Warriors

Steph Curry doesn't believe he's in a slump: 'Just missing shots'

Steph Curry doesn't believe he's in a slump: 'Just missing shots'

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry wants no part of the word “slump.” Doesn’t use it, doesn’t care to be associated with it and doesn’t believe it applies to his, um, diminished shooting accuracy.

“I never really use that word because a slump, to me, connotes that you lose a little bit of confidence and what not,” Curry said Tuesday morning after shootaround in advance of the Warriors-76ers game Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.

“Obviously, I’d like to shoot better and make more shots, and I’m sure that’ll happen,” he added. “But I woke up this morning not thinking about what’s happened the last four or five games. It’s a new day, a new opportunity.”

[RELATED: Ayesha Curry closes happy birthday message to Steph with 'mic drop']

The last seven games have not met the offensive standard set by Curry, who last season led the NBA in scoring and has won the MVP award in each of the past two seasons. Over that stretch, he's shooting just over 40 percent from the field and below 24 percent from deep.

Curry insisted there are no mechanical issues, that his shot has “felt OK” even if the numbers don’t reflect that.

Slump? Maybe?

“I’m just missing shots,” he said. “There are no two ways around it. Shots that I normally take and make aren’t falling. I’m going to keep shooting them until they do.”

Curry’s 39.3-percent shooting beyond the arc represents a career-low and a steep drop from last season, when he shot an absurd 45.4 percent from deep. His previous career-low is 42.4 percent in 2013-14.

He’s shooting 46.1-percent overall, which would be the second-lowest percentage of his career (45.1 in 2012-13).

Warriors coach Steve Kerr has consistently said Curry’s numbers are fine, but that the bar has been set so high that any perceptible decline can’t escape notice. Curry generally agrees.

“The narrative is different, based on how I’ve been shooting,” he said. “So, it’s different. I’m cool with that.”

Curry said he plans no change to his usual routines for practice, shootaround or pregame. He indicated his voluminous off-court activities and obligations have been curtailed as the regular season winds down.

“There is a high demand on my time, and you try and protect it at all costs,” he said. “There are busier weeks than others. But my first job is to play basketball, and that’s my focus and my priority. Nothing trumps my preparation when it comes to that. And that would be pretty much from now until the end of the year, where there’s nothing really going on.”

Steve Kerr explains how Draymond Green has changed this season

Steve Kerr explains how Draymond Green has changed this season

LOS ANGELES — Draymond Green raced out to a strong start this Warriors season, snagging double-digit rebounds and dishing out team highs in assists.

In a recent conversation, before Green and Kevin Durant had a dust-up at the start of overtime against the Clippers, Steve Kerr shared his read on Green’s outlook for the season.

“Draymond is our vocal leader,” the Warriors coach said. “We have quiet leadership elsewhere with Steph and Andre and KD. We’ve had veteran leadership here before with David West and Zaza. 

“I think Draymond this year is taking on more of an elder statesman role. I think his composure and poise is better right now than it’s ever been, and I think that’s why he’s playing better than he’s ever played.”

Following the Clippers game, Green is averaging 7.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.4 assists per game, and he leads the Warriors in steals with 23.

Kerr noted Green has worked on his touch this season, with both hands. Kerr believes Green’s passing is even better this year.

“I’m really proud of him,” Kerr said. “As a great player in this league ... not that I was ever one of them ... great players have to get better in the margins. They have to work on the little things because they’re already great at everything else.”

Other coaches are sometimes curious about Green.

“I think I’ve been asked a couple times what it’s like to coach him,” Kerr said. “My answer is, ‘You should be so lucky.’ You could ask for somebody who is a little easier to coach, you know ... but if that comes with no edge, no competitive fire and a lot of losses? If that’s what you want, go ahead.”

He continued: “I think for the first time ... this will be our fifth season together ... I don’t think we’re going to get into (arguments). In the past, we’ve gotten into it. Sometimes, it’s been productive. Sometimes, we both needed it. 

“It feels like our relationship has taken a different course, like it’s more collaborative than ever. He’s in a place in his career where he’s comfortable and confident. He’s got three championships, he’s got a Defensive Player of the Year award. He doesn’t have to prove anything.”

[RELATED: Draymond's new perspective towards refs]

[MORE: Draymond wants to reclaim DPOY]

Kevin Durant-Draymond Green tiff not as bad as it looked for Warriors

Kevin Durant-Draymond Green tiff not as bad as it looked for Warriors

It was a peek behind the curtain of the most successful professional team in current major American sports. The family business of the Warriors played out at Staples Center Monday night, leaving behind sights and sounds that are sure to live on in Internet infamy after a 121-116 loss to the Clippers.

DeMarcus Cousins trying to calm an exasperated Draymond Green on one side of the huddle, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston trying to soothe an indignant Kevin Durant on the other.

It’s probably not as bad as it looked. But it definitely looked bad.

This was seconds after Green and Durant shouted toward each other on the bench, with Klay Thompson sitting placidly between them in strategic separation. This is not the first time the Green and Durant have had words, and it won’t be the last.

The root of their dispute was simple: Each wanted to give the Warriors the best chance to win the game, and neither did.

Green had a slim chance, though, and Durant had no chance at all.

The Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers were locked in a 106-106 tie when Green cleared a rebound with about five seconds remaining in regulation. Durant immediately signaled for the ball. Green ignored him.

Instead, Green went dribbling up the court. His reasoning was transparent and rational. He wanted to push the pace in hopes of creating some offense before the Clippers could set their defense.

Green was following the team’s usual script. Don’t call timeout in such situations. Go. Try to get something good.

Durant’s reasoning, also transparent and rational, was that he’s Kevin Durant. He had scored 33 points and is one of the most unstoppable scoring forces in NBA history. He wanted to bring this one home.

That’s why he clapped so furiously for a pass that never came.

Green dribbled into a crowd of four Clippers, with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander poking the ball away and Green losing control, tumbling after as the buzzer sounded. Durant, clearly frustrated, barely crossed the half-court stripe.

What followed was the kind of squabble that happens between strong-willed teammates in the wake of failure. The Warriors eventually trudged out of the building with a richly deserved loss.

“It’s just team spirit,” Shaun Livingston told reporters Monday night. “Guys wanted a different outcome than what happened. Obviously, Dray had the turnover. Guys might have thought they were open and wanted the basketball, didn’t get it. Things happen like that in the sport.

“But it was good to see some fire and some emotion.”

Green usually brings emotion. Durant can emote with the best of them.

There still was plenty of emotion when the Warriors came out for OT. Green appeared to be defending his decision. Durant fouled out 74 seconds later and the Warriors faded, losing a game they should have lost.

The bizarre thing about the sequence over the final five seconds or regulation is that Green derives more pleasure from creating for teammates than scoring himself. He’ll review the play and realize that he should have given Durant the kind of chance he usually does.

There’s a good chance Green will tap his chest and offer a “my bad.”

Green also might wonder why Durant didn’t race up the floor along with him.

Durant may not have a good answer for that.

In the end, Green can justify his decision to keep the ball, while Durant can justify his desire to have it. They both have a point, but Durant’s seems a bit more valid.

They’ll get over this. It’s one game of 82, plus whatever comes in the postseason. Don’t be surprised if they’re laughing together as soon as Tuesday night, when the Warriors face the Atlanta Hawks at Oracle Arena.

[RELATED: With Steph Curry out, Kevin Durant gets to expand his leadership role]

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