Warriors

Stephen Curry says reuniting with Andrew Bogut would be 'so exciting'

currybogutap.jpg
AP

Stephen Curry says reuniting with Andrew Bogut would be 'so exciting'

OAKLAND -- The first step to assimilating with the Warriors is getting the stamp of approval from Stephen Curry. Kevin Durant got it in 2016 and DeMarcus Cousins got in last summer.

Andrew Bogut, who is finalizing an agreement with the Warriors, got it immediately.

“It’s so exciting, weird ... a blast from the past -- all that combined,” Curry said Tuesday after shootaround. “He’s a guy that we have a lot experience with. He knows our system. He knows how we do things around here. He was instrumental in that turnaround to become a championship-caliber a team.”

When the Warriors in 2015 won the first of three championships in the last four seasons, Bogut -- acquired in March 2012 -- was among five players that had been on the team for at least three years. The others were David Lee, Klay Thompson, Brandon Rush and Curry.

Lee and Rush are out of the NBA. So was Bogut, who played briefly with the Lakers last season before being waived last January, retiring from the league and returning to his native Australia to join the Sydney Kings of the National Basketball League.

“I figured once he went to Australia, that would be the last we saw of him on the NBA circuit,” Curry said. “So when his name came up, I thought it was kind of one-sided, like, ‘We’re familiar with him. We like him. Let’s call him and see if he’s interested.’ I didn’t get the mutual vibe.

“And now it’s about to happen, so it’s pretty cool.”

Curry is not alone in believing his former teammate would not return to the NBA. Upon signing with Sydney Kings April, Bogut himself indicated as much.

“Before anyone asks, no NBA outs, no European outs," Bogut told reporters at a news conference in Sydney. "I'm committed to being here for two years . . . it will retire me from the NBA, I'm happy to say that today."

Consider his mind changed. The Warriors studied video of Bogut, met with him and there was mutual interest. Once he is free of the Kings, expected this week, he’ll be able to sign with the Warriors and serve as a backup to starting center DeMarcus Cousins.

“Who knows how many minutes he’ll play or what the situations will be, with DeMarcus back,” Curry said of Bogut. “He brings toughness, a high IQ, rim protection and just a physical toughness that is kind of hard to find.”

At 7-feet, 260 pounds and a sturdy defensive presence, Bogut is a good matchup for the larger centers of the NBA, such as Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams, Denver’s Nikola Jokic and Portland’s Jusuf Nurkic.

[RELATED: Why the Warriors reportedly are reuniting with Bogut]

Curry, citing Bogut’s sarcasm and cynicism, seems eager for a reunion, adding “he’s a great dude to have in the locker room.”

Bogut will need a different cubicle. His former spot, in the southwest corner of the locker room, belongs to Durant.

Michael Malone used Clippers' Game 2 win over Warriors to inspire Nuggets

Michael Malone used Clippers' Game 2 win over Warriors to inspire Nuggets

When you're getting your clock cleaned, sometimes you need something to inspire you to keep trying.

On Tuesday night, while his Nuggets were losing big in Game 2 to the Spurs, head coach Michael Malone used the Warriors' Game 2 loss to the Clippers to motivate his team.

"There was a timeout midway through the third quarter, I thought it was a pivotal point in the game," Malone told the media in Denver after the game. "We're down by 16 points and I could see it on some of the guys faces, you know, which way is this game going to go? And I reminded them we have 18 minutes to go. I reminded them what the Clippers did last night and how much basketball was left. It's only going to happen if we believe, we commit and we fight and we attack. And the guys took it to heart and we closed the game out I think on a 57-32 run from that point on."

A night earlier, the Warriors blew a 31-point lead at home against the Clippers, the largest blown lead in NBA playoff history.

As Malone stated, his speech worked. The Nuggets rallied for a 114-105 win to tie the series 1-1.

The Warriors and Nuggets, the top two seeds in the Western Conference, aren't breezing through the first round of the playoffs as expected.

[RELATED: KD, Kerr at odds over star's shooting]

Based on what happened on Monday night, the Warriors may be the ones in need of an inspirational speech.

Is Malone available?

Tim Hardaway, Kevin Durant on same page about Warriors’ game strategy

Tim Hardaway, Kevin Durant on same page about Warriors’ game strategy

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

Kevin Durant took just eight shots in the Warriors' Game 2 loss to the Clippers. He did attempt 12 free throws, however, and ended up scoring 21 points. 

"I'm not gonna go out there and just go shoot 20 or 30 shots," he explained to reporters after practice Wednesday. "I don't play like that. Every time I touch it, I'm not gonna just break the play. ... I'm gonna play basketball. We won Game 1 that way. We were up [31] in Game 2."

Durant's and-one dunk with 7:31 left in the third quarter gave the Warriors a 94-63 lead. With Curry on the bench in foul trouble, Golden State did look to run the offense through the reigning two-time NBA Finals MVP.

Things didn't work out as planned on this possession:

But a couple minutes later, Durant was alert and ready to take advantage of a Clippers breakdown:

Shortly thereafter, an aggressive-minded Durant got physical with Patrick Beverley and was whistled for two very questionable offensive fouls. 

During a radio appearance Tuesday, former Golden State point guard Tim Hardaway was asked if the Warriors should have KD try to repeatedly punish the smaller Patrick Beverley on the block.

"As a team, you can't let one player get your team out of sync. You gotta run your offense. You gotta run your offense the way you've been running your offense all year long," the five-time All-Star said. "If you keep posting up Durant -- you're letting the Clippers dictate the game.

"You're telling them we're gonna run a different offense than we normally run. No. Keep running your offense."

Hardaway and Durant are very much on the same page.

"I got a pest, Patrick Beverley, who's up underneath me," KD described. "I could definitely shoot over the top and score every time if it's a 1-on-1 situation. But we got a guy that's dropping and helping, and then we got another guy that's just sitting on me and waiting for me to dribble the basketball. 

"I'm not gonna get in the way of the game because I want to have a little back-and-forth with Patrick Beverley. I'm Kevin Durant. You know who I am. Y’all know who I am."

Here's a perfect example of what KD is talking about:

[RELATEDKD, Kerr at odds over how much Warriors star should shoot]

Durant didn't take a shot here, but he certainly wasn't passive or tentative. Just because you only attempt eight field goals doesn't mean you were tentative.

But one thing everybody can agree on is that nine turnovers is way too many.

How will Durant approach Game 3? It's safe to assume he won't be taking advice from Tracy McGrady.

Thursday night can't get here soon enough.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram