Warriors

LeBron James says Warriors not weird without Steph Curry, Klay Thompson

LeBron James says Warriors not weird without Steph Curry, Klay Thompson

Over the last five years, LeBron James has grown accustomed to battling the Warriors at the height of their powers.

James and the Cleveland Cavaliers dueled the Dubs in four consecutive NBA Finals, both with and without Kevin Durant. There were, of course, a few important constants in each of those Finals battles with James, Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green all sharing the floor.

Oh, how the times have changed.

Last season, James' first with the Lakers, he missed the playoffs for the first time since his second season in the NBA. While the Lakers recharged over the offseason with the acquisition of Anthony Davis, the Warriors went the other way. Decimated by injuries and the exodus of key players like Durant, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston, the Warriors find themselves gutting out a transition year with both Curry (broken hand) and Thompson (torn ACL) expected to miss most of, if not the entire season.

As such, Wednesday night's battle between James' Lakers and the Warriors minus Curry and Thompson felt weird to all those watching. But it didn't feel weird to James.

"Not when you're in it, you know," James said after the Lakers' 120-94 win at Staples Center, via ESPN. "Not when you're in it. I think when I'm watching them, you know, when I'm at home and we're on off nights and I'm watching them -- then it becomes weird then just seeing Klay in a suit and, you know, not seeing Steph out there. But not when you're playing. I played them in the Finals without Kyrie and Kevin. So no." 

Was that last part wasn't necessary? We get it, the 2015 Cavs were a few stars short of a full deck and the outcome could have been different had everyone been healthy. It happens, let's move on.

[RELATED: Warriors' defense goes missing again in loss vs. Lakers]

Despite what James said, playing a Warriors team that is not even a shell of its former self had to feel weird after spending four years at each other's throats.

James and the Lakers no doubt are glad to see the Warriors removed from the Western Conference's crowded puzzle this season, leaving one less formidable opponent in their path to a title.

But Curry and Thompson will be back, and the Warriors will get off the mat soon enough.

Warriors' Draymond Green out, Eric Paschall doubtful Friday vs. Jazz

Warriors' Draymond Green out, Eric Paschall doubtful Friday vs. Jazz

It's always tough to beat the Jazz in Utah, as the Warriors were reminded last month. Golden State was going to be a massive underdog Friday night as it was, and Thursday's injury report certainly won't change that.

After suffering an embarrassing home overtime loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, the Dubs will try to right the ship against Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert & Co., but they'll have to do it without at least one of their best players -- and we don't mean Steph Curry or Klay Thompson.

Draymond Green is listed as out (rest) for Friday's game at Vivint Smart Home Arena, while rookie Eric Paschall is doubtful with left hip soreness. Additionally, both Ky Bowman and Alen Smailagic are on G League assignment. 

[RELATED: Dubs' Bowman won't play vs. Jazz, will make G League debut]

With Green out and Paschall doubtful, one would expect Golden State's (relatively) healthy bigs like Kevon Looney and Marquese Chriss to get some extended playing time against the Jazz.

Why Gary Payton believes Warriors' Steph Curry isn't true point guard

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Why Gary Payton believes Warriors' Steph Curry isn't true point guard

You might think of Steph Curry as a point guard.

After all, he's short, brings the ball up the court sometimes and appears on the far left of those nifty starting lineup graphics prior to tip-off with PG next to his name.

But in this age of run-and-gun positionless basketball, is Curry really a point guard? Not if you ask Gary Payton.

In fact, the nine-time NBA All-Star believes there only are two true point guards left in The Association.

"That's a question that is kind of difficult for old people," Payton told NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock and Kerith Burke on the "Runnin' Plays Podcast" when asked about the best point guards in today's game. "You look at Stephen Curry. You put him as a point guard. He's not a point guard. He's a two-guard. You look at [Russell] Westbrook. He's not a point guard. He's a two-guard. You look at James Harden. He's not a point guard, he's a two-guard.

"To me, there are only two guards in this league that are true point guards. That's [Rajon] Rondo and Chris Paul. 

"Now, Chris Paul has turned into a shooting guard more, but Rondo is a true point guard," Payton continued. "He looks first to get people off. He does his defense and he makes people better around him. Not, let me score 30. Not, let me shoot a jump shot first. He's not doing that ... If we name a lot of point guards that's right now in this NBA, they are not point guards."

At least Harden can finally be in the same category as Steph, right?

[RELATED: Loss to Knicks shows Warriors have earned NBA's worst record]

While Steph might not be the prototypical point guard in the old-fashioned sense, there's no doubt he'll one day be enshrined in Springfield, Mass., as one of the greatest scoring guards in NBA history.

In any era, that's pretty, pretty good.