Kerr: Warriors didn't assign McCaw because he did anything wrong

Kerr: Warriors didn't assign McCaw because he did anything wrong

OAKLAND – There is a very specific reason behind the Warriors’ decision Thursday morning to assign rookies Pat McCaw and Damian Jones to Santa Cruz of the Development League.

They need to play.

“It’ll be great for Patrick to get some playing time – both of them, actually, but Patrick in particular,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday after practice. “He hasn’t done anything wrong here. He’s played really well every time we’ve thrown him out there.

“But Ian (Clark) has just played so well that he’s earned those extra minutes, and it’s tough to play 11 guys.”

After getting playing time in 17 consecutive games, McCaw has only seen the floor for five seconds combined over the past three. Clark, by contrast, generally has been the second guard off the bench, behind Shaun Livingston.

Though McCaw and Jones were getting regular work during practices in Oakland and on the road, the most intense workouts were post-practice 3-on-3 sessions.

“But it’s not the same as 5-on-5, full court, with refs and a crowd,” Kerr said. “It’s a great alternative. And it’s really nice to have the proximity that we do to Santa Cruz. It’s so easy to get our guys down there and back.”

McCaw is averaging 2.8 points, 1.0 rebounds and 1.0 assists per game.

Jones, who missed the first five weeks of the season while recovering from pectoral surgery, has played in only one game, Dec. 10 at Memphis, with Golden State.

Why you should expect Steph Curry to have big Game 5 against Clippers

Why you should expect Steph Curry to have big Game 5 against Clippers

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders tonight at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Steph Curry did not shoot the ball well in the Warriors' Game 4 win at the Clippers.

The two-time NBA MVP went 3-for-14 overall and 1-for-9 from deep, scoring just 12 points.

It was the 22nd time in his career that he registered fewer than 20 points in a playoff game. Why should you expect a big game from Curry in Game 5 tonight at Oracle Arena?

Because the prior 21 times in which he didn't score at least 20, he averaged 27.8 points in the next game.

After scoring just 11 points in Game 3 of last year's NBA Finals against the Cavs, he racked up 37 points in the Game 4 closeout.

Speaking of "closeout games," here are Curry's numbers the last eight times the Warriors had the opportunity to end a series:
-Game 4 at Portland in 2017 = 37 points, eight assists
-Game 4 at Utah in 2017 = 30 points, seven assists
-Game 4 at San Antonio in 2017 = 36 points, six assists
-Game 4 at Cleveland in 2017 = 14 points, 10 assists
-Game 5 vs Cleveland in 2017 = 34 points, 10 assists 
-Game 5 vs New Orleans in 2018 = 28 points, eight assists
-Game 7 at Houston in 2018 = 27 points, 10 assists
-Game 4 at Cleveland in 2018 = 37 points, four assists

That's an average of 30.4 points and 7.9 assists.

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As you are well aware, Golden State advances to the Western Conference Semifinals with a win tonight over the Clippers.

Also, it's safe to assume that Curry watched what Damian Lillard did last night and is champing at the bit to take the floor.

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Draymond Green on Damian Lillard's game-winner: 'That was amazing'

Draymond Green on Damian Lillard's game-winner: 'That was amazing'

OAKLAND – The latest shot heard ‘round the world occurred Tuesday night in Portland, Ore., on national TV, before the disbelieving eyes of NBA stars accustomed to buzzer-beating heroics.

Oakland’s own Damian Lillard, however, shot his way through any pretense of aloofness. HIs game-winning, series-clinching 37-foot jumper over Oklahoma City defensive ace Paul George was an act of such hubris that it sent dozens of players around the NBA running to their phones to praise the way the Trail Blazers star punctuated his 50-point performance.

Draymond Green, basketball aficionado that he is, was among them, tweeting out a three-word message – “Damn Dame! Wow!” – late Tuesday night.

“Yeah, that was crazy,” Green said Wednesday after Warriors shootaround ahead of Game 5 against the Los Angeles Clippers.

“That whole series he played was pretty amazing,” he added. “Dame has been a great player in this league, a guy who I’ve been respecting. But I gained a lot more respect after just the entire series he put together with the back-and-forth between him and Russ (Westbrook) and the way he kept his poise and just continued to lead the team. That was amazing.”

Lillard and Westbrook are bitter rivals, with the Thunder guard doing most of the stoking. They are a study in contrasts, Westbrook the brash trash-talker always running hot while Lillard’s style is understated, rich with swagger dipped in ice.

Green and Lillard are friendly rivals, partly because both entered the league to the shrugs and yawns of skeptics.

“Obviously, he can score the ball with the best of them,” Green said. “But Dame has a chip on his shoulder and has since the day he walked into this league. Just the way he’s grinding, he plays like a guy from Oakland, with a chip on his shoulder. A guy who has been doubted forever. And that showed up in a major way in that series.”

Among the other high-profile athletes to comment on social media were LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Jamal Crawford, Donovan Mitchell, Kevin Love, Trae Young, Allen Iverson, Candace Parker and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Draymond also responded to George’s postgame statement that Lillard took a “bad shot.”

“There are still bad shots, even if they go in,” Green said. “But I don’t know if you could really say that then, if they’re getting 50. I don’t know if you get 50 if any shot is a bad shot, because heat checks and everything are allowed at that point if you get 50. Incredible performance.”