Warriors

Steph Curry's personal trainer compares Luka Doncic to Warriors star

Steph Curry's personal trainer compares Luka Doncic to Warriors star

What you are about to read is an understatement.

Mavs guard Luka Doncic is an awesome basketball player.

But just how good is he?

"Really good (laughing). Unbelievably good," Brandon Payne -- Steph Curry's personal trainer -- told NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh on "The Habershow" podcast. "His skill level is right up there with Stephen. It is off the charts. And his IQ is right there with it.

"At that size, when you combine the skill level, the IQ and the amazing confidence that he has -- with his ability to control defenders and make players play at his speed -- you get what you're seeing here, which is a guy that night in and night out is pretty unstoppable.

"He is a lot of fun to watch."

In mid-August 2018 -- just two months after he was drafted by Dallas -- Doncic flew to the Bay Area for a private workout with Curry and Payne.

“For me, I just wanted him to be exposed to the excellence of Steph,” Bill Duffy, Doncic's agent, told Haberstroh at the time. “Not just Steph’s skill, but appreciating the work that goes into it.

“I wanted to show him that someone at that level can take instruction, too, be corrected. Brandon is up here telling Steph, do this, don’t do that, correcting him.

"I think someone like Luka, was like, ‘Woah -- Steph is top 2-3 players in basketball and he has someone pushing him to be the best he can be?’ To be exposed to that was special.”

Doncic was named Rookie of the Year last season, and has upped the ante in a major way so far this year.

Through seven games, he is averaging 26.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 9.1 assists, while shooting nearly 47 percent overall. His numbers will look even better when he eventually increases his 32.8 percentage from beyond the arc.

[RELATEDWhy Steph is not comfortable running tons of pick-and-roll]

Plain and simple, the Slovenian is must-see TV.

It's extremely unfortunate that we won't get to see Doncic and Curry square off this season, as the three meetings between the Warriors and Mavs are on Nov. 20, Dec. 28 and Jan. 14.

Sometimes, life ain't fair.

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Warriors' rookie Eric Paschall believes he'll play against the Knicks

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AP

Warriors' rookie Eric Paschall believes he'll play against the Knicks

SAN FRANCISCO -- Despite being listed as questionable for Wednesday's game against the Knicks, Warriors rookie Eric Paschall believes he'll be available for tip-off.

"Yeah, I think so," Paschall said following shootaround Wednesday morning. "I'm pretty sure I'm playing but I feel like I'm fine."

In an injury-ravaged season, the rookie has been a rare bright spot for Golden State. In 24 appearances, he's averaging 16.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 31 minutes. 

Entering Wednesday morning Paschall -- who missed a 114-110 loss to the Thunder Nov. 10 with a hip injury -- was listed as questionable with soreness in his left hip. Still, Paschall believes he'll be in the lineup after a brief rehab schedule. 

"Got treatment on it all yesterday and I got treatment this morning," he said. "It's all good and I feel like I should be able to play tonight."


 

Warriors recall rookie Alen Smailagic from G League before Knicks game

Warriors recall rookie Alen Smailagic from G League before Knicks game

Alen Smailagic just might make his NBA debut Wednesday night against the Knicks.

The Warriors recalled the rookie big man from their G League affiliate in Santa Cruz, the team announced.

Smailagic -- the No. 39 overall pick in the 2019 draft -- sprained his ankle during Golden State's second training camp practice, and was sidelined for nearly two months.

He made his season debut with the Sea Dubs on Nov. 29, and averaged 12.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in 21.9 minutes over his first six appearances.

[RELATEDRussell explains worst part about current Dubs situation]

The 19-year-old shot over 47 percent from the field and 33 percent (8-for-24) from 3-point territory.

At this point, it's unclear if the Serbian will travel with the Warriors for Friday's game at Utah, or if he will play in Santa Cruz on Friday night against the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario.

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