Warriors

Warriors Under Review: Dubs salvage back-to-back with win vs. Pistons

Warriors Under Review: Dubs salvage back-to-back with win vs. Pistons

OAKLAND -- The weekend at Oracle Arena was supposed to extend the momentum generated by the Warriors after walloping the Pacers on Thursday in the homecoming game following a successful road trip.

Coming in were the Mavericks and the Pistons, with the former betting on the future and the latter scraping the bottom of the Eastern Conference playoff pillow fight.

Sweep, right? Well, sort of.

Dallas swept the Warriors into a state of disbelief Saturday with a 126-91 rout of the champs, who recovered nicely on Sunday by sweeping Detroit off the floor with a 121-114 victory.

Here are some of the positives and negatives culled from the back-to-back set:

POSITIVE

Rest season is underway

It’s that time of year where coaches and trainers have one eye on the present and the other on the future. Rest nights are hereby given to selected players.

Stephen Curry, Andrew Bogut and Shaun Livingston got theirs on Saturday, with DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala getting theirs on Sunday.

The Saturday plan was a rousing success. Curry, Bogut and Livingston likely would not have made much difference against Dallas, but they were superb against Detroit. Curry scored a game-high 26 points, shooting 5-of-10 from deep while playing 35 minutes. Bogut scored eight points (4-of-5 from the field), adding five rebounds, three assists and three blocks in 24 minutes. Livingston was 4-of-4 from the field with two assists in 16 minutes.

POSITIVE

Draymond’s bombs

This is something Draymond Green doesn’t mind you noticing -- as long as you don’t mention it: His broken 3-ball seems to be on the mend.

Green made one of the Warriors’ four 3-pointers against Dallas and then drained a big one to beat the halftime buzzer against Detroit. He was 2-of-5 from deep for the weekend, which may seem modest -- until you realize he’s been hovering well below 30 percent this season.

[RELATED: How Draymond's defense set the tone in Warriors' win]

Green over the last six games is shooting 50 percent (8-of-16) from beyond the arc. That’s a clear sign of progress. When his 3-ball is a threat, the Warriors are indefensible.

POSITIVE

The spine remains intact

Displaying precious little determination and zero rhythm, the Warriors were barely in the building for the loss to the Mavericks. Never has a blowout been more richly deserved.

Did they even care? Based on that performance, it was impossible to say.

It bothered them enough that they bounced back. After an autopilot first quarter Sunday, they came after the Pistons with a vengeance, going up 14 at the half and taking a 20-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Warriors tend to respond loudly after being pantsed. They brought their backbone and it showed.

[RELATED: Sixth straight 50-win season has earned Dubs one thing]

NEGATIVE

The ghastly truth

As much as the Warriors would like to, as coach Steve Kerr put it, “flush this one down the toilet,” we cannot overlook the headlong dive into humiliation on Saturday.

How to lose to a team on your floor to a team 16 games below .500? The numbers tell the truth. Outrebounded 49-36. Shoot 4-of-30 from deep, while the opponent is 21-of-49. Have Klay Thompson hang a minus-39, Draymond Green a minus-29, Cousins a minus-27 and Kevin Durant a minus-26. Quinn Cook, starting for Curry salvaged a minus-24.

The Warriors looked like a bunch of guys hitting the gym after 16-hour shifts at the warehouse. This one was about as close to inexcusable as anything they’ve offered in recent years.

POSITIVE

Loon in tune

Amid the ruins of the loss to the Maverick was a single jewel. Kevon Looney scored 12 points in 13 minutes on 5-of-6 shooting. He didn’t stop there.

Listed as questionable for the game against Detroit with a right forearm contusion, Looney was cleared to play and delivered once again, scoring 11 points in 13 minutes on 4-of-5 shooting from the field.

When a backup center comes off the bench in back-to-back games and scores 23 points in 26 minutes on 9-of--11 shooting from the field, he’s exceeding any realistic expectation.

Michael Jordan claims Warriors' Steph Curry isn't Hall of Famer 'yet'

Michael Jordan claims Warriors' Steph Curry isn't Hall of Famer 'yet'

Through his first 10 NBA seasons, Steph Curry has won two league MVPs (one unanimous) and three league titles with the Warriors. He's been named to six All-Star teams and has a scoring championship under his belt. He's on pace to destroy the all-time record for most career 3-pointers.

By most accounts, he's changed the way young players shoot the basketball.

That should be enough to make Curry a Hall of Famer, right?

Not according to Michael Jordan.

"He's still a great player," Jordan said Monday on NBC's "Today." "Not a Hall of Famer yet, though. He's not."

MJ, you're the GOAT, but this is a freezing cold take.

How did this come up? About six years ago, Jordan was asked to pick four players he'd want to team up with in a fictional pick-up game. He chose Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and James Worthy.

NBC's Craig Melvin asked Jordan if anything had changed since he picked those four and if he'd swap out any of them for current NBA players.

Jordan said he would not, and Melvin threw Curry's name out there, asking His Airness if the Warriors star should be offended.

"I hope not," Jordan said, before claiming Curry isn't yet a Hall of Famer.

[RELATED: KD picks Steph over Russ]

Curry has revolutionized the way the game is being played, just like some guy named Jordan did in the 1980s and 90s.

Jordan did a lot of good during his playing career, but since he hung up that Wizards jersey, not much has gone right for him. These comments are just another black eye on Mike.

 

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!

Kevin Durant's basketball life flashed before eyes after Achilles injury

durantachillesusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Kevin Durant's basketball life flashed before eyes after Achilles injury

Kevin Durant is unlikely to step on the court in an NBA game this season. The last time he did, he tore his Achilles, one of the toughest injuries for basketball players to fully recover from.

The person that began defending Durant on the play on which he was injured was none other than Toronto's Serge Ibaka, who previously played alongside the two-time Finals MVP while both were members of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The two former teammates recently met up for the newest episode of Ibaka's Bleacher Report show, 'How Hungry Are You?', and Durant confessed what was going through his mind at the moment when his Achilles gave out.

"I felt like my whole basketball life flashed before my eyes," Durant told Ibaka. "I thought about everything I did from like the first time I played until then. That was the first time that something like that ever happened to me on the court. 

"I guess it just relaxed me a bit as I thought about it because I'm like, 'Man, I've been through everything and this is something else I've got to get over, so let me get my ass up, walk to the locker room and figure out what's next."

Before such a serious thought crossed Durant's mind, a far more comical one did so first.

"First of all, when you switched out on me, I was like, 'Why would y'all switch Serge out on me?" Durant questioned with a laugh. "Even though I'm a little hobbled right now, this a bucket. That's what I was thinking.

"And it's crazy how fast your mind switches, cuz in a matter of the next second, it was like I was on the ground thinking about my whole basketball career. It happened so fast, and once I got back to the back and realized what happened, I was just like, 'Alright, man, let me figure out ... when can I get surgery?'

"I was just trying to move on to the next step so fast and not dwell on it too much."

[RELATED: Who's better: Steph or Russ? KD makes his choice clear]

Little did we know at the time that Durant's next step would lead him to Brooklyn.

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!