Warriors

Kevin Durant tells Serge Ibaka why Warriors would have beaten Raptors

Kevin Durant tells Serge Ibaka why Warriors would have beaten Raptors

It's always fun to hear two people talk some friendly trash to each other.

It's even better when the people involved are Kevin Durant and Serge Ibaka.

On the most recent episode of "How Hungry Are You?" from Bleacher Report, the former Oklahoma City Thunder teammates had the following back-and-forth about the 2019 NBA Finals between the Warriors and Raptors:

Ibaka: "Do you think if you didn't go down, you guys would beat us?"

Durant: "For sure."

Ibaka: "Are you sure about that? Are you 100 percent, my brother? We were hot, baby ... we were hot. We were like fire. Nobody could stop us."

Durant: "I could. I was like Sub-Zero (laughing)."

Ibaka: "We may go to Game 7, but the way we were balling -- had confidence."

Durant: "Let's put it like this -- if ya'll go into a Game 7 with the two-time champs, you're not winning that game. You're not. Ya'll had to win in six, which ya'll did. But if I was out there, ya'll wouldn't have beat us at home."

Ibaka: "We almost beat you guys in five, you know that right?"

Durant: "Yeah. Game 6, ya'll almost lost anyway. Klay [Thompson] went out, and ya'll almost lost. So Game 6, we would have smacked ya'll at the crib. And then Game 7 -- I know for sure you could hear a pin drop in your locker room walking into that arena. Ya'll would have been so shook."

Ibaka: "Yeah."

Durant: "So shook."

Ibaka: "Yeah, you're right about that (laughter). But we were hot, so we the champs."

[RELATED: Steph knows he has no room for error with Dubs this season]

Awesome stuff.

Durant didn't bring up the fact that he missed the first four games of the series, while Klay and Kevon Looney were sidelined for Game 3 in Oakland.

I think we all can agree that if both teams were fully healthy from the start, Golden State wins the series in six games max.

But that's not how life works.

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Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!

NBA rumors: Warriors not high on James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball in draft

NBA rumors: Warriors not high on James Wiseman, LaMelo Ball in draft

The NBA Draft Lottery is scheduled to take place May 19.

The 2020 NBA Draft is slated for June 25.

But those two events could be pushed back months as everything is up in the air because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Warriors are all but guaranteed to land a top-five pick, and it's possible they end up with the No. 1 overall selection.

If you want Golden State to go with center James Wiseman or guard LaMelo Ball, you won't like the latest intel from Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle:

According to multiple league sources The Chronicle contacted in the past few days, the Warriors — contrary to what mock drafts might suggest — aren’t believed to be high on two of the three players being mentioned as possibilities at the No. 1 pick: former Memphis center James Wiseman and point guard LaMelo Ball, who last played for the Illawarra Hawks of Australia’s National Basketball League.

As one source put it, “I think they’d only take one of those two if they were trading down in the draft and taking them for another team.”

Wiseman -- who dealt with eligibility issues at Memphis -- appeared in just three games for the Tigers this season.

[RELATED: Warriors GM Myers reveals one aspect of plan for roster]

Ball -- the younger brother of New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball -- appeared in 13 games for the Illwarra Hawks in Australia's National Basketball League, averaging 17.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.5 steals.

His season was cut short in late November because of a bone bruise in his foot.

Yours truly is not going to make any predictions on what the Warriors will do because it's too early in the process. There just are too many unknowns at this point.

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How Warriors' youngsters painted bright future during regular season

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AP

How Warriors' youngsters painted bright future during regular season

It's difficult to focus on anything other than the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic right now, but a little sports-talk distraction can help. In this particular case, let's focus on the young Warriors and their best statistical stretches from the regular season. 

Sure, the Warriors have not won many games this season. In fact, they are dead last in the standings. But the future is bright for the team, and these players all showed their high-ceiling potential during these stretches:

Eric Paschall

Nov. 2 - Dec. 4, 2019:

17 games, 33.5 minutes, 18.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, 48.8 FG%, 33.3 3PT%

Paschall burst onto the NBA scene and became a legitimate NBA Rookie of the Year candidate during this early stretch. Collecting over six rebounds per game will be something that he will try to repeat next season.

Feb. 27 - March 10, 2020: 

Seven games, 31.6 minutes, 19.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 54.9 FG%, 35.0 3PT%

Only a seven-game sample size, but Paschall put up sensational numbers at nearly 20 points per game on 55 percent shooting. Working on his 3-point shot will be a big project for him over the offseason, but if he can shoot near 35 percent from beyond the arc next season, the coaches and front office will be ecstatic. Dishing out over five assists per game might have been the most impressive part of this stretch, as Paschall showed off playmaking abilities that many did not know he possessed. 

Marquese Chriss

Feb. 8 - March 10, 2020: 

12 games, 26.8 minutes, 14.6 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 blocks, 61.1 FG%, 80.0 FT%

A 22-year-old big man who can finish above and protect the rim, has superb athleticism, fights for rebounds and dishes the ball to open teammates. The Warriors just about hit the jackpot with Chriss. Check out the 80 percent from the free throw line as well, which -- if maintained -- should help keep him on the court late in games.

Damion Lee

Dec. 13, 2019 - Jan. 8, 2020: 

13 games, 31.5 minutes, 15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 42.8 FG%, 42.1 3PT% 

Lee proved a lot of his naysayers wrong when he showed he was a lot more than just a long-range shooter. During this stretch, he became the symbol of the Warriors' hustle and energy, as exemplified by his nearly seven rebounds per game from the shooting guard position. That 42-percent clip from deep is still his bread and butter, however, and the Warriors will be better for having his spacing on the court next season.

Feb. 10 - March 7, 2020: 

11 games, 33.0 minutes, 16.5 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals, 44.3 FG%, 37.2 3PT%

During this stretch, Lee's role jumped around from go-to scorer to facilitating point guard, and he was impressive in his ability to be solid in all duties. His versatility and low-cost production will be crucial next season.

Jordan Poole

Feb. 8 - March 3, 2020: 

Nine games, 29.4 minutes, 15.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 47.7 FG%, 34.0 3PT%

At only 20 years old, most thought that Poole would be a project who would eventually see a role as a sweet-shooting two-guard. And yet, outside shooting became Poole's least reliable weapon as a rookie as he adapted to the league. Instead, he became a dynamic playmaker who was most confident with the ball in his hands and creating for others. His ability to attack and finish at the hoop considerably improved over the year as well. His nearly 16 points per game over this stretch obviously catches the eye, but the improved shooting percentages are what matter most with Poole when looking toward the future.

[RELATED: Warriors GM Myers reveals one aspect of plan for roster]

Ky Bowman

Nov. 2 - Nov. 25, 2019: 

13 games, 26.4 minutes, 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.1 turnovers, 51.7 FG%, 45.0 3PT% 

Bowman was fantastic early in the season when he knew he was going to play a lot and in a scoring-guard role. His shooting percentages were elite and he played his typical hounding defense. However, the coaching staff knew that Bowman eventually would have to change his mindset and style to fill the backup point guard minutes next season, and his game faltered a good amount as he focused on being a facilitator first. Yes, the 45 percent from deep is as impressive as can be, but the 3:1 assist-to-turnover ratio was what convinced the coaching staff to have confidence in his ability to make the role change for next year.