Warriors

Tim Hardaway explains why Raptors are biggest threat to Warriors

Tim Hardaway explains why Raptors are biggest threat to Warriors

No offense to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, but the Eastern Conference hasn't exactly posed much of a threat to the Warriors in the NBA Finals during the last two title bouts.

But maybe that won't be the case this year.

With James heading to the Lakers last summer, the East is wide open for the first time in eight seasons and there are a number of teams that have the talent to win the conference and take on the Dubs in the NBA Finals should the Warriors get through the Western Conference gauntlet again. (They will.)

The Bucks, Raptors, 76ers and Celtics all could give Steph Curry and Co. issues in a potential NBA Finals matchup, but Warriors legend Tim Hardaway told 95.7 The Game's "Jo, Lo, and Dibs" on Wednesday that he believes one of those teams can present real issues for the Dubs with a title on the line.

"You know, I'm still going back and forth with who is the better matchup with the Dubs," Hardaway said. "You know, you got Toronto, they played the Dubs very well without Kawhi Leonard. You know, they came in here to Golden State and just beat them up, you know, without Kawhi Leonard. You've got the 76ers, you know, they still trying to find they way. I don't think they are quite ready for the Dubs. Somebody like Boston, I think if they get to that point they understand how to beat the Dubs. I think they understand what they need to do and if they get to that position because they got a long way to go. After they won three of four games out west, they went back home and are going through the same stuff they've been going through. So, you know, it's going to be kind of tough for them. 

"But I still feel that Toronto is probably the best team that could come out the East to play against Golden State and give them a run for their money. You know, they have the size, they have the athleticism, they can switch out on guards and they can score the basketball. So I think that team -- same way with Boston, but I don't think Boston has found they rhythm yet. I still think they are looking for they identity, still looking for who is going to do what, how are they going to do it, but I think Toronto is right there. So that's the team out of the East that can give Golden State a run for their money."

Toronto has looked like a true title contender in what could be the only year of the Kawhi era. The arrival of the 2014 NBA Finals MVP coupled with the emergence of Pascal Siakam and the acquisition of Marc Gasol has made the Raptors a force to be reckoned with.

[RELATED: Kobe Bryant reveals what sets Warriors apart from other NBA contenders]

The Raptors defeated the Warriors in both games during the regular season with Curry and Leonard each missing one of the contests. Toronto has the versatility, athleticism, veteran experience and star power to give the Warriors problems with everything on the line.

The Raptors will have to get through a different looking Eastern Conference in order to bring the defending champs north to battle for the Larry O'Brien Trophy, but if they do it'll set up a Finals matchup that Hardaway believes would be quite the test for the Dubs.

Many have taken their shot at the Warriors since Kevin Durant's arrival and none have succeeded in knocking them off their throne. Should the Raptors make it to the championship round, chances are they'll suffer the same fate their ferocious mascot did when an asteroid struck the planet 65 million years ago -- extinction.

Best of luck.

Warriors' loss to Kings goes down as historically rare in NBA history

Warriors' loss to Kings goes down as historically rare in NBA history

You have to give the Warriors some credit. It's really tough to do what they did Sunday night.

First, the good news: Facing the Kings at Chase Center, Golden State forced Sacramento to commit 29 turnovers, the most by any team in a single game so far this season.

The bad news: The Warriors lost ... by 21 points.

"I've never seen a box score like this where we forced 29 turnovers and lost by 21 points," Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after the defeat. "It's almost impossible to do that."

"I ain't never seen that s--t before," Draymond Green added. "We sucked. In every way shape and form."

They sucked, all right. Big time. Historically so.

As it turns out, the Warriors' loss Sunday night was the 56th time since the 1983-84 season that an NBA team forced at least 29 turnovers in a game and lost. It was, however, the first such instance since Feb. 6, 2004.

Of those 55 prior occurrences, though, only seven times was the losing team defeated by more than 21 points.

And of those seven prior times, guess which NBA franchise other than Chicago is the only one to have done it twice?

Naturally, the Warriors, including the most recent such occurrence back on Jan. 23, 2001, when Golden State forced Utah into 29 turnovers, and still managed to lose 100-78.

The Warriors went 17-65 that season, the second-worst winning percentage in franchise history -- for now, that is.

[RELATED: Dubs likely won't face Luka when Mavs visit Chase Center]

After the historically-rare loss Sunday, Golden State currently is on pace to finish worse than that.

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 100-79 blowout loss to Kings

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 100-79 blowout loss to Kings

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors (5-23) owned the Kings (12-14) throughout their five-year dynastic run. But on Sunday, their Northern California foes showed how much things have changed, as Sacramento beat Golden State 100-79. 

The Warriors' loss marks the first at home against the Kings since March 2018, and it wasn't close from the start. After a strong start, Sacramento led by as many as 25 points. 

Bogdan Bogdanovic finished with a game-high 25 points, while Harrison Barnes added 15 points of his own, helping extend his former team's losing streak to four straight games. 

Here are the takeaways from Chase Center:

Bad start

Two days after overwhelming the Jazz in the first quarter, the Warriors had the exact opposite start Sunday night. Through the first 12 minutes, Golden State shot just 33 percent from the field, turning the ball over five times (more on that in a bit). 

Worse, Golden State's defense was equally as bad as they allowed the Kings to shoot 62,5 percent with Buddy Held scoring eight of his 19 points in the quarter. 

Warriors coach Steve Kerr knows his team won't have the adequate talent to win on a nightly basis, but what will irritate him the most is a lack of effort, as shown in yet another loss. 

Sloppy play 

Coinciding with the bad start was the Warriors' inability to take care of the ball. Through the first 24 minutes, they committed 12 of their 21 turnovers, in a performance characterized by careless mistakes. 

Late in the second quarter, Draymond Green turned down a breakaway layup to attempt an alley-oop off the backboard to Glenn Robinson III, who was defended by two Kings players, leading to one of his two turnovers on the night. 

Giveaways have been particularly problematic for the Warriors this season. Entering Sunday, they were averaging 15.2 turnovers per game over their last 10 outings. In a season that prioritizes development, the Warriors need to improve their handle of the ball. 

Willie Cauley-Stein solid against former team

Two days ago, Cauley-Stein said it would be "weird" to play against the Kings. By the end of night, he was the lone bright spot in his team's horrid performance. In 30 minutes, the former first-round draft pick finished with 14 points, adding five rebounds. 

It's a positive sign for the center, who has struggled with the Warriors, averaging career lows in points and rebounds. With Marquese Chriss and Omari Spellman coming for Cauley-Stein's starting spot, Sunday's performance came at just the right time.