Warriors

Kerr admits Curry's injuries forced 'a few adjustments' in Finals

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Kerr admits Curry's injuries forced 'a few adjustments' in Finals

Editor's Note: The above video is from June 20, 2016.

After sustaining a knee injury in Game 1 of the 2016 playoffs, Steph Curry spent the next two months dodging questions about his health, pronouncing himself fit each time he put on his Warriors jersey.

His coach, Steve Kerr, whistled precisely the same tune all the way through losing the NBA Finals.

Clearly, though, Curry was neither as nimble nor as explosive as he was in the regular season, when he became the first unanimous winner of the MVP award.

Kerr now concedes that Curry’s condition – he later sustained an ankle injury and an elbow contusion – resulted in a few strategic limitations.

“We made a few adjustments in terms of play-calling and actions that we tried to run,” Kerr told CSNBayArea.com in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon. “But there’s only so much of that you can do.

“It’s still about flow and rhythm and pace. We tried a few different things – and let’s not forget, he was phenomenal in a few games.”

Curry had several spectacular moments, most notably his 40-point outburst – including 17 in overtime – in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals at Portland. But his shooting percentage tumbled from 50.4 in the regular season to 43.8 in the playoffs. His 3-point marksmanship dropped from 45.4 percent to 40.4.

His lack of agility and balance was visible. After routinely torturing big men on defensive switches in the regular season, Curry couldn’t shake lumbering Cavaliers big man Kevin Love in the NBA Finals.

“Steph didn’t play his best against Cleveland for some of the series, but he had huge games in other parts of the playoffs, which got us to that point,” Kerr said. “That’s all a part of it. And if we had won the last game, nobody would’ve cared about Steph or his struggles.”

The Warriors fell when Kyrie Irving, once again exploiting a diminished Curry, drained a 3-pointer over Curry inside the final minute of Game 7 at Oracle Arena.

“I didn’t do enough to help my team win,” Curry said afterward. “It will haunt me for a while.”

Though Curry didn’t mention his assorted aches and pains after Game 7, this was two weeks after he withdrew from consideration for the Rio Olympics, citing a desire to fully heal in hopes of better preparing for next season with the Warriors.

As recently as 17 days ago – a full month after The Finals – Curry during a golf tournament at Lake Tahoe acknowledged his body was still recovering.

Yet neither Curry nor Kerr would, given the stakes, do anything differently.

“We didn’t hide anything,” Kerr said. “If there had been a diagnosis, we would have told you. We don’t hide stuff like that. He was banged up. But that’s not an excuse. It’s not an injury; it’s just that the reality of the season and it kind of hit him at the wrong time, given that everything started in the playoffs and carried through.

“We wouldn’t have sat him out. We wouldn’t have said anything different than what we said. It’s just the reality of sports. It always takes a little bit of luck to win a title. We always say that, and it’s the truth. You’ve got to get a break here and there.

“Maybe this wasn’t the year for us. We made a hell of a run. We were right there, seconds away. That’s how hard it is. You’ve got to go for it, and whatever happens, happens. And then you move on, and that’s what we’ve done.”

NBA draft 2019: Updated order after Lakers-Pelicans Anthony Davis trade

NBA draft 2019: Updated order after Lakers-Pelicans Anthony Davis trade

From the moment the 2019 NBA Draft lottery concluded on May 14, it was safe to assume the New Orleans Pelicans would end up acquiring the No. 3 overall pick from the Knicks or the No. 4 overall pick from the Lakers for Anthony Davis.

On Saturday, New Orleans and Los Angeles reportedly agreed to a blockbuster trade centering around the All-Star big man. One of the pieces headed to the Pelicans is indeed the No. 4 overall pick.

The trade hasn't officially been completed, and isn't expected to go through until July 6 at the earliest, but we can still update the NBA Draft order knowing that the player taken by the Lakers on Thursday eventually will end up in New Orleans along with Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart.

