Warriors

Kerr chronicles Speights' 3-point evolution: 'Let it fly'

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Kerr chronicles Speights' 3-point evolution: 'Let it fly'

Marreese Speights entered the NBA as the 16th overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft.

Over his first six seasons in the league, he went 14-for-61 (23 percent) from 3-point territory.

When Steve Kerr became the Warriors' head coach in May 2014, he spoke with Speights about expanding the big man's range.

"Before last season actually, right when I came on board," Kerr explained after Golden State's win over the Knicks on Wednesday night. "I asked him if he felt comfortable taking one more step out. He was sort of non-committal...

"... We wanted him to shoot more 3s last year. He never really got comfortable with it."

The numbers support Kerr's statement. Speights attempted just 18 treys in 2014-15, making five of them.

Through the first 41 games this year, Speights went 1-for-10 from beyond the arc. 

But things changed on Jan. 18 in Chicago when he drilled his only attempt.

Two days later, Speights made his only 3-point shot against Indiana. Three days after that, he went 2-for-2 from distance against the Spurs.

On Wednesday against New York, the 6'10" forward/center went 3-for-5 from deep.

"If they leave me wide open I'm gonna shoot it," Speights said. "Every time I get the opportunity to. So it's good to have a green light from the 3-point line when you're open."

So he does have the green light?

"Any time he's open, I want him to take that 3," Kerr answered. "It's a great shot for us."

Over the Warriors' last 25 games, Speights is shooting over 48 percent (16-for-33) from 3-point territory.

"Just put a lot of work in," Speights said. "During the All-Star break, I started off shooting a lot of them. I knew coming back during practice I would have to put a lot of them up. It's all about repetition and getting them up."

Golden State leads the league in 3-pointers made per game (12.9) and 3-point percentage (41.5).

Speights' ability to shoot it from long range makes the Warriors even more dangerous.

"There's a lot of ball movement and then there's a lot of guys cutting. And normally he's (Speights) at the '5' position and centers want to stay in the paint," Kerr explained. "So he's gonna be open if he drifts out there.

"As long as it's within the flow, and he's open, we want him to let it fly."

DeMarcus Cousins didn't make debut vs. Pelicans for one specific reason

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USATSI

DeMarcus Cousins didn't make debut vs. Pelicans for one specific reason

Programming note: Watch DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors take on the Clippers on Friday night at 7:30pm PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

DeMarcus Cousins isn't exactly on the best of terms with the New Orleans Pelicans organization. 

The four-time All-Star was hoping to re-sign with the franchise that traded for him back in February 2017, but things didn't work out. There is still some bad blood.

Cousins will make his Warriors debut on Friday against the Clippers. Apparently, he could have suited up against the Pelicans but opted to remain on the sideline.

[RELATEDDeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important]

"I wasn’t going to return against them,” Cousins told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports before the Warriors' victory. “I didn’t because I didn’t’ want to give (the media) a storyline. Straight up. You can ask Bob (Myers) that.

"I didn’t want to give y’all a storyline. That’s why (my return) is Friday.”

Cousins is right in that if he made his debut against the Pelicans, the emotions would have been off the charts. He made the right decision to wait two extra days.

At his introductory press conference with the Warriors back in July, the big man implied that New Orleans GM Dell Demps didn't offer him a contract.

"I’m gonna put it like this: Only me and Dell Demps know what was said on the phone that night," Cousins declared. "We both know the truth. And I’ll leave it at that."

If you like drama, then mark April 9 on your calendar because that's when Cousins and the Warriors will face Anthony Davis and the Pelicans in New Orleans...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

DeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important

DeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important

Programming note: Watch DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors take on the Clippers on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

In April 2012, Steph Curry underwent surgery on his right ankle. The surgeon was Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute.

In late January 2018, DeMarcus Cousins underwent surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon. The surgeon was ...

... Dr. Richard Ferkel, who certainly will be watching when the Warriors big man takes the floor Friday night in Los Angeles.

[RELATED: Cousins’ debut means Warriors will face 10 crucial questions]

He recently spoke with NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh about Cousins' rehab process and acknowledged that keeping the six-time All-Star's weight down has been a top priority.

"The stress they're putting on is a little different than for somebody who is a 6-foot point guard," Dr. Ferkel said. "It probably extends the rehab a bit longer in bigger people than in smaller people.”

Cousins isn't a small person, and at various points throughout his career, he has needed to shed some pounds. At this point, that isn't an issue because he truly looks to be in very solid shape -- not elite-level "game shape," but he definitely passes the eye test right now.

But Warriors fans shouldn't expect a seamless assimilation. It will take Cousins some time to shake off the rust and get fully comfortable. He'll have to adapt to the Warriors' high-octane pace and style.

“I think it’s important for people to understand that even if he’s released, we, as part of DeMarcus’ team, feel this current release (to play) is really the final phase of his rehabilitation," Dr. Ferkel added. "We’re not saying he’s 100 percent like he would be if he was uninjured.

"He’s done everything he can do but be in a game situation with elite players.”

Buckle up and enjoy the ride ...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller