminiscing about Warriors' dynastic run amid stoppage]

Not finishing the NBA season would be a tough pill to swallow for the league, its players and its fans, but as we focus on social distancing and flattening the curve, it might be the only option.

As of April 3, there were more than 270,000 cases of coronavirus in the United States and more than 7,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and NBC News reporting.

Warriors' gutty win over Celtics was banner moment for 73-win team

Warriors' gutty win over Celtics was banner moment for 73-win team

Programming note: The Warriors' 2015 win over the Boston Celtics will re-air on Saturday, April 4 at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

With Klay Thompson sidelined by a sprained right ankle and Harrison Barnes out with a sprained left ankle, the Warriors went limping into Boston with a perfect record but light on manpower and heavy on fatigue.

It was enough to give the Celtics, who had won four of their previous five games, reason for optimism on the morning of the game.

“We’re just playing good basketball right now,” Celtics forward Jae Crowder told reporters after shootaround. “I’m excited to keep it going for ourselves and our team. Like Brad [Stevens] said today, we’re just going to focus on ourselves. It comes down to us playing hard and protecting our homecourt.”

With the Celtics motivated to defend their homecourt against the defending champions and blemish their 23-0 mark, the Warriors -- playing under interim coach Luke Walton -- knew they’d have to offset those disadvantages with pride and pluck.

What they could not have known at tipoff on that December night is that these competing forces would produce perhaps the most riveting night of their 73-9 season.

A game compelling enough to be re-aired by NBC Sports Bay Area on Saturday afternoon at 4.

Listen and subscribe to the Runnin' Plays podcast

The Warriors were proud of their perfection and determined to protect it. They were wading, however, into the deep end of treachery, playing the final two games of a seven-game, 14-day road trip on back-to-back nights. Rarely does the NBA inflict such cruelty upon its teams.

They prevailed. It took not one but two overtimes -- with 16 ties and 22 lead changes -- but they left Boston with a 124-119 victory and their 24-0 record still intact.

“Nothing was pretty about this game the whole time,” Stephen Curry told reporters at TD Garden. “We got stops and everybody contributed ... This is a huge win for us.”

Curry played 47 minutes and submitted a game-high 38 points, along with 11 rebounds and eight assists. He had eight turnovers and shot 9-of-27 from the field, including 6-of-13 from beyond the arc.

His teammates were splendid. Draymond Green totaled 24 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and five blocks over 50 minutes. Andre Iguodala had 13 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals over 44 minutes. Centers Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli produced 14 points, 21 rebounds and four blocks over a combined 51 minutes. Shaun Livingston came up with a crucial late-game block.

Still, it was a 58-minute marathon, with the Warriors outhustling the Celtics to record a 67-51 rebounding advantage and a 10-7 edge in steals.

“Now I can admit I’m tired,” Curry said.

The win was an important moment for those Warriors.

“We will definitely cherish this because it doesn’t happen often,” Bogut said. “The record, the history, the team -- it doesn’t happen often so we will cherish it.

“Who knows? Next year you could be on a different team and nobody’s talking about you.”

Bogut was indeed on another team the following season, part of the roster shakeup in the wake of acquiring coveted free agent Kevin Durant in July 2016

But the big man had a point. Savor these moments that take you to the loftiest of places, where no team has ever gone. Enjoy the ride because it won’t last.

The Warriors had been stacking wins, one after another, for more than five weeks. The schedule was bound to take a physical toll and the winning meant mounting mental pressure. Beating the Celtics put the Warriors nine wins from the NBA’s all-time longest streak of 33 set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.

[RELATED: Remembering the Warriors' five most memorable playoff moments]

It required a Curry triple to give the Warriors the lead late with 46 seconds left in regulation, followed by a crucial Iguodala 3-ball in the first OT and a critical bucket from Livingston in the second OT. Neither team could pull away.

The Warriors kept at it until they found a way to beat a very good team under adverse conditions. Not one of their other 72 victories surpassed this one for pure perseverance.