Also, in case you forgot, the Pelicans own the No. 1 overall pick, which they almsot certainly will use to draft Duke star Zion Williamson.

The Warriors will pick at No. 28 in the first round and No. 58 in the second round. The latest mock drafts have some intriguing options going to Golden State.

As for the Kings, they don't have a first-round pick, but they own the No. 40, No. 47 and No. 60 picks in the second round.

Here's the refreshed 2019 NBA Draft order taking the trade into account:

First round

1. New Orleans
2. Memphis
3. New York
4. New Orleans (from Los Angeles Lakers)
5. Cleveland
6. Phoenix
7. Chicago
8. Atlanta
9. Washington
10. Atlanta (from Dallas)
11. Minnesota
12. Charlotte
13. Miami
14. Boston (from Sacramento via Philadelphia)
15. Detroit
16. Orlando
17. Brooklyn
18. Indiana
19. San Antonio
20. Boston (from LA Clippers via Memphis)
21. Oklahoma City
22. Boston
23. Utah
24. Philadelphia
25. Portland
26. Cleveland (from Houston)
27. Brooklyn (from Denver)
28. Golden State
29. San Antonio (from Toronto)
30. Milwaukee

Second round

31. Brooklyn (from New York via Philadelphia)
32. Phoenix
33. Philadelphia (from Cleveland via Orlando and New York)
34. Philadelphia (from Chicago via Los Angeles Lakers)
35. Atlanta
36. Charlotte (from Washington via Orlando, Denver and Atlanta)
37. Dallas
38. Chicago (from Memphis)
39. New Orleans
40. Sacramento (from Minnesota via Portland and Cleveland)
41. Atlanta (from Los Angeles Lakers via Cleveland and Indiana)
42. Philadelphia (from Sacramento via Brooklyn and Milwaukee)
43. Minnesota (from Miami via Charlotte)
44. Atlanta (from Charlotte)
45. Detroit
46. Orlando (from Brooklyn via Memphis and Charlotte)
47. Sacramento (from Orlando via New York)
48. LA Clippers
49. San Antonio
50. Indiana
51. Boston
52. Charlotte (from Oklahoma City)
53. Utah
54. Philadelphia
55. New York (from Houston)
56. LA Clippers (from Portland via Detroit and Orlando)
57. New Orleans (from Denver via Milwaukee)
58. Golden State
59. Toronto
60. Sacramento (from Milwaukee)

NBA rumors: Anthony Davis trade timing could hinder Lakers free agency plans

NBA rumors: Anthony Davis trade timing could hinder Lakers free agency plans

Lakers fans everywhere are excited by the agreed upon Anthony Davis trade with the Pelicans.

Initial reporting on Saturday speculated that Los Angeles would still have between $27 and $32 million in cap space remaining, enough to bring in another marquee player through free agency.

But new information coming out Sunday paints a slightly bleaker picture for the Lakers.

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the trade won't be executed until July 6.

Davis also has a 15 percent trade kicker that equates to $4 million. He could waive the trade kicker to help the Lakers, but Wojnarowski doesn't see that happening.

With that in mind, the Lakers' cap space would decrease from just over $27 million to just over $23 million.

But there's more.

By completing the trade on July 6, the player the Lakers draft with the No. 4 overall pick next Thursday wouldn't count towards their salary. But if the Lakers were to tell the Pelicans 'Hey, let's wait until July 30 to execute the trade,' Los Angeles could free up salary-cap space because the No. 4 pick would be on the books.

Wojnarowski believes there's a chance the teams wait until July 30, but for now, he expects the blockbuster trade to go through on July 6.

[RELATED: Lakers need more than Davis]

If that's the case, the Lakers will have less cap space than they had hoped. That would be welcome news for the Warriors and Kings, who are watching their Pacific Division rival retool their roster in a big way.

If the Lakers aren't able to add a marquee free agent alongside Davis and LeBron James, they won't be as daunting.