Warriors

Steph Curry fires back after Kevin Durant criticizes Warriors offense

Steph Curry fires back after Kevin Durant criticizes Warriors offense

Kevin Durant has sent some mixed messages about what he wants in his basketball situation.

He was the man in Oklahoma City, co-starring with Russell Westbrook in an offense heavily predicated on isolation basketball. In search of playing a more beautiful game, Durant left OKC in 2016 to join the Warriors and Steve Kerr's ball-movement offense.

After three years and unparalleled success, Durant exited the Bay to head to Brooklyn, signing with the Nets in free agency in July. The two-time NBA Finals MVP discussed his exit from the Warriors in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, and he had some critiques of Kerr's motion offense. Durant believes the system is limited, and there would come a time in the playoffs where he needed to "go into his bag" to get his own shot because the opposition had figured out how to slow down Kerr's offense.

Curry, who has been almost unstoppable in the Warriors' system, had something to say about Durant's criticism.

"Well, I don't care what plays we ran," Curry told ESPN's Rachel Nichols on "The Jump." "We won two championships. And at the end of the day, we had a lotta talent and there was an expectation of us figuring out how to balance all that. And we talked a lot about it throughout the three-year run. It wasn't always perfect, but I think in terms of, you know, the results and what we were able to do on the floor, that kinda speaks for itself.

"We all wanna play iso-ball at the end of the day in some way, shape or form. But I'd rather have some championships, too."

[RELATED: Steph responds to KD's belief Warriors never accepted him]

It's hard to argue with either point of view. Durant is one of the most talented scorers in NBA history, and was a seamless fit in Kerr's offense. But his isolation game almost is unguardable, so it's understandable why he would want the ball in his hands more. Really, who wouldn't want Durant to have the ball?

But as Curry said, the Warriors' results over the past five seasons speak to the success and potency of their ball-movement offense, one of the reasons the Warriors almost were able to win the 2019 NBA Finals even after Durant ruptured his Achilles.

Just turn on the tape, and you can see how effective the offense is, both with and without Durant.

Warriors brought in Klay Thompson's friend 'off the street' to scrimmage

Warriors brought in Klay Thompson's friend 'off the street' to scrimmage

Warriors superstar Steph Curry scrimmaged Wednesday for the second time as he continues to inch closer to returning to game action after breaking his left hand back on Oct. 30.

Golden State doesn't have many healthy bodies right now, so the team had to get creative to field 5-on-5 action.

"It was a ragtag group," coach Steve Kerr told reporters. "Theo Robertson was probably the highlight for me. He looked good. One of Klay's buddies came in off the street basically.

"Dragan (Bender) played, Juan (Toscano-Anderson) played -- so that was good.

"It wasn't the highest level pickup ball I've ever seen."

Robertson -- a Warriors player development coach who works closely with Eric Paschall -- played at Cal from 2005 to 2010. Over his junior and senior seasons combined, he averaged 13.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists, while shooting better than 49 percent from the field and 47 percent from deep.

The Bears won the regular season conference championship his last year in Berkeley, and he was named the team's MVP.

As for "one of Klay's buddies" -- his name is Seth Tarver, and he is very close friends with Klay's brother, Mychel.

Tarver -- who serves as a Director for the Thompson Family Foundation -- played at Oregon State from 2006 to 2010, and was named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.

[RELATED: Kerr casts doubt on Curry's March 1 return date for Dubs]

Additionally, Golden State player development coach Luke Loucks -- who played his college ball at Florida State -- also suited up for the scrimmage. 

As a senior in 2012, he started all 35 games for a Seminoles squad that earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Have a great rest of your day.

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Lakers' LeBron James won't play Thursday vs. Warriors at Chase Center

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USATSI

Lakers' LeBron James won't play Thursday vs. Warriors at Chase Center

LeBron James won't make his second regular-season visit to Chase Center this campaign.

The Los Angeles Lakers star has a sore groin and won't play against the Warriors on Thursday. 

James, 35, missed 17 games with a left groin strain last season. He first picked up the injury in a Christmas Day loss to the Warriors in 2018, in what ended up being his last trip to Oracle Arena. He scored 22 points, dished out 11 assists and grabbed eight rebounds on Feb. 8 in the Lakers' first regular-season game against the Warriors in San Francisco this season, leading Los Angeles to a 125-120 win. 

He and the Cleveland Cavaliers played against the Warriors in four straight NBA Finals from 2015 through 2018, losing three out of four times but upsetting the 73-win Golden State squad in a seven-game series win in 2016. James and two-time MVP Steph Curry were the faces of the one-sided Warriors-Cavs rivalry, but the two haven't faced each other this season.

Curry has missed all but four games since breaking his hand on Oct. 30, and he wouldn't have played against the Lakers on Thursday anyway. The Warriors guard is targeting a March 1 return, but Golden State coach Steve Kerr cast doubt on that possibility Wednesday. Kerr told reporters he thinks Curry "needs some more scrimmage time." 

[RELATED: Why a 'dap' is much more than a handshake in today's NBA] 

James and Curry were supposed to lead the Lakers and Warriors into a fierce Pacific Division rivalry, but that hasn't happened since James signed in Los Angeles two summers ago. The Lakers missed the playoffs last season and the Warriors are set to do the same this year. Curry and James should, at least, play against each other when Golden State heads to LA on April 7.

If they don't, the 2019-20 season would be the first since 2008-09 that James and Curry didn't play against each other at least once in the regular season. Curry was completing his last collegiate season at Davidson then.