Warriors

Rockets GM Daryl Morey agrees facing Warriors in semis could be better

Rockets GM Daryl Morey agrees facing Warriors in semis could be better

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Wednesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

On the last day of the NBA's regular season, the following two things happened:
1) The Blazers -- who rested their top guys and only played six players -- erased a 28-point deficit and beat the Kings
2) The Nuggets -- who were down at home by 11 points with a little over three minutes left -- stormed back and beat the Wolves

As a result, Denver finished with the No. 2 seed and Portland with the No. 3 seed.

The main takeaway? The Rockets entered the playoffs at No. 4 seed, which meant a potential showdown with the Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals. It became impossible for there to be a rematch between Golden State and Houston in the West Finals.

Rockets GM Daryl Morey was recently a guest on The Bill Simmons Podcast and he was asked if potentially facing the Warriors one round earlier could actually be beneficial.

"It's very hard to know. We can't control it. To be frank, we don't spend a lot of time on it but we have talked about it internally," Morey said. "It could work in our favor but it's very hard to know.

"As much as we could get injured, so could they. All I know is that we pretty much knew we were gonna have to beat them, so does the order really matter? Probably not. It would have been nice to get homecourt like last year.

"I think that could be a big factor -- last year at Oracle, their fans are great -- I do think not having homecourt is a factor. I do think we're a better team going into the series. Maybe our odds are similar to last year.

"We do feel very strongly we have a real shot at it. But obviously, they're the champs three of the last four years for a reason."

Simmons followed up by saying: "I was looking at it more like from a health standpoint. The longer the playoffs go, and especially, you know Chris (Paul) has battled nagging injuries his entire career -- you just know that if you can get through this Utah series..."

"We are slightly older than them, so yeah it could work in our favor, yeah," Morey said.

[RELATEDBogut gives interesting response to Embiid's 3-1 Dubs joke]

The health variable is a very fair point. The Rockets currently are up three-games-to-none on the Jazz in their first-round series. And if they complete the sweep in Utah on Monday night, they will get a solid chunk of time to rest before a potential series against the Dubs starts this weekend (assuming the Warriors beat the Clippers in Game 5 on Wednesday).

The rematch seems inevitable at this point and the basketball world deserves both teams to be fully healthy.

Make it happen, Basketball Gods.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Warriors' Steve Kerr hopes to ease Jordan Poole's G League transition

Warriors' Steve Kerr hopes to ease Jordan Poole's G League transition

SAN FRANCISCO -- Warriors rookie guard Jordan Poole has struggled mightily in his first season in the Bay Area. In an effort to combat his troubles, Golden State plans to send the guard to its G League affiliate at an undetermined date. 

"There's nothing set in stone yet," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said following practice Tuesday morning. "He'll eventually be there. That's a big part of our development process. Santa Cruz has been a big asset over the years. A lot of players go back and forth, so it'll happen for Jordan at some point."

The Warriors' decision -- first reported Monday by NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole -- comes as Poole's early season is in peril. Over his first 24 appearances, he's shooting just 25.8 percent from the field. In Golden State's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, he collected his first "Did Not Play -- Coach's Decision" distinction, watching all 48 minutes from the bench. 

Poole's playing time this season has come as injuries have mounted. With much of the backcourt -- including All-Star guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson -- out of the lineup, Poole is averaging 24 minutes per game,

Kerr admitted he didn't plan for that strategy when the first-round pick was drafted in June. 

"We've thrown too much at him too fast," he said. "But that's because we've had no choice." 

Last month, Poole shot down any notion that he was concerned with his play, telling NBC Sports Bay Area, "Doing that got me here. Why would I change?" 

However, Kerr had a different tone Tuesday afternoon. When asked wht contributed to Poole's struggles, he cited the 20-year old's age in relation to fellow rookies Eric Paschall (23) and Ky Bowman (22). 

"It's a hard transition from college to pro, but particularly when you're 20 years old and only played two years of college ball," Kerr said. "You're still getting stronger, you're growing, you're maturing. It's easier for a four-year guy like Eric Paschall or (three-year college player) Ky Bowman to come into the NBA. Those few extra years are a big difference.

"That first year it's about figuring everything out, shot selection, defense. Different actions that you have to guard. The speed and strength of your opponent. It's all brand-new.' 

Golden State has had success sending players to the G League in recent years. Last season, guard Jacob Evans averaged 11.3 points. 3.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 21 appearances with the Santa Cruz Warriors. Former Warriors Jordan Bell, Quinn Cook and Patrick McCaw also spent time in Santa Cruz when they were with Golden State. 

"It's a good wake-up call," Kerr said. "It's not all chartered planes and Four Seasons. You've got to grind through the G League schedule, which is not easy. That's important for young players to feel, too. It's a good situation for us and really for the whole league."

[RELATED: Why Warriors' Lee has felt like he has been in detention]
 
As for Poole, Kerr said the rookie has been working hard despite his bad play. Following Monday's loss, he went through an hour shooting workout in the team's practice facility inside Chase Center. Prior to games, he frequently watches film with assistant Chris DeMarco, giving Kerr optimism Poole can get out of his slump. 

"He's figuring it out and we're helping him along and he's going to grow," Kerr said. "This is going to be a very productive year for him."

Steph Curry says sitting with broken hand 'hardest thing' in career

Steph Curry says sitting with broken hand 'hardest thing' in career

The 2019-20 season has been extremely rough for the Warriors.

It's been even worse for Steph Curry.

“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” the two-time NBA MVP recently told Marcus Thompson of The Athletic.

Wow.

Remember, Curry underwent surgery on his right ankle in May 2011, and then was limited to just 26 (of 66) games during the 2011-12 lockout season.

He had a second procedure in April 2012, and as ESPN's Pablo Torre wrote in February 2016: "Curry didn't know if he'd wake up owning a dead man's tendons. The worst-case scenario now? Total re-reconstruction, meaning that everything rebuilt in Curry's first surgery would be reattempted. If that proved necessary, they'd use better parts -- specifically, tendons from a cadaver."

He sprained his right MCL during the 2016 playoffs, missed four games and wasn't at full strength the remainder of the postseason.

In 2016-17, he made only 51 regular-season appearances, and didn't return until Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals because of a sprained left MCL.

Yet none of that stacks up to his current predicament -- a broken left hand. The three-time NBA champion sustained the injury Oct. 30 against the Suns, and will be sidelined until February at the earliest.

In the end, he might end up missing about 75 percent of the season.

[RELATEDReport: 'No world' where Iguodala gets buyout from Grizz]

“I’ve always been (injured) mostly during the offseason," he told Thompson. "That year was the lockout year, so it was a much shorter time on the shelf.

"I’m going to lose my mind.”

This makes sense. He just wants to play.

Get well, Steph. But also -- hurry back. The NBA needs you.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram