Jonas Jerebko very confident he can help Warriors in one specific area


Jonas Jerebko very confident he can help Warriors in one specific area

Their eternal search for a 3-point specialist from the bench brought the Warriors last summer to Nick Young and Omri Casspi, with Young's nominal impact and Casspi fading his way off the roster.

So the defending champs keep searching. The new guy, Jonas Jerebko, signed up last month and has the potential to deliver the best of what they received from Young and Casspi.

Jerebko’s physical fitness won’t be an issue, as was the case with Young.

And there is absolutely nothing to indicate the 31-year-old forward will have anything resembling a crisis of confidence, as Casspi surely did.

Asked what element of his game he’d put against anyone in the NBA, Jerebko didn’t flinch.

“Just out on that 3-point line,” Jerebko said on the NBC Sports Bay Area Warriors Insider Podcast. “I’m shooting the ball really well right now. The corner 3 . . . I’m feeling really confident shooting the ball.”

After being introduced to Bay Area media on July 16, Jerebko grabbed a Warriors playbook and some video to study before returning to his home in Michigan. Most of the last six weeks have been dedicated to putting himself in position to help his new team, particularly as a reserve who can drill the 3.

In 74 games with Utah last season, Jerebko shot 41.4 percent (65-of-157) beyond the arc, which is indicative of his gradual improvement. After shooting 30.6 percent from deep over his first three NBA seasons, he is at 39.1 percent over his last five.

“I did not come into this league a shooter,” Jerebko conceded.

Shooting is, more than anything else, what the Warriors need him to do. They finished 30th (last) in 3-point makes off the bench last season (2.0 per game), 29th in 2016-17 (2.1), 28th in 2015-16 (2.2) and 28th in 2014-15 (1.9).

Which is a statistical way of pointing out coach Steve Kerr has never known the feeling of looking down his bench and knowing he’d see a consistently reliable deep threat. The best so far: Marreese Speights, who shot 38.7 percent from deep in 2015-16.

“I’ve been shooting the ball well the past few years,” Jerebko said. “I feel really confident in my shot. I’m very confident that I can help in that field.

“I’ve been in the league for 10 years now. I know Steve and those guys have watched me and know what I can do on the court. I’m going to help every which way I can. If that’s on the defensive end, getting steals or rebounds, whatever it may be, hustling, you’re going to see me all over the court.”

At 6-foot-10, 230 pounds, Jerebko believes he offers a bonus: the ability to defend multiple positions.

“I feel comfortable guarding people shorter than me, no problem,” he said. “I try to use my length. I feel I’ve got really quick feet, so I can try to stay in front of people. That’s the way I want to play, mixing it up, guarding big guys or smaller guys, point guards, whatever. Switching on screens? I’m ready for it.”

Jerebko has about four weeks to prove he is ready for it all. Training camp opens on Sept. 25.

Steph Curry shares his thoughts on Allen Iverson's 'top five' comment

Steph Curry shares his thoughts on Allen Iverson's 'top five' comment

At NBA All-Star weekend last year, Allen Iverson told Steph Curry that he's in his "top five all day long."

Since then, Iverson repeatedly has said that the Warriors' superstar would be his point guard if he was assembling an all-time starting five.

"You know what's funny -- I have that saved on my phone," Curry told Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes on the latest episode of "All the Smoke" on Showtime (the full show will air this Thursday). "It's crazy. It's crazy, right?

"I ain't never had a big head. That dude who I picked up a lot of game and inspiration from -- he's now looking at my game ...

"Some OGs, they don't want to relinquish the praise. Same way we respect the OGs, we want it both ways. So when you do hear that, that means something."

As Steph said after Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Finals: "Low-key, I've always wanted to be like Allen Iverson."

It must be killing the three-time NBA champion to be sidelined with the broken left hand, especially on nights like Monday in Portland when he sat on the Warriors' bench while Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard dropped 61 points in an overtime win over the Dubs.

[RELATED: What names did Charles Barkley just call Steph and Klay?]

Now is the perfect time to remind everybody that the two-time NBA MVP averaged 36.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists against the Blazers in the 2019 Western Conference Finals, all while shooting 47 percent overall and nearly 43 percent from deep.

It's safe to assume that Iverson doesn't forget about that, and neither should you.

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Why comparing Warriors' Eric Paschall to Draymond Green should stop


Why comparing Warriors' Eric Paschall to Draymond Green should stop

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.

The offseason comparisons between Warriors rookie Eric Paschall and star forward Draymond Green made sense. Both were highly successful four-year college basketball players from big-time programs that were taken in the second round of the NBA draft due to concerns of their overall athleticism and their inability to fit in to a traditional position.

Both players supposedly were too undersized to play the power forward position in the NBA, but also not quick or polished enough to be small forwards. Even their physiques had similar builds. So with all of that, comparing the two players before the season began was logical.

But it is not anymore.

The most important caveat is that Green is a three-time All-Star, a Defensive Player of the Year, three-time NBA champion and at one point, was widely considered a top-20 player in the league. Conversely, Paschall is a rookie who has not had a chance to accomplish an NBA resume yet.

Comparing both players seems silly already, and it is unfair to Paschall for creating expectations for that type of success. And yet if the side-by-side comparison is simply regarding how they play, Paschall and Green are completely different in their skillsets and approach to the game. 

On the defensive end, Draymond is one of the best help-side defenders in the modern NBA. He plays a "free safety" type role, using his unique ability to read the opponent's every move while also having the quickness and strength to counter them. Despite being just 6-foot-6, Green is elite at guarding big men in the NBA, while also having the unique ability to defend every position on the court.

Paschall, on the other hand, still is learning to play defense at the NBA level, and even with that, has shown to be more of a one-on-one defender so far. While he is more accustomed to guarding the power forward position, he has had impressive defensive moments defending "straight up" against wings, sliding his feet and using his strength to force them into tough shots.

It will take time for Paschall to develop from a good defender into the great one that many think he is capable of becoming. Regardless, his current projection does not have him playing the same defensive style as Green.

On offense, the contrast between the two is even greater. Green became one of the most unique offensive threats in the game as a great playmaker in transition and out of the pick-and-roll. His ability to push the ball full speed in the fast break and expose slow opposing big men helped pave the way for the Warriors' "Death Lineup" that revolutionized small-ball.

At his peak, Green was a 39 percent 3-point shooter, but scored most of his points on the break attacking the hoop. His elite passing ability helped him rack up assists, where he could spread the ball around to the greatest shooters of all-time surrounding him. 

[RELATED: Why Dubs are in power position with Burks at trade deadline]

While Paschall has shown glimpses of impressive playmaking talent, his real bread and butter so far in the NBA has been dominating opponents one-on-one. He is remarkably explosive jumping off two feet, and he is able to combine his great strength with unique finesse when finishing over defenders at the rim. His shooting is very inconsistent from deep, just like Draymond, but he still is refining a mid-range pull-up that keeps defenders honest.

For being only a few months into this NBA career, Paschall already has become a "throw the ball to him and clear out of the way" type talent on offense. While Paschall might never be the type of offensive quarterback like Green, he already is on his way to becoming a more dynamic scoring threat.

Draymond will continue to take Paschall under his wing and teach him the nuances of the game. But when all is said and done, the two Warriors will complement each other very nicely on the court with their own personal skills and differentiated abilities, rather than repetitive and possibly gratuitous similarities.