Warriors

Warriors awaiting 3-point spark from the bench: 'It’s harder than I thought'

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Warriors awaiting 3-point spark from the bench: 'It’s harder than I thought'

The Warriors took a chance in July. They gambled, hoping to fix a weakness that was clearly apparent even as they were racing to a championship last season.

Maybe they did. But nine games into this season there is no such evidence.

The Warriors still lack 3-point shooting off the bench, an issue they figured would be remedied with the offseason signings of veteran guard Nick Young and veteran forward Omri Casspi.

The Warriors rank 29th -- next to last -- in 3-point makes off the bench this season, which is precisely where they finished last season.

They averaged 2.1 3-point makes per game last season; they’re at 2.2 so far this season. Only the Knicks’ bench, at 2.1, is making fewer.

Young delighted the coaching staff and the Oracle Arena crowd on opening night, making 6-of-7 treys while playing 26 minute. In eight subsequent games he has played 66 minutes and made a total of six.

Young was hired a 3-point specialist -- he shoots more 3-pointers than two pointers -- yet he already has fallen behind second-year guard Pat McCaw as a backup wing.

“Right now, I’m going to be going to Patty,” coach Steve Kerr told reporters Thursday night after a win at San Antonio. “But that doesn’t mean I can’t change. He’s clearly played well and earned it. He’s got a year in our system. He understands it. He does a lot of good stuff for us. He’s earned minutes and he’ll keep playing.

“But Nick’s going to play, too. It’s just a matter of time. He’s got to stay with it.”

Casspi has been limited to six games while battling ankle sprains and has made one triple in 40 total minutes.

Neither vet can expect much more playing time in the immediate future. In addition to Young losing his battle with McCaw, minutes that might go to Casspi are being absorbed Andre Iguodala and Jordan Bell.

“Patrick has really stepped up his game and become an important piece for us,” Kerr said. “And Jordan, we’re just going to keep trying to get him out there as often as we can in key situations, to get him used to it.”

Iguodala, whose 3-point shot is streaky, has made two so far. McCaw has made three, with two coming Thursday night in the win at San Antonio.

Young concedes he is finding it difficult to make the adjustment from a starter playing 26 minutes a game with the Lakers last season to a reserve simply hoping to break a sweat.

“It’s harder than I thought, just trying to figure out when I’ll be getting in,” he told NBC Sports Bay Area this week. “I’m starting to get used to some of the thing, getting used to the guys a little bit. But I’m still working on the best way to come off the bench.”

There is plenty of time for improvement, and it likely will come. But the early results are not at all what the Warriors were looking for with their offseason shopping.

Curry identifies a big challenge facing the Warriors in Game 7 vs Rockets

Curry identifies a big challenge facing the Warriors in Game 7 vs Rockets

The first quarter of Game 6 on Saturday is one the Warriors hope they don't repeat on Monday. If they do, it may spell their demise in the Western Conference Finals.

After Klay Thompson tied the game 15-15 with a jumper with 4:40 remaining in the first quarter on Saturday, the Rockets outscored the Warriors 24-7 and ended the first quarter with a 39-22 lead.

The Warriors figured things out in the second quarter and went on to outscore the Rockets 93-47 over the final three quarters.

But Steph Curry knows the Warriors can't let the Rockets build a big lead early in Game 7 on Monday. It's one thing to erase a deficit at home. It's a whole other thing to try and do it hostile territory.

"We gave ourselves a shot tonight and hopefully we can carry that momentum over. Game 1 down there, we played a solid 48 minutes and got a win. Game 2 was totally opposite and Game 5 came down to the wire. We know how to play well in that building. Just gotta be laser focused from the jump. I guarantee if we start the game like we did tonight and they jump out to a lead, it's going to be 10 times harder to make it a game, so for us, that's our challenge, is to have the same mentality we had for the last 36 minutes of tonight and bring that from the jump in Game 7," Curry told reporters after Game 6.

This will be Curry's fourth career Game 7 and second on the road. He's looking forward to it.

"It's going to be fun. This is what you play for, to be in a situation where you're one win from going to the Finals. There's pressure both ways because of how big the moment is and you gotta want it," Curry said Saturday.

Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 119, Rockets 106
Game 2 Rockets 127, Warriors 105
Game 3 Warriors 126, Rockets 85
Game 4 Rockets 95, Warriors 92
Game 5 Rockets 98, Warriors 94
Game 6 Warriors 115, Rockets 86
Game 7 Houston -- Monday, May 28th at 6pm

Draymond Green, Charles Barkley squash their beef

Draymond Green, Charles Barkley squash their beef

The beef between Warriors forward Draymond Green and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley appears to be over. At least for now. 

After the Warriors' 115-86 win over the Rockets in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, Green joined the set of TNT's Inside the NBA to talk to the crew, including Barkley. Many expected fireworks after Barkley said earlier in the postseason that he wanted to punch Green in the face. 

Instead, it was of show of respect from two fierce competitors. 

“I apologize for saying I wanted to hit you in the mouth,” Barkley said on Saturday. “I was wrong for saying that.”

Barkley further explained his stance, showing admiration for Green.

"He know I think he a hell of a player, I've told him that," Barkley said. "I've never said anything bad about him. ...I've had people who have said to me, 'When you and Draymond see each other...' and I said, 'Dude, No. 1 we've bumped into each other a few times but we say hello and we move on.'"

Kenny Smith then asked Barkley why Green annoys him at times. 

"No. 1, he's never committed a foul," Barkley said, which Green laughed at. "That's pretty much it. ...I have no problem with the way he plays. I just said, sometimes when he starts yelling an screaming, or he doesn't admit he committed a foul, it drives me nuts. And I've said, he'd be a perfect player to play with, but annoying to play against." 

In response, Green showed humor and class. 

"To be honest with y'all, I don't think anyone of use in the NBA has committed a foul," Green said, getting a laugh back from Barkley. "No one likes when the referees call a foul on them, but I can get bad with that at times. And my mom always reminds me of it, my grandma always reminds me of it. my unlces is really hard on me about it -- so, I can understand that. 

"Nonetheless, it's much respect from my end." 

To keep the Warriors' season alive in Game 6, Green scored four points to go with 10 rebounds, nine assists, five blocks, and four steals. 


Game Result/Schedule
Game 1 Warriors 119, Rockets 106
Game 2 Rockets 127, Warriors 105
Game 3 Warriors 126, Rockets 85
Game 4 Rockets 95, Warriors 92
Game 5 Rockets 98, Warriors 94
Game 6 Warriors 115, Rockets 86
Game 7 Houston -- Monday, May 28th at 6pm