Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in dominant 132-100 win vs. Pacers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in dominant 132-100 win vs. Pacers

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The way the Warriors are rolling, even the respectable Indiana Pacers didn’t have much of a chance.

After concluding their longest road trip of the season with an emphatic 132-100 rout of the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, the Warriors will return to the Bay Area Tuesday early morning with an 11-game win streak.

The Warriors took control early, building a double-digit lead that never was seriously threatened thanks to a 24-3 run in the first quarter.

Here are three takeaways from a game in which the Warriors never trailed:

Curry’s insane efficiency

Aside from nearly injuring himself while celebrating a Klay Thompson dunk, Stephen Curry did just about everything perfectly.

He made his first six 3-pointers before ultimately finishing 6-of-8 from beyond the arc. He shot 10-of-13 from the field, scoring a game-high 26 points. He grabbed six rebounds, passed for three assists and nabbed two steals. He was plus-10 over 27 minutes.

Curry’s third 3-pointer gave him 200 this season, extending to seven his streak of seasons with at least 200 3-pointers – making him the first NBA player to accomplish the feat.

Yet, it was his reaction to an impressive dunk by Thompson early in the second quarter that put a scare into the Warriors. Curry leaped off the bench and dropped his warmup jacket, only to get his feet tangled in the jacket.

He survived intact.

Boogie’s Night

It’s a frightening sight whenever a player returns from serious injury, and hits the floor hard for the first time. Cousins, who returned 10 days ago, took his first scary spill with 7:35 left in the first quarter.

Clobbered by Pacers power forward Thaddeus Young while trying to finish a breakaway at the rim, Cousins landed awkwardly on his left foot – just below his surgically repaired Achilles – grimaced and writhed on the floor for a few moments before rising and limping.

He also survived intact.

Young was assessed with a Flagrant 1, and Cousins went to the line and made both free throws. His minutes were unaffected, as was his game. Cousins totaled a season-high 22 points (7-of-12 from the field), six rebounds and four assists. He was plus-7 over 25 minutes.

There may be residual effect Tuesday, but Cousins showed no ill effects.

The return of Jordan Bell

With Draymond Green sitting out with general soreness, coach Steve Kerr had a decision to make. Who should start in pace of Green? Kerr went with Jordan Bell, who has spent much of the season out of the rotation.

Bell responded with eight points, five rebounds, one block and one steal. He was plus-9 over 19 minutes.

Insofar as Bell had not played since Jan. 21 against the Lakers in Los Angeles, where he had a very visible heated exchange with Kerr, giving Bell the start was a surprise.

Kerr could have inserted Andre Iguodala, a good defensive matchup with Indy forward Bojan Bogdanovic, who specializes in perimeter shooting. Going with Bell kept Kevin Durant at small forward, on Bogdanovic, while Bell matched up with Young.

There could be a number of reasons for starting Bell. He may have earned it with his work habits and preparation. He may have been on display for a possible trade. Maybe Kerr liked the matchup.

In any case, Bell acquitted himself well.

Warriors' Steve Kerr shoots down Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo question

Warriors' Steve Kerr shoots down Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo question

Steve Kerr is not going to be forced to write a check to the league office for his comments about Milwaukee Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Wait. What did he say?

Well, nothing actually.

The Warriors' coach was a guest Wednesday on "The Bill Simmons Podcast," and the two had the following back-and-forth:

Simmons: "I think you can answer this. I don't think this is a tampering violation. Giannis is basically a 7-foot point guard ... this is just who he is? Is Giannis a 1-of-1, or do you think there's more coming? Or this the only one we're gonna have?"

Kerr: "(laughter) 'Media Steve' is gone, Bill."

Simmons: "You can't even answer?!"

Kerr: " 'Coach Steve' doesn't want to get fined. Especially guys who are gonna be free agents and all that stuff."

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

Well played, coach. Well played.

And nice try, Bill (haha).

[RELATED: Barkley worried Giannis becomes 'Kevin Durant situation']

Kerr also referenced how LA Clippers coach Doc Rivers got fined $50,000 last May for saying Kawhi Leonard "is the most like (Michael) Jordan that we've seen."

