Warriors

NBA Gameday: Warriors out for revenge against Pistons in Detroit

NBA Gameday: Warriors out for revenge against Pistons in Detroit

Programming note: Immediately after the final horn of the Warriors-Cavs showdown on Christmas Day, change the channel to CSN Bay Area for a special Warriors edition of SportsNet Central.

It was a little more than 11 months ago that the Warriors glided into Detroit with a glossy 37-3 record and left town with the bruises that come with an 18-point loss.

That’s not something a proud team forgets, and that memory will shadow the Warriors when they face the Pistons Friday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

The Warriors (26-4) have won six in a row, including a 117-101 comeback win at Brooklyn on Thursday. All-Star forward and defensive ace Draymond Green missed the game because he returned to the East Bay for the birth of his son, but is available to face the Pistons.

The Pistons (14-17) have been among the more disappointing teams in the NBA and currently are on a four-game losing streak – with all four losses by double digits.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 7.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Zaza Pachulia/JaVale McGee vs. Andre Drummond. Drummond’s presence in the paint hurt the Warriors last January. Though the 6-11, 280-pound center scored only 14 points, he grabbed 21 rebounds and blocked three shots. A major priority for Pachulia and McGee is to keep Drummond from cleaning the offensive glass.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: No injuries listed.

Pistons: F Reggie Bullock (L knee surgery) is listed as out.

ROSTER NOTE

Warriors C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the Development League.

LAST 10

Warriors: 9-1. Pistons: 3-7.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won nine of the last 10 meetings.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

1) Bring the D -- In forcing 18 second-half turnovers Thursday at Brooklyn, the Warriors reminded themselves that the surest path to easy buckets is paved by ferocious defense. The Pistons lead the NBA in turnovers, so the Warriors will try to exploit this weakness.

2) Push the pace -- Ranking third in pace, the Warriors want to set a fast tempo. Detroit wants nothing of the sort. The Pistons are bottom-five in pace and in true shooting percentage, mostly because they are 29th in 3-point makes and 24th in 3-point shooting percentage. They want to grind it out.

3) Different Detroit? -- Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy ripped into his team this week, vowing lineup changes. He made none Wednesday against Memphis but left open the possibility of doing so Friday night. The likeliest candidates for replacements reportedly are forwards Tobias Harris and Marcus Morris. The Warriors may need to adjust.


 

Steph Curry sheds light on Game 1 trash talk with LeBron James, promises there are 'adversarial relationships' in NBA

Steph Curry sheds light on Game 1 trash talk with LeBron James, promises there are 'adversarial relationships' in NBA

Do you remember what happened with about 35 seconds left in OT during Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals?

In case you forgot:

The Warriors led by 11 points and with the shot clock winding down, Steph Curry attempted a driving layup and LeBron James blocked it.

LeBron proceeded to talk some trash to Curry and even used a little forearm to nudge him away when Curry said something in return.

On the most recent episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, Curry shed some light on the exchange.

Simmons: "He blocked you and he talked sh*t to you. I thought you guys were gonna fight."

Curry: "It was never going to spill over to that. But it was an interesting moment ... I was hot because I was trying to finish out a possession, I think it was less than a minute left, I didn't see him coming over from the weak side so I tried to do a little soft scoop layup and he pinned it. Then he stared me down and he said something to me.

"And I was like, 'That's what we're really on right now? We're about to win and you're worried about mean-blocking my shot and talking trash?' And then the whole Tristan and Draymond thing happened and I went back up to him and I was like, 'Yo, what's up? Is this really what we're about right now?'

"And he was like, 'I gotta do that to make sure my teammates know I'm a mentor' and it's a part of his leadership and that type of deal. And I was like, 'I don't want to be the sacrificial lamb for your leadership.' (laughter). Come on man, that's messed up."

Simmons: "I want more of it. I don't want you guys to like each other. This is my biggest problem with this decade. I like that I'm not positive you and LeBron like each other (Curry starts laughing). Watching from afar, it doesn't seem like you like each other. I'm sure there's a mutual respect."

Curry: "There's definitely a mutual respect. I would say though when you see guys working out with each other in the summers and you see guys playing pickup and all that -- when you step foot on the court during the season, it's a totally different environment.

"Guys can be buddies and friends and whatnot and have whatever type of relationship they want to have in the summer and off the court, but the rivalry and competition and egos and all that stuff that lives in an NBA game and when you're trying to hold that trophy ... it's really there and it's not going anywhere."

Simmons: "I don't want you guys to get along. I want adverserial relationships."

Curry: "They're there. They're there. I promise you."

Good. That is awesome.

A couple other takeaways from the podcast:

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Steph Curry unveils story behind why the Wolves didn't draft him: 'I hope it's true because that's hilarious'

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AP

Steph Curry unveils story behind why the Wolves didn't draft him: 'I hope it's true because that's hilarious'

With the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select... Ricky Rubio.

With the sixth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves select... Jonny Flynn.

With the seventh pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, the Golden State Warriors select... Stephen Curry.

And the rest is history.

As you all know, the man in charge of those selections -- David Kahn -- was fired in 2013 and no longer works in the NBA.

"My guy David Kahn. I don't know where he's at right now," Curry said on The Bill Simmons Podcast. "I don't know if that ever came out -- there's a story. Everybody knows how much I love golf -- play it in my spare time and what not.

"I think the word on the street was that he didn't draft me because in Minnesota it's cold and I wouldn't be able to play as much golf so I would have been miserable."

A shocked Simmons asked Curry: "Is that true?"

"I hope it's true because that's hilarious (laughter)," Curry said. "That's hilarious."

To which Simmons responded: "It was idiotic in the moment. I did a draft diary. I was going nuts. Because if you're gonna take two point guards, how are you not one of the two? And then if you're gonna go all-in on Rubio and you don't even know if he's gonna come over..."

Rubio didn't leave Spain for the NBA until the 2011-12 season, and a hip injury unfortunately ended Flynn's career after just two plus seasons.

There's no way we will ever find out if that golf story is true, but just like Steph... we certainly hope it is.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller