Warriors

Patrick Beverley's grit, hustle has Clippers nipping at Warriors' heels

Patrick Beverley's grit, hustle has Clippers nipping at Warriors' heels

OAKLAND -- It is troubling that the two most disappointing postseason home losses for the Warriors since the 2016 NBA Finals have come in the first-round series against the Clippers that moves to Game 6 on Friday in Los Angeles.

And no single player was more responsible for those losses -- or the tone of this series -- than Patrick Beverley, the firebrand 6-foot-1 guard who takes the court with the attitude of Godzilla.

He pestered Kevin Durant into nine turnovers and an ejection in Game 2, which LA won.

Beverley came out for Game 5 on Wednesday, on the road, with the Clippers facing elimination, and immediately went after the Warriors with a searing intensity they failed to match.

Another LA win, extending the series, with Beverley reportedly telling Oracle Arena clubhouse attendants that he’ll see them Sunday for Game 7. Yes, he’s predicting a Game 6 victory.

“You’ve got to know what you’re up against when you play against Beverley,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Thursday. “He’s a competitor. That’s how he’s made his money in this league. That’s how he’s been able to stick around. He competes and makes you uncomfortable and he scraps and goes after loose balls.

“I love that guy. He’s a hell of a competitor. He’s a hell of a player. Every coach would like to have a guy like him on their team.”

Beverley in the first quarter of Game 5 grabbed two offensive rebounds -- ignoring several Warriors in the vicinity each time -- with both leading to second-chance buckets for LA. Rebounding is about tenacity, first and foremost, and he grabbed a game-high 14 boards -- more than Draymond Green and Kevin Durant combined.

“It really set the tone early for the way that we wanted to (Game 5) to go energy-wise,” Clippers guard Lou Williams said.

“When you look at this game, at the end of the game, he was matched up with (forwards and centers) under the basket and he kept coming out with the rebound,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said of Beverley. “It just tells you how tough he is. He’s a tough dude.”

Game 1 belonged to Stephen Curry. Game 2 belonged to Williams, Beverley, and Montrezl Harrell. Game 3 belonged to Durant. Game 4 belonged to Klay Thompson and Durant.

Game 5 belonged to Beverley (17 points and four assists, along with 14 rebounds) and Williams (33 points, 10 assists, and five turnovers).

[RELATED: Lou Will sends warning to Warriors about looking ahead]

But no single player has had more of an effect for this series being extended beyond the projections than Beverley, LA’s emotional leader. He believes, and his teammates follow.

If the Warriors can’t find a way to marginalize Beverley’s contributions in Game 6, they might find themselves looking at a Game 7 on Sunday.

NBA rumors: Warriors privately 'cool' on playing when season returns

NBA rumors: Warriors privately 'cool' on playing when season returns

To play or not to play?

That is the question facing the Warriors as the NBA nears a decision on how many teams will participate when the league resumes the 2019-20 season.

While coach Steve Kerr said the team is operating as if the season is over, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that owner Joe Lacob told his fellow owners that the team was "willing" to play if all 30 NBA teams were asked to play.

But ... Wojnarowski also reported, citing sources, that the Warriors have been "far more cool to the idea in private."

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Based on Wojnawowski's reporting from Friday, the NBA Board of Governors are expected to approve commissioner Adam Silver's proposal for a 22-team restart plan later this week, meaning the Warriors -- who hold the worst record in the league -- would not be asked to play any more games this season.

The Warriors don't have anything left to play for this season. They are the only team that has been officially eliminated from playoff contention. Does it make sense for the players to go through several weeks of training camp to play a handful of meaningless games?

"It's a hard thing to put your mind in that space, 'I'm gonna go out here and compete and bust my a-- and know in five games we're just gonna be back in the offseason again,' " Warriors star Steph Curry told former teammate Anthony Morrow recently on "The Life Podcast."

[RELATED: Warriors facility opens, players show up]

Would it be advantageous for the Warriors to get a brief look at Curry playing alongside Andrew Wiggins? Sure, but they don't need to risk injury to either player when the goal is making sure the team is ready to bounce back for the 2020-21 season.

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Steph Curry reacts to Damian Lillard's comments on 'meaningless games'

Steph Curry reacts to Damian Lillard's comments on 'meaningless games'

Damian Lillard created headlines last week with his comments about the NBA's potential plans for resuming the 2019-20 season.

"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team," the Portland Trail Blazers star guard told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. "But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now.

"If we come back and I don't have an opportunity to make the playoffs -- I will show up to work, I'll be at practice and I'll be with my team. I'm going to do all that and then I'm going to be sitting right on that bench during the games."

What is Steph Curry's reaction to that?

"I feel what he's saying because it's hard mentally to go with this long of gap, and then prepare for games you know don't matter," the Warriors' superstar said on the "The Life Podcast" with Anthony Morrow and Justin Jack. "I get it.

"It's a hard thing to put your mind in that space, 'I'm gonna go out here and compete and bust my a-- and know in five games we're just gonna be back in the offseason again.'"

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Golden State did re-open Chase Center facilities Monday so players could work out again, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock. 

But all indications are that the Warriors won't be playing any additional games this season, and will not be included among the teams that eventually will take the court in Orlando.

[RELATED: Oakland's own Lillard rips Orlovsky for calling him spoiled]

"Between now and Thursday's vote of the board of governors on the plan to restart the season, the NBA is working to complete the details of a 22-team format," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe wrote Monday.

So for Lillard and the Blazers -- who currently sit in a three-way tie for ninth place in the Western Conference -- it appears they will get the opportunity to claw their way into the playoffs.

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