As for Giannis, the Greek Freak averaged 36.0 points, 16.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists over the Bucks' first two games in the Orlando bubble. If he doesn't sign the supermax extension in October (or at some point before the 2020-21 season ends), he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

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Who is Warriors' ideal offseason addition using mid-level exception?

Who is Warriors' ideal offseason addition using mid-level exception?

Some of the best and --- let's be honest -- worst conversations regarding the Warriors take place on social media. 

Strong voices and opinions of Dub Nation defend or criticize their squad, not afraid to share their thoughts with absolute authority. Many of these personalities live on Twitter, where everyone can be a general manager, coach, critic, troll and/or hot-taker. 
 
In our Warriors Twitter Roundtable, we will share a five-part series of questions designed to touch on the major conversations floating around the Warriors Twitter world. Answering the questions will be a panel of some of the more prominent and revered voices within the community.
 
Part 1 had our panel name the five best players in the NBA, while Part 2 answered whether or not the Warriors should be considered contenders right now. Here is Part 3:
 
Who is your ideal (and reasonably realistic) addition for the Warriors using the mid-level exception? 

@poormanscommish: I am definitely not the “Trade Machine” type, especially when the NBA title hasn’t even been determined and neither has the draft, which should reveal a lot about how (Warriors GM) Bob Myers intends to construct his 2020-21 roster. So there are tons of moving parts to this and usually I just sit back and watch how the cookie crumbles -- Warriors fans: You should try this! But to answer your question, I’m going to just go for the holy grail and hope the Raptors falter in the bubble (unlikely, I know), their GM Masai Ujiri starts a rebuild, and Marc Gasol accepts Bob’s MLE offer on what would be an epic-looking championship-contending starting five, as compared to max contract offers Gasol would get from bad teams. 

@samesfandiari: Marc Gasol. High IQ player that can pass, shoot and defend.  I view him like I view (Andre) Iguodala or (Andrew) Bogut. Beyond being a good player, his skillset amplifies those of the core players and takes the collective to a higher level.

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

@Jannelle12: My Ideal addition would be Marc Gasol. He still is a capable defender and not scared to shoot the three. Also, he's also a solid passer. He'd be ideal in post-split action. Realistically, re-signing Alec Burks would be the move to make. Why? Because he already knows the system and would add additional scoring to a second unit that really needs it. 

@AndyKHLiu: Marc Gasol. Not only is he perfect for Steve Kerr, he'd be the best addition to the bench since David West. Great passer, screen-setter, defender and shooter that will play both on the closing and second unit. There's no better player, I'd argue, that would fit this team, regardless of money. (Well, Giannis (Antetokounmpo) but that's another story). 

@GSWReddit: Obviously Marc Gasol is a very popular pick among Warriors fans. He is probably the most ideal center Bob Myers could get for Kerr. A former Defensive Player of the Year who is an exceptional passer for a big, along with his ability to score around the rim and stretch the floor. A multi-faceted player like that would be perfect for this Warriors roster, especially at the center position where the Warriors are looking to upgrade. There are some concerns with him in regards to age and durability, but if he were to be available for the MLE, then he would be a great pickup. It remains to be seen how the Raptors will play things this offseason and they do retain his bird rights if they want to offer him something like a steep one-year deal to run it back.
 
If he’s unavailable, former-Warrior Justin Holiday might be an intriguing and more realistic candidate. He has had a very good season for the Pacers, shooting 42 percent from 3-point range on high volume and can offer some wing defense to a roster that badly needs it. 

[RELATED: One Warrior would be hurt most by no camps, second bubble]

My take (@grantliffmann): It's crazy when the whole panel agrees, but Marc Gasol truly would be an ideal addition. But another ideal addition would be his teammate Serge Ibaka. The reason most people do not include Ibaka's name in their wish list is because there is an assumption that he will be seeking a big-money deal (which he probably deserves). But if we are talking possibilities that could be realistic, we have to consider the idea that the financial ramifications of the pandemic might be greater than even some anticipate, which would make attaining Ibaka on a one-year deal not completely out of the question, though yet again, very unlikely.