Warriors

Rewind: Curry carries Warriors, who are still trying to find their groove

Rewind: Curry carries Warriors, who are still trying to find their groove

OAKLAND – If not for Stephen Curry painting the proceedings with an eye-catching shade of individual magnificence, it surely would have been among the most forgettable victories of the season for the Warriors.

They blew a 21-point second-quarter lead, to the wounded and winless Pelicans.

The Warriors snoozed through nearly the entire third quarter and allowed New Orleans to shoot nearly 70 percent in the fourth.

They were outrebounded, and both outshot and outscored in the paint.

They won anyway, 116-106, because they didn’t torture themselves with turnovers, because their opponent was the Pelicans, who haven’t won since last season, and because they had Curry.

“He was really carrying us, obviously, as we were trying to find some footing,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Curry, who drained an NBA record 13 3-pointers while scoring a season-high 46 points.

Among the starters, Draymond Green best complimented Curry. Green scored only four points, but he contributed 12 rebounds, 11 assists, two blocks and two steals. He also was primarily responsible for keeping Pelicans star Anthony Davis (33 points) from putting his stamp on the game.

As for the rest of the Warriors, it ranged from the pedestrian to the unsatisfying.

Kevin Durant’s night (22 points, five assists, three rebounds) didn’t measure up to his usual production. Starting center Zaza Pachulia looked tentative and slow and posted a minus-14 line in only 11 minutes. Klay Thompson’s wayward 3-point shot is looking only slightly more familiar.

“I threw a couple turnovers trying to make plays when I should have been more aggressive,” Durant said, who committed four giveaways.

“I thought he passed up a couple shots early and he tried to make passes that weren’t there and it resulted in turnovers,” Kerr said of Durant. “I don’t want him passing up shots. I want Kevin shooting anytime he’s open. I want him to be aggressive.”

Durant’s occasional hesitancy is just another indication that the offense continues to evolve. The assist-to-turnover rate was quite good, 35-15, indicating sharp passing that led to easy buckets. The Warriors shot 50 percent, only slightly better than New Orleans but used their 3-point shooting advantage to tuck away the win.

“I like 35 assists,” Kerr said. “It’s a good number and that’s a great sign considering we aren’t all on the same page. We’re still trying to find our groove. It was a good win. We’ll get better from this.”

The defense came and went, allowing the Pelicans, still missing three injured starters, to stick around and make a game of it for most of the night.

“Overall tonight it was OK,” Green said. “It could be better, which I think it can be better just about every night.”

It was enough to put the Warriors back in the win column, lifting their record to 5-2, but was yet another reminder that this team has weeks to go before it can realistically begin approaching its peak.

“We’ve got to do a better job of putting it all together,” Kerr said. “But a lot of good stuff, and we’ll build on it.”

Which, under the circumstances, is the way it should be. The Warriors have 75 games remaining on the schedule and the only season by which they’ll be measured – the postseason – doesn’t begin for another five months

That’s what makes nights like this tolerable.

Well, that and Steph Curry at his mesmerizing, artistic best.
 

DeMarcus Cousins didn't make debut vs. Pelicans for one specific reason

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DeMarcus Cousins didn't make debut vs. Pelicans for one specific reason

Programming note: Watch DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors take on the Clippers on Friday night at 7:30pm PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

DeMarcus Cousins isn't exactly on the best of terms with the New Orleans Pelicans organization. 

The four-time All-Star was hoping to re-sign with the franchise that traded for him back in February 2017, but things didn't work out. There is still some bad blood.

Cousins will make his Warriors debut on Friday against the Clippers. Apparently, he could have suited up against the Pelicans but opted to remain on the sideline.

[RELATEDDeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important]

"I wasn’t going to return against them,” Cousins told Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports before the Warriors' victory. “I didn’t because I didn’t’ want to give (the media) a storyline. Straight up. You can ask Bob (Myers) that.

"I didn’t want to give y’all a storyline. That’s why (my return) is Friday.”

Cousins is right in that if he made his debut against the Pelicans, the emotions would have been off the charts. He made the right decision to wait two extra days.

At his introductory press conference with the Warriors back in July, the big man implied that New Orleans GM Dell Demps didn't offer him a contract.

"I’m gonna put it like this: Only me and Dell Demps know what was said on the phone that night," Cousins declared. "We both know the truth. And I’ll leave it at that."

If you like drama, then mark April 9 on your calendar because that's when Cousins and the Warriors will face Anthony Davis and the Pelicans in New Orleans...

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

DeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important

DeMarcus Cousins' surgeon wants Warriors fans to know something important

Programming note: Watch DeMarcus Cousins and the Warriors take on the Clippers on Friday night at 7:30pm PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

In April 2012, Steph Curry underwent surgery on his right ankle. The surgeon was Dr. Richard Ferkel of the Southern California Orthopedic Institute.

In late January 2018, DeMarcus Cousins underwent surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon. The surgegon was ...

... Dr. Richard Ferkel, who will certainly be watching when the Warriors' big man takes the floor on Friday night in Los Angeles.

[RELATEDDeMarcus Cousins’ debut means Warriors will face 10 crucial questions]

He recently spoke with NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh about Cousins' rehab process and acknowledged that keeping the six-time All-Star's weight down has been a top priority.

"The stress their putting on is a little different than for somebody who is a six-foot point guard," Dr. Ferkel said. "It probably extends the rehab a bit longer in bigger people than in smaller people.”

Cousins is not a small person and at various points throughout his career, has needed to shed some pounds. At this point, that is not an issue because he truly looks to be in very solid shape -- not elite level "game shape," but he definitely passes the eye test right now.

But Warriors fans should not expect a seamless assimilation. It's going to take Cousins some time to shake off the rust and get fully comfortable. He will have to adapt to the Warriors' high-octane pace and style.

“I think it’s important for people to understand that even if he’s released, we, as part of DeMarcus’ team, feel this current release (to play) is really the final phase of his rehabilitation," Dr. Ferkel added. "We’re not saying he’s 100 percent like he would be if he was uninjured.

"He’s done everything he can do but be in a game situation with elite players.”

Buckle up and enjoy the ride...

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