Warriors

Warriors' Mychal Mulder watched hours of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson film

Warriors' Mychal Mulder watched hours of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson film

Before Mychal Mulder's freshman season at Catholic Central High School, he waited as upperclassmen picked through jerseys with desirable numbers. One of the last players to choose, he found a number that would connect him with a future teammate. 

"I was like, 'OK this is kind of cool, Klay Thompson, number 11,'" Mulder told the Runnin' Plays Podcast. "I always joked if I ever get a chance, I'd fight him for that number 11." 

Now a member of the Warriors, Mulder is reconciling playing alongside Thompson and Steph Curry while taking advantage of watching their games up close. 

"Yeah, I studied countless hours of both those guys," he said. "Being a shooter myself, I was really studying the way those guys get open, setting screens for each other, the way that they're constantly moving."

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Mulder's connection to the Thompsons makes sense. His father, Randy, a huge Lakers fan, named his baby boy Mychal after Klay's father, who played four seasons in Los Angeles, bringing his career full circle. 

"If you go to my house, there's all types of Lakers gear, guy has hundreds of hats and coats," Mulder said. "He's got all the old VHS from the games from the '80s. Just growing up, I was a Lakers fan, I was born into basketball and his love for basketball came out in me, and he instilled a lot of things in me that I'm fortunate to have." 

Mulder, 25, played in six games with the Warriors, averaging 11 points per game, including an 18-point performance against the Philadelphia 76ers. Along the way, he was among the team's leaders in plus-minus (plus-33) and shot 30.8 percent from 3-point range, using everything Thompson and Curry taught him from afar.

[RELATED: Klay pinpoints biggest challenge of rehab from torn ACL]

"That's a job I always wanted. Klay, in particular, I studied him a lot, the way he moves without the basketball and gets in position to get open," Mulder said. "I had studied tons and tons of hours on that and tried to add that to my game as well."

"I'm super excited to be in the locker room with those guys, to be able to grow. I feel like they'll help me grow tremendously during my time with them."

NBA rumors: Warriors privately 'cool' on playing when season returns

NBA rumors: Warriors privately 'cool' on playing when season returns

To play or not to play?

That is the question facing the Warriors as the NBA nears a decision on how many teams will participate when the league resumes the 2019-20 season.

While coach Steve Kerr said the team is operating as if the season is over, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Monday that owner Joe Lacob told his fellow owners that the team was "willing" to play if all 30 NBA teams were asked to play.

But ... Wojnarowski also reported, citing sources, that the Warriors have been "far more cool to the idea in private."

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Based on Wojnawowski's reporting from Friday, the NBA Board of Governors are expected to approve commissioner Adam Silver's proposal for a 22-team restart plan later this week, meaning the Warriors -- who hold the worst record in the league -- would not be asked to play any more games this season.

The Warriors don't have anything left to play for this season. They are the only team that has been officially eliminated from playoff contention. Does it make sense for the players to go through several weeks of training camp to play a handful of meaningless games?

"It's a hard thing to put your mind in that space, 'I'm gonna go out here and compete and bust my a-- and know in five games we're just gonna be back in the offseason again,' " Warriors star Steph Curry told former teammate Anthony Morrow recently on "The Life Podcast."

[RELATED: Warriors facility opens, players show up]

Would it be advantageous for the Warriors to get a brief look at Curry playing alongside Andrew Wiggins? Sure, but they don't need to risk injury to either player when the goal is making sure the team is ready to bounce back for the 2020-21 season.

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Steph Curry reacts to Damian Lillard's comments on 'meaningless games'

Steph Curry reacts to Damian Lillard's comments on 'meaningless games'

Damian Lillard created headlines last week with his comments about the NBA's potential plans for resuming the 2019-20 season.

"If we come back and they're just like, 'We're adding a few games to finish the regular season,' and they're throwing us out there for meaningless games and we don't have a true opportunity to get into the playoffs, I'm going to be with my team because I'm a part of the team," the Portland Trail Blazers star guard told Yahoo Sports' Chris Haynes. "But I'm not going to be participating. I'm telling you that right now.

"If we come back and I don't have an opportunity to make the playoffs -- I will show up to work, I'll be at practice and I'll be with my team. I'm going to do all that and then I'm going to be sitting right on that bench during the games."

What is Steph Curry's reaction to that?

"I feel what he's saying because it's hard mentally to go with this long of gap, and then prepare for games you know don't matter," the Warriors' superstar said on the "The Life Podcast" with Anthony Morrow and Justin Jack. "I get it.

"It's a hard thing to put your mind in that space, 'I'm gonna go out here and compete and bust my a-- and know in five games we're just gonna be back in the offseason again.'"

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Golden State did re-open Chase Center facilities Monday so players could work out again, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area's Logan Murdock. 

But all indications are that the Warriors won't be playing any additional games this season, and will not be included among the teams that eventually will take the court in Orlando.

[RELATED: Oakland's own Lillard rips Orlovsky for calling him spoiled]

"Between now and Thursday's vote of the board of governors on the plan to restart the season, the NBA is working to complete the details of a 22-team format," ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe wrote Monday.

So for Lillard and the Blazers -- who currently sit in a three-way tie for ninth place in the Western Conference -- it appears they will get the opportunity to claw their way into the playoffs.

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