Warriors

Video imagines wild NBA world where Steph Curry is drafted by Clippers

Video imagines wild NBA world where Steph Curry is drafted by Clippers

As any fan of science-fiction movies knows, alternate timelines can be tricky. But one of sports fans' favorite pastimes is the rabbit hole that is "what if?"

What's more fun than imagining how sports history would look if just one thing had gone differently?

Since the NBA season ended last week, when the Raptors vanquished the injury-ravaged Warriors in a six-game Finals, the sports world has some time on its hands to explore such never-ending mazes.

The maze that Bleacher Report tried to create Wednesday will make your head spin. B/R published a video depicting how the NBA would look had the Los Angeles Clippers decided to take Steph Curry instead of Blake Griffin with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 draft, and the league was never the same.

In the video, B/R creates an alternate timeline where the decision to draft Curry has a wide-ranging ripple effect on the NBA.

Kawhi Leonard never is traded on draft night, beginning his career in Indiana instead of San Antonio. He still ends up with Toronto, though. The Wizards draft Damian Lillard. Mike D'Antoni becomes the coach of the Clippers. Kevin Durant stays in Oklahoma City. Chris Paul's desired trade to the Lakers appears to have worked out. 

Then things get apocalyptic for Curry.

LeBron James, a free agent in 2014, elects not to head home to Cleveland, instead going to the Lakers at his apex to create a juggernaut with his friend, Paul.

Paul George, the LA native, joins the Clippers to play with Curry, along with Carmelo Anthony. But instead of James passing the title torch to Curry, as he did in the reality this Earth currently occupies, King James and CP3 knock off Steph and the Clips to create a new NBA dynasty.

While it might not all add up, it's a damn fun exercise. It would have been nice to give a hat tip to Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and whatever that reality's version of the Warriors would be.

[RELATED: Kerr reflects on KD's injury, decision to let him play]

What a world it would have been.

Warriors vs. Mavericks watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

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AP

Warriors vs. Mavericks watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

Feeling good about themselves after snapping a seven-game losing streak Tuesday night in Memphis, the Warriors landed in Dallas early Wednesday morning to face the Mavericks in the second night of a back-to-back road set.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 3:30, with tipoff from American Airlines Center scheduled for 4:40.

After being struggling on defense over the first three weeks of the season, the Warriors (3-12) are starting to show bite. They held Memphis to 95 points on 40.9-percent shooting to win for the first time since defeating the Trail Blazers on Nov. 4 at Chase Center.

The Mavericks (8-5) are off to their best start since 2015. The European combination of guard/forward Luka Doncic and 7-foot-3 power forward Kristaps Porzingis has been among the most productive duos in the league this season.

While the Warriors are trying to win two in a row for the first time this season, Dallas is chasing its first three-game win streak.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F – Eric Paschall F – Draymond Green C – Willie Cauley-Stein G – Glenn Robinson III G – Alec Burks

Mavericks

F – Dorian Finney-Smith F – Kristaps Porzingis C – Dwight Powell G – Jalen Brunson G – Luka Doncic

 

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (L hand fracture), G Jacob Evans III (L adductor strain), G Damion Lee (R hand non-displaced fracture), F Kevon Looney (neuropathy), G D’Angelo Russell (R thumb sprain), F Alen Smailagic and G Klay Thompson (R ACL rehab) are listed as out. Looney and Smailagic are on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Mavericks: G Seth Curry (illness) is listed as questionable.

 

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: The Warriors have found their best defensive starting lineup, one in which Cauley-Stein, at 7 feet, is surrounded by four teammates all roughly 6-6. The switching through the last three games have been superb . . . Cauley-Stein, whose history does not suggest rim protection, has had at least one black in seven consecutive games, a personal career-best streak . . . Another move made the coaching staff in the several games is playing big men Marquese Chriss and Omari Spellman together. Both seem to benefit. Those two, along with Cauley-Stein, totaled 32 points and 20 rebounds against the Grizzlies . .. Burks is averaging 18.7 ppg over the last three games while shooting 92.0 percent from the line . . . Since Oct. 30 against the Suns, every healthy member of the team has gotten minutes . . . Today’s player availability count: Nine.

Mavericks: If Curry is cleared to play, he could move into the starting lineup. He has started nine of 13 games, including the last five in a row . . . Porzingis, averaging 18.6 ppg and 8.9 rpg while playing 32.0 mpg, is getting better by the day. He missed 20 minutes in the wake of surgery to repair a severely torn ACL in his left knee . . . SG Tim Hardaway Jr., acquired to provide offense off the bench, has been struggling. He’s shooting 34.4 percent from the field, including 29.5 percent from beyond the arc, while averaging 22.2 mpg . . . The team’s most productive reserve has been backup PG Delon Wright, who is averaging 8.1 ppg while shooting 53.3 percent from the field.

Officials: Ed Malloy (crew chief), Scott Twardoski, JB DeRosa.

David West explains why he was shocked Kevin Durant left Warriors

David West explains why he was shocked Kevin Durant left Warriors

When David West talks, you listen.

It's a rule.

The former Warriors forward -- who retired from the NBA a couple months after Golden State won the title in 2018 -- was a guest Wednesday on Fox Sports 1's show "The Herd" with Colin Cowherd.

Was the two-time NBA All-Star shocked Kevin Durant left Golden State for Brooklyn in free agency?

"I was," West said. "I remember I had spoken to him maybe a couple weeks before the decision. And then obviously had talked throughout the year.

"I just felt like he was in a position to really cement himself -- get into that 'Legend with the Warriors type thing.'

"I still think he's got a great legacy with the Warriors, but I thought it was the one place he might just say, 'You know what, I'm cool here.' I thought he loved the city, he loved the people."

Durant won two championships with the Dubs, was named NBA Finals MVP twice, and did terrific work in the community. He undoubtedly has a great legacy with the franchise.

But it's understandable if certain fans don't hold him in the esteem they would have if he re-signed last summer and stayed for the long haul.

Furthermore, did KD get along with coach Steve Kerr?

"Yeah. Oh yeah," West said. "It's hard not to get along with Steve."

But keep in mind that West wasn't with the Warriors last season, when things between Kerr and KD reportedly started to go south.

You probably weren't expecting to get any of West's thoughts today, but as we mentioned before -- when he talks, you listen (and/or read about what he said).

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