Warriors

Steve Kerr, Warriors confused by report that Steph Curry's season over

Steve Kerr, Warriors confused by report that Steph Curry's season over

Warriors fans got a scare Friday morning when Bleacher Report's Ric Bucher reported that it was "unlikely" Steph Curry would play this season.

The organization has spent the day shooting down the report, with the latest denial coming from coach Steve Kerr about 90 minutes before the Warriors were set to take on the Timberwolves in Minnesota.

"I have no idea where that came from," Kerr told reporters at Target Center. "I talked to [general manager] Bob [Myers] and [director of sports medicine and performance] Rick [Celebrini] and nothing has changed on our front. Steph will be re-evaluated in three months, and at that point, we will have an update. The plan is for him to be back on the court playing when he's deemed ready to go by our training staff. So that one was kind of a head-scratcher."

Earlier in the day, NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock reported that the Warriors were "strongly refuting" Bucher's report, and that a source said Curry's timeline hadn't changed since they announced last week that the two-time MVP will be re-evaluated in February.

A few hours after his initial report, Bucher offered a clarification stating that Curry wouldn't play "because there's no competitive reason."

Kerr was asked if the Warriors had considered not bringing Curry back if they were out of the playoff race, and the coach scoffed at that notion.

"No. Steph wants to play," Kerr said. "We want to put the best possible product on the floor for our fans. People come from all over to watch Steph Curry play basketball. And he's going to be bored. He's probably already bored. He's dying to play. We were all sort of confused by who the source was, because really, I would be a good source. So I'm just tell you now as your source, nothing has changed. Bob and Rick will tell you the same thing."

[RELATED: Curry laughs at players wanting revenge]

The Warriors are 1-3 in games without Curry, and sit at 2-6 entering Friday's game against the Timberwolves. By the time February rolls around, their record will be pretty ugly.

It makes no sense for the Warriors to rule Curry out now, but if they are 20 games under .500, their tune might change about sitting him for the rest of the season.

Warriors follow Draymond Green's lead in willing team to win vs. Bulls

Warriors follow Draymond Green's lead in willing team to win vs. Bulls

Throughout his career, Draymond Green simultaneously has been Golden State's emotional leader and one of its best players. 

On teams featuring Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, Green consistently was the team's emotional heartbeat, occasionally willing his squads to unforeseen victories in standout performances that didn't necessarily reflect on the stat sheet. 

The latest example of Green's impact came in the last 12 minutes of Friday's 100-98 win over the Bulls, when he passed, defended and guided the Warriors to their fifth win of the season. 

A glimpse of Green's impact came four seconds before the final frame began when Golden State coach Steve Kerr substituted Green for Jordan Poole. On the next play, Green switched onto Bulls guard Coby White, forcing an off-balance miss. Four minutes into the fourth quarter -- with Golden State down 89-84 -- he successfully contested a Tomas Satoransky jump shot, leading to a fastbreak opportunity. Four minutes later, Green received a pass from guard D'Angelo Russell, drove the lane and found center Willie Cauley Stein for a dunk. With a minute left and the game tied at 98, he found Glenn Robinson III for another lob dunk to help seal the victory. 

Green -- who finished with nine points, five rebounds and four steals -- was responsible for 10 of the team's 23 fourth-quarter points, helping the Warriors outscore Chicago by eight points in the final frame. 

"Our defensive pressure picked up," Green explained after the win. "I think down the stretch in games, you have to do that. There have been games this year where teams have put pressure on us and we didn't respond well. I think tonight we were the aggressors and it worked out in our favor."

"He made great plays down the stretch," Robinson said of Green. "He got down on the floor for loose balls. He got us going, his talk, his communication. You always want a player like that the floor, directing things."

Green's performance came at a particular time of peril for Golden State. With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson out of the lineup, the Warriors are one of the league's worst teams. In their last four games entering Friday night, they had been outscored by 61 points, including a 106-91 blowout loss to Charlotte on Wednesday. 

[RELATED: Sources: Steph has surgery to remove pins from hand]

Worse, Green's play has followed suit. Over his previous nine appearances, he had shot just 38.5 percent from the field while dealing with a myriad of injuries. On Friday, both he and his team found their stride. 

"We played the whole game hard," Warriors forward Eric Paschall said. "I felt like as a team, that's a big step for us after the last two games. We felt like we didn't compete at a high level. I felt like it was real good for us just in terms of coming out with a win."

Golden State's season has been new territory for Green. Since entering the NBA, he has never missed the playoffs, but with the Warriors' star-studded cast out for an extended time, that streak is expected to end. That makes Friday's act of leadership all the more important going forward. 

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in inspiring 100-98 win over Bulls

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in inspiring 100-98 win over Bulls

BOX SCORE

Too bad the Warriors can't play the Bulls every night. 

In their latest outing, the Warriors beat Chicago 100-98, sweeping the season series against Chicago while avoiding a winless five-game road trip. 

After Warriors coach Steve Kerr lamented his team's uninspired play, Golden State put together its best effort in nearly a week. 

The Warriors aren't going to beat most teams on talent like recent years. In order to have a chance on a nightly basis, they'll have to play as hard as they did Friday night at United Center. 

Here are the takeaways:

All heart

In the days leading up Chicago, Kerr was critical of his team's hustle and spirit. Against the Bulls, the Warriors got the hint, highlighted by a 16-5 run to start the second quarter. Golden State shot 57 percent from the field in the frame, helping the team get within one point at halftime. 

Similar efforts were littered throughout the game. When the Bulls went up seven, the Warriors went on a 14-5 run to take a brief lead. Eric Paschall continued his stellar rookie season, scoring 13 points, adding three rebounds and two assists. 

As they grow, the Warriors will continue to learn lessons during their transition. The one constant will have to be the effort they showed Friday. 

Too many miscues

Golden State's response to Kerr's demand would've been smoother with better control of the basketball. The Warriors committed 11 of their game-high 19 turnovers in the first half. 

Entering Friday, Chicago was among the stingiest teams in the league, forcing 18 turnovers per game.

Turnovers are a function of undisciplined play. The Warriors' youth was on display, and they were fortunate to get the win.

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: Why Warriors' focus is on player development]

Robinson drilling III's

In a game the Warriors needed an extra scoring punch, they got it from Robinson, who scored 20 points, including two 3-pointers. After struggling at the beginning of the season, Robinson has come alive in recent games. 

Over his last eight outings, he's averaging 13.6 points while shooting 41.4 percent from 3-point range. 

If Robinson can keep this up, he will force his way into Golden State's future plans.