Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from ugly 134-111 loss to Bucks

Warriors takeaways: What we learned from ugly 134-111 loss to Bucks

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OAKLAND -- The life of the Warriors’ win streak ended at eight games, and it came without mercy.

The physically imposing Milwaukee Bucks came into Oracle Arena on Thursday night and dropped the defending NBA champions 134-111 behind a display of authority seldom seen in the Steve Kerr era.

Warriors guard Stephen Curry left in the third quarter with a left adductor strain and did not return.

Klay Thompson seemed the least bothered by the activity, scoring a team-high 24 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.

Here are three takeaways from a loss that hurt the Warriors (10-2) in more ways than one:

Curry and Durant were really, really bothered

Curry and Kevin Durant specialize in making opponents look dazed, confused and helpless. They were force-fed some of their own stuff. Milwaukee’s length and mass basically boxed Durant in, and he couldn’t get out.

Durant made several attempts to get going and never reached the level we’re accustomed to seeing. He forced a few passes and failed spectacularly. He totaled 17 points (6-of-15 shooting) and had nine assists but also six turnovers. In the ‘That’s Incredible’ dept., he also had two of his shots blocked.

The Bucks are too good for the Warriors to beat without Curry and Durant playing at their usual level, which leads us to ...

They really, really missed Draymond Green

This was one of those losses that shined a bright light on Green's value. His absence was glaring, and there simply was no way to offset it.

Green is the team's human seltzer tablet. He makes the Warriors fizz at both ends, and when they’re fizzing, the sizzling usually follows. The defense crackles with intensity, and the offense flows into a cascade of points.

In Green’s place, the Warriors started Jordan Bell. He was the most logical candidate, and he did not come close to delivering what was needed. He picked up two fouls inside the first five minutes and did not return until the third quarter.

Bell played 22 minutes and finished with four points, five rebounds, three assists and four fouls. Kevon Looney was more productive, with eight points, five rebounds and two assists in 21 minutes. Neither was able to being the energy generally supplied by Green, though, and it showed.

The Bucks are going to be a load

The Warriors generally have difficulty finding their best stuff against Milwaukee. Simply put, the Bucks are a bad physical matchup.

But this game was an announcement to the rest of the NBA. The Bucks are long, they’re hyperactive, and now, under coach Mike Budenholzer, they are confident. There is a swagger to this team that was evident from the opening tip.

It’s not easy to come into Oracle, where the Warriors were 6-0 this season, and smoke the home team. The Bucks did. And in doing so, they further validated themselves as no less than a top-three team in the Eastern Conference.

The Warriors will see them only once more this season -- unless, of course, there is a highly significant meeting in June.

Watch Steph Curry try to freestyle rap at his charity golf tournament

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AP

Watch Steph Curry try to freestyle rap at his charity golf tournament

Steph Curry makes playing basketball look easy, but the same cannot be said about his rapping. 

The Warriors star grabbed the microphone at the Stephen Curry Charity Classic at TPC Harding Park on Monday, and freestyled ... well, something. 

"I don't know where this ball's going, and I'm sure not good at flowing," Curry rapped. 

The former line is self-deprecation, considering Curry's handicap. The latter? That's spot-on. 

[RELATED: Why NBA's new tampering proposal won't make a difference]

During his time at Davidson College, Curry and his friends rapped about a campus cafeteria in a parody set to the tune of Asher Roth's "I Love College." Much like Curry's magical NCAA tournament run foreshadowed his NBA success, his rapping on the decade-old video did the same for Monday's display. 

As far as NBA point guards with Oakland ties go, the rapping should only be left to Damian Lillard

Warriors counted on Mike Dunleavy Jr. in D'Angelo Russell trade, draft

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AP

Warriors counted on Mike Dunleavy Jr. in D'Angelo Russell trade, draft

Mention the name Mike Dunleavy Jr. to a Warriors fan, and you're likely to get a sour face in response.

The No. 3 overall pick of the 2002 NBA draft never lived up to his potential over four-plus seasons in Golden State, and his seemingly relaxed disposition on the court didn't endear him any further. He was quite a talent drop-off from the first two picks of that draft -- Yao Ming and Jay Williams -- and he was selected six picks ahead of Amar'e Stoudemire, among others.

In fact, arguably the most helpful thing he ever did for the Warriors was be involved in the trade that brought Stephen Jackson and Al Harrington over from the Indiana Pacers.

Time heals all wounds, though, and Dunleavy recently was involved in an important Warriors trade once again.

Dunleavy is back with Golden State, having rejoined the franchise as a pro scout last season. But as The Athletic's Anthony Slater reported Tuesday, it was his involvement in the sign-and-trade for D'Angelo Russell on July 1 that had plenty to do with his elevation to his current position of assistant general manager.

On the night of June 30, Dunleavy sat in a Manhattan hotel room with Warriors general manager Bob Myers, trying to figure out how Golden State would proceed after learning that Kevin Durant was taking his talents to Brooklyn.

"Bob knew before everybody else, so that gave us a little bit more time to figure out what’s next,” Dunleavy told Slater. “But once that 6 p.m. time slot hit, things started flying. There was so much real-time action, intel collecting."

Having been based in New York for his scouting duties, Dunleavy got plenty of exposure to Russell during his time with the Nets, which aided in the Warriors' assessment of the dynamic guard.

"I didn’t see D’Angelo Russell play live 10, 20 times (like Mike),” Myers said. “There’s never been more information available, whether it’s analytics, your ability to watch tape, see games, dig into numbers. But I don’t think any of it is a substitute for actually going to a game in person, talking to coaches and watching the whole day develop, from when the player gets there to warm up, the stuff fans don’t see, interacting on a closer level, how they act when they get subbed out, how they react to winning and losing."

While Myers is at the head of the Warriors' basketball operations department, he encourages a collaborative decision-making process. When it came time to decide on Russell, Dunleavy's familiarity was utilized.

"When we were faced with that short window of time, we certainly asked him,” Myers revealed. “He gave a rundown of where he thought he improved, his strengths, potential weaknesses, fit, all that."

The rest, as they say, is history.

With input from Dunleavy, Golden State made the gutsy decision to complete the sign-and-trade for Russell, which required the Warriors to depart with Andre Iguodala and multiple draft picks. The frantic events of the opening hours of free agency actually served to cement Dunleavy's interest in that kind of work, rather than deter it.

"I kind of got addicted to it," Dunleavy admitted.

Over the course of last season, Dunleavy grew more involved in the draft process. He attended several Villanova games, where he studied Golden State's eventual second-round pick Eric Paschall, and was present for the entirety of the Big Ten Tournament, where he saw future first-round pick Jordan Poole play three times. Dunleavy then joined the rest of the front office in Oakland for the remainder of the pre-draft process, including the evaluation of prospect workouts.

[RELATED: Iguodala planned to teach math before titles with Warriors]

Given who the Warriors ultimately selected in the draft, it's evident Golden State liked what Dunleavy had to say about both Poole and Paschall. Then, after he had further proven his value during the madness of the opening hours of free agency, Myers quickly offered Dunleavy his new elevated role.

"I’m not so arrogant to think I know more than he knows about an NBA offense," Myers conceded. "So I’m just positing questions to him. He takes a deeper look -- kind of like Andre (Iguodala) and Shaun (Livingston) -- just a brilliant basketball mind. It kind of comes naturally."

Dunleavy's first go-around with the Warriors was rocky, to say the least. But if Russell proves to be a good acquisition and the draft picks pan out, the second one will be a lot smoother.