Warriors

Klay Thompson channels Jackie Moon en route to NBA's 3-point record

Klay Thompson channels Jackie Moon en route to NBA's 3-point record

Klay Thompson showed off a new look en route to an NBA-record 14 3-pointers and 52 total points on Monday in a blowout win over the Chicago Bulls. 

Thompson wore a headband for a good chunk of his record-setting night, and credited a Will Ferrell character as his inspiration.

"I looked like Jackie Moon out there, so I was feeling good," Thompson joked with reporters after the game. "He's one of my favorite characters in all of sports movies, so that's probably why I broke the record."

Jackie Moon, of course, was the main character in "Semi-Pro," Will Ferrell's 2008 comedy about an ABA franchise trying to make the jump to the NBA. But there were also practical reasons Thompson donned a headband down the stretch in the Windy City.

Thompson told reporters he and teammate Damian Jones collided like "a couple of idiots," and he had to get two stitches in his head as a result. He told reporters after the game he just wanted to get back on the court, and wearing a band-aid under a headband allowed him to do that. 

"I wasn't gonna let that stop me from attempting this record," Thompson said.

Perhaps the only thing that could have stopped Thompson Monday night was a halftime, bear-wrestling promotion. 

Why comparing Warriors' Eric Paschall to Draymond Green should stop

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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. 

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.

Why Warriors are in power position with Alec Burks at NBA trade deadline

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Why Warriors are in power position with Alec Burks at NBA trade deadline

Alec Burks has made it clear that even in this deeply afflicted season he enjoys being a Warrior and is interested in remaining beyond his one-year contract, to see what it’s like to play with the fully restored roster expected to grace the court next October.

And he’d be good to have around. He’s a versatile wing, a proven scorer, a mature presence and would be fabulous as part of a revamped second unit.

To understand why, consider the work he put in Monday night in Portland: 33 points (team-high) on 11-of-23 shooting, including 2-of-6 from deep and 9-of-9 from the line; eight assists, seven rebounds, two blocks and one steal in 39 minutes.

What contender wouldn’t want someone who can produce that on a $2.32-million salary?

Aside from Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard, who scored an astonishing 61 points to lead his team to a 129-124 overtime victory, Burks was the best player on the floor.

That performance also provides the kind of video that will raise his already solid stock on the trade market. It puts the Warriors, 17 days before the NBA trade deadline, in the flexible -- and enviable -- position of choice.

They can hold onto Burks and see if they can strike a deal to bring him back.

Or they can move him for future assets, which still seems most likely.

Several teams in recent weeks have expressed interest in Burks, according to league sources, and some have gone so far to scout him. That’s not likely to change. There is demand for veteran, low-maintenance wings unbothered by circumstances and capable of creating offense for both themselves and teammates.

The Warriors, for obvious reasons, continue to be very much involved in trade buzz around the league. The general belief is they’ll make at least one move and maybe two before the noon deadline on Feb. 6. 

Burks, with his ability to get buckets, remains their most valuable chip. Glenn Robinson III is a veteran wing, but he lacks the offensive dimension of Burks. Willie Cauley-Stein is a decent veteran center at a time when only exceptional centers are above being interchangeable.

With a 10-35 record and playoff teams Utah (Wednesday) and Indiana (Friday) coming to town, the Warriors likely will maintain their grip on the NBA’s worst record, a status they’ve held most of the season.

Moreover, with or without making a move, the Warriors are a virtual lock to post one of the three worst records in the league, thereby gaining advantageous position for the draft lottery.

There will be many more games like Monday, with the Warriors in it late but fall short down the stretch. That’s the roster they have, and the shortcomings are particularly acute when Draymond Green is sidelined.

“A lot of mistakes down the stretch in the second quarter, and again down the stretch of the game, regulation and overtime,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters at Moda Center. “I didn’t help the guys out much, I could have done some things better as well, so it was a group effort.

“But they’re competing, they’re playing together, they’re playing hard.”

That’s code for the desire to “build good habits,” an oft-used phrase this season. The goal, however, which went all caps once it was known Steph Curry would miss most of the season, is to audition the majority of the non-rookies on the roster. The only exemptions were known commodities Kevon Looney, who has missed 35 games, and Green, who has missed 13. They’re still exempt, for different reasons.

Everyone else, including D’Angelo Russell, is on trial and subject to discussion. The general belief is that D-Lo is almost certain to be moved but probably not during the season.

Which brings us back to Burks, who is both uncomplicated to deal and coveted. His contract is relatively simple to absorb.

[RELATED: Dubs' mistakes doom any chance of win in Dame's big night]

The Warriors have 17 days to make decisions that will impact next year and beyond much more than this year.

Though it would be nice to have Burks on the bench when Klay Thompson and Curry are healthy, the Warriors might feel he is even more valuable now than he might be then.