Warriors

Warriors' battle vs. Clippers too big on night unlike any they've had

Warriors' battle vs. Clippers too big on night unlike any they've had

SAN FRANCISCO -- On a night unlike any other the history of the NBA, the Warriors walked into an unfair fight.

They took the court Tuesday night to confront a Los Angeles Clippers team built to win a championship, and they did it while trying to suppress emotions and ignore mystery.

How does a predominantly young team composed of players from various parts of several countries, strangers not so long ago, come together in the face of looming danger and play its best basketball?

The Warriors did not, and they should not be blamed.

They took a profound beating, 131-107, and they earned every bit of it. The Warriors in their injury-ravaged state are vastly inferior and, under these circumstances, simply could not summon the level of focus and zeal required to make the Clippers at least break a sweat.

With the thinnest crowd of the season filing into Chase Center in the midst of a disease quickly spreading around the globe -- and already forcing mass cancellations of events large and small -- the Warriors trailed by 10 after four minutes, by 20 after 20 minutes and by 30 after 25.

“Well, I don’t think we gave our fans much of a reason to cheer,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We were down big right away.

“It looked like the crowd got bigger as the game went along. I thought early, as the game began, it didn’t look like there were many people here. Then, later in the game, it looked like it was much more filled in.”

There were late arrivals, to be sure, but thousands of seats remained unoccupied. It contributed to a low-energy environment, with several the Warriors operating under a thick cloud of what feels a lot like denial.

“The virus is obviously scaring a lot of people,” rookie forward Eric Paschall said. “The media is really doing a lot, just putting stuff out there and scaring a lot of people, with a lot of states of emergency. But at the same time, you’ve just got to live your life.”

Center/forward Marquese Chriss insisted that he didn’t notice vibe inside the arena.

“I’m so focused on the game that I don’t really think about anything else,” he said. “You can tell that there was a little (crowd) scarcity. At the end of the day, it’s a basketball game for us, and we are going to try to compete the best way that we can.”

Chriss clearly was speaking for himself. He competed well enough against two very different LA big men to finish with 10 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. He also conceded that he “doesn’t work for the CDC, so I don’t really have the inside scoop on what’s going on.”

Nobody really does. That’s what makes this disease so chilling, and why it is fostering such rampant anxiety.

“I feel like we’ve been educated well enough to know about it,” Paschall said.

Yet the way the Warriors opened the game was very much like a team preoccupied with other matters and it didn’t change much until the fourth quarter, when the game was well out of reach.

The Clippers? They went about their business like a veteran team with a sole purpose. They acknowledged concerns with the coronavirus but were able to compartmentalize the distraction.

“We are no different,” Paul George said. “Everyone is pretty much worried about the virus. It makes no difference. We have a job to do, just like everybody else has a job to do and they go out and do their job. If it’s fans or it isn’t fans, we play ball, we hoop, and we’ll go with it.”

[RELATED: KD will return to Bay, attend Warriors-Nets game at Chase]

The NBA has made no announcement regarding the possibility of holding games without fans. But it has been, and continues to be, discussed. If it comes to that, the magnitude of the matter will be impossible to ignore.

And it certainly would be, at least temporarily, the prudent thing to do.

Why Kendrick Perkins gives Draymond Green 'D' grade for 2019-20 season

Why Kendrick Perkins gives Draymond Green 'D' grade for 2019-20 season

Kendrick Perkins gets paid to express his opinion.

And on Tuesday's episode of "The Jump" on ESPN, he voiced his thoughts on Draymond Green's 2019-20 campaign.

"Draymond disappointed me this season," the former NBA big man said. "I thought with the injury to Klay (Thompson) and the injury to Steph (Curry) he was gonna elevate his game offensively and shock the world. With him getting $100 million in the contract extension, I thought Draymond was gonna come out and prove a point.

"Also with them losing Kevin Durant, I thought we would see 'Defensive Player of the Year Draymond' ... (but) he took a few steps backwards. My expectations for Draymond Green were a little bit higher and he didn't achieve it."

The truth is that it was a very, very frustrating year for Draymond.

The three-time NBA champion missed 22 games with various ailments, yet picked up a league-high 14 technical fouls. He shot below 39 percent from the field and less than 28 percent from 3-point range.

But as noted before, yours truly forever will give Draymond a pass for what transpired. There wasn't much incentive at all for the three-time All-Star after Steph broke his hand Oct. 30 against the Phoenix Suns, as the Warriors had no chance of reaching the postseason.

The truth is that Draymond needed a break -- physically and mentally -- after averaging 37.7 minutes over 104 Golden State playoff games from 2015 to 2019.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

It's unclear why Perkins would expect the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year to produce big considering he didn't have Steph, Klay, KD, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston on the court with him.

"To everybody out there who want to talk s--t about this year -- I don't really give a f--k," Draymond said in April on the "All the Smoke" podcast. "In my opinion, I got better. I got better as a player, I got better as a person and a leader ... and that's gonna make me even better for next year.

"So, I appreciate everybody talking. I kind of needed them to relight that fire under my a--."

[RELATED: Beef squashed? Draymond, Barkley team up on TV show]

Draymond definitely pays attention to what is being said about him, his teammates and the Warriors. He uses the noise as motivation when necessary.

Needless to say, the three-time All-Star wants to send a message to the doubters.

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How DeMarcus Cousins would make fun of Steph Curry in stand-up comedy

How DeMarcus Cousins would make fun of Steph Curry in stand-up comedy

Former Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins loves stand-up comedy.

And during a recent conversation on "Take It There" with Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks, he was put on the spot.

"I'm not asking you to tell me what the exact joke is, but give me the gist," Rooks said. "I'm gonna name an NBA player and you tell me if you were making a joke about them, what it would be along the lines of (laughter)."

When Warriors superstar Steph Curry was mentioned, Cousins' response was simple and to the point.

"That mouthpiece. I feel bad for (it)," the four-time All-Star said.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Steph's mouthpiece most famously made headlines when he threw it out of frustration late in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The two-time NBA MVP immediately was ejected and subsequently fined $25,000 by the league office.

Curry threw his mouthpiece again on Oct. 21, 2017, and was fined $50,000.

As for Cousins and his love for comedy, "Boogie's Comedy Slam" now is available for your viewing pleasure.

[RELATED: Boogie says one Dubs player could do some stand-up comedy]

It's very likely you have some free time on your hands, and who doesn't love to laugh?

"Outside of the lines, I'm a goofy laid-back guy," Cousins told Rooks. "I like to joke a lot."

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram