Lakers coach praises Avery Bradley's defense on Warriors' Steph Curry

Lakers coach praises Avery Bradley's defense on Warriors' Steph Curry

Avery Bradley didn't score a single point in Lakers debut. The box score had him 0-for-3 from the field with one rebound, zero assists and three fouls, yet the veteran guard was a plus-3 in a 123-101 win over the Warriors on Saturday at Chase Center in the preseason opener.

Much of that had to do with his defense on Warriors superstar point guard Steph Curry. Even in a preseason game, Bradley was seen hounding Curry right away in the first quarter.

“Steph gets his first touch of the ball and that guy is right under his chin,” Vogel said to reporters after the game, via The Athletic's Bill Oram. “That sets a tone for our defense. So, a few possessions later, Steph is supposed to bring it up and he’s advancing it with the pass. So he’s really changed what their look is like.”

Curry went 3-for-7 from the field in the first quarter and finished the game with 18 points over 18 minutes.

The Lakers started the preseason with Bradley in the starting lineup, along with shooting guard Danny Green, forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and JaVale McGee at center. They might not always start the game like that, but they very well could when facing the Warriors. 

Whether playing for the Celtics or Clippers, Bradley seems to always have the assignment of following Curry on the court. The former two-time All-Defensive selection might have lost a step after recent injuries, but he still plays a feisty game and has plenty of strength for someone listed at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds. 

As far as the Lakers' star duo of James and Davis goes, to no surprise, Magic Johnson approves of the pairing. 

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Davis scored 22 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in his Lakers debut, while James added 15 points and eight assists. 

After one preseason game, the Lakers' hype train already is running out of room. Bradley, however, is the one player hidden in the corner who the Warriors will have to watch closer than some might expect.

Why Steve Kerr confident Warriors rookie Jordan Poole will get better

Why Steve Kerr confident Warriors rookie Jordan Poole will get better

Jordan Poole is in a shooting slump.

Over the first five games of the season, the Warriors rookie shot 38 percent (11-for-29) from beyond the arc.

But over his last nine appearances, Poole is at a dismal 18 percent (9-for-50) from deep, and just below 24 percent overall.

"Jordan is a young guy, he should be a junior in college and he should be coming into a situation where he's getting shots of Steph Curry or Klay Thompson; or playing behind those guys, learning from them every day in practice," coach Steve Kerr told reporters after practice Tuesday. "Maybe making an occasional visit to Santa Cruz to get a lot of playing time.

"That's how ideally you want to raise a young guy, but we don't have that luxury. So we're throwing him right into the fire. He's working his tail off. He's doing a great job.

"This league is unforgiving for a young player. He's just gotta keep doing what he's doing. Keep watching film and keep learning from his experience. He's gonna get better.

"We have great faith in that because of his ability and his character. He'll get there but it's a difficult time for him for sure."

(Quick tangent -- Santa Cruz could have used Poole on Sunday as the Sea Dubs lost to the Salt Lake City Stars, 102-77).

The 20-year-old went 1-for-8 overall (0-for-5 on 3s) last Friday against the Celtics.

He was 0-for-7 from the field (0-for-3 on 3s) Sunday night in New Orleans, and when it rains it pours:

What's strange is that the Michigan product is getting good looks:

But it hasn't been all bad for Poole.

"The one thing I'm really pleased with -- I think his defense has been much better," Kerr said. "He's starting to understand the NBA game and the schemes and the coverages. The things you have to do as a guard -- he's picking up on all those things.

"His defense is way better now than it was a month ago. That's a great sign and he's gotta stay with it."

Kerr is correct, and here are two examples from the Warriors' loss in Oklahoma City on Nov. 9 to prove it:

Additionally, Poole is averaging 2.4 assists over the last nine games.

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But understandably so, the focus is on his shooting struggles.

"He's pressing. I know exactly how he feels," Kerr added. "I was in a similar circumstance as a younger player -- not getting this amount of playing time -- but my first year in the league feeling like, 'Man, this is totally different from college.'

"This is all brand new for Jordan and we're trying to help him through it."

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Why Draymond Green believes Eric Paschall doesn't know NBA game yet

Why Draymond Green believes Eric Paschall doesn't know NBA game yet

Besides all of the injuries, Eric Paschall has been the story of the Warriors' season so far.

The rookie is averaging 16.7 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, while shooting 52 percent overall.

The No. 41 overall pick racked up 30 points and seven rebounds Sunday night in New Orleans, on a very efficient 10-for-17 from the field.

Not bad for a guy who doesn't have a clue what he's doing when he takes the floor (sarcasm font).

"Sometimes he can get a little lost out there, not knowing where to go," Draymond Green told reporters after Golden State's 108-100 loss. "Just trying to help him find his spacing.

"Right now, he’s just scoring off raw talent. He really don’t know how to play the NBA game. As he figures out more and more the NBA game, how to get fouled, he’ll get better and better.”

Paschall certainly got fouled against the Pelicans, as he shot a career-high 10 free throws (he made eight to put him at just over 84 percent on the year).

The three-time All-Star clearly is trying to motivate the 23-year-old and wants him to stay hungry.

Draymond assisted Paschall on three buckets Sunday, and you better believe that he is going to do everything he can to help the rookie continue to grow:

Furthermore, you got to love this aggression:

Paschall probably doesn't have much of a chance to win Rookie of the Year, but at this rate he absolutely will make one of the two All-Rookie teams (quite possibly First Team).

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The opportunities will keep coming.

“Where we are right now, without D’Lo (D'Angelo Russell), we have to continue to find ways to get Eric the ball in different situations,” coach Steve Kerr said. “Because he’s our best scorer.”

We all saw that coming before the season started, right?

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