Warriors

Watch Steph Curry miss another dunk at American Century Championship

Watch Steph Curry miss another dunk at American Century Championship

Steph Curry teed off at the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe on Friday and ran into a familiar nemesis: The rim of a hoop placed on the course. 

In each of the last two summers, the Warriors star failed to dunk on the hoop in question. Curry made it an imperfect 3-for-3 on Friday. 

The 31-year-old has 35 career NBA dunks to his name, according to Basketball Reference's play-by-play data, but the Edgewood Tahoe course lately has gotten the better of him.

Don't believe it? Check the tape.

Things went much better for Curry on the course. He ended the day in a five-way tie for 12th place with 15 points, 11 back of 2018 champion Tony Romo. The tournament uses the Stableford scoring format, which gives points for how many strokes under par a player finishes a hole. 

Curry has some work to do to catch Romo who, along with singer Justin Timberlake, was in the two-time MVP's group Friday. 

Romo and Curry also showed off some chemistry on a post route. You be the judge if the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback has still got it. 

Curry ended Friday in danger of repeating another ignominious feat. 

[RELATED: Russ to Rockets gives Steph unique distinction in NBA]

He trailed his father, Dell, by five points at the end of Friday's action. Last summer, the younger Curry jumped into Lake Tahoe after losing to his father. 

There's no word yet on what their bet is this summer, but Steph will have to step up his game when the second round of the tournament tees off Saturday morning at 8 a.m. PT. 

NBA scout unsure about D'Angelo Russell, won't be surprised if he peaked

NBA scout unsure about D'Angelo Russell, won't be surprised if he peaked

Newly-acquired Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell entered the NBA as the No. 2 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, where he was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Here are his stats from his first four seasons:

-2015-16 = 13.2 points, 3.3 assists, 41.0 percent overall, 35.1 percent from deep
-2016-17 = 15.6 points, 4.8 assists, 40.5 percent overall, 35.2 percent from deep
-2017-18 = 15.5 points, 5.2 assists, 41.4 percent overall, 32.4 percent from deep
-2018-19 = 21.1 points, 7.0 assists, 43.4 percent overall, 36.9 percent from deep

That's a pretty nice trajectory. But one Eastern Conference scout is not sold on Russell.

"I don't know if he's really that good," the scout told Ric Bucher of Bleacher Report. "Everything went right for him. I wouldn't be surprised if last season is the best one he ever has."

This scout isn't the only person in the basketball world who feels this way. But there also are those who believe the 23-year-old can be even better moving forward and will see improved efficiency playing alongside Steph Curry and Draymond Green (and eventually Klay Thompson).

It's safe to assume that Russell is aware he has doubters. He also knows that some people are doubting the Warriors, and think the Dubs will miss the playoffs or struggle to make the postseason.

[RELATED: Warriors didn't sign Russell just to trade him, Myers says]

These opinions do provide extra motivation.

"For sure. For sure," he told NBC Sports Bay Area at Summer League in Las Vegas. "I think we got a good group of guys that can really make some noise."

Russell's two-time NBA MVP teammate agrees.

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Golden State Warriors Summer League Grades

Golden State Warriors Summer League Grades

The Golden State Warriors entered the Las Vegas Summer League with an abundance of necessary curiosity.

With three draft picks and a second-year player on the roster - combined with the uncertainty surrounding the team - the offseason tournament provided a glimpse of what to expect from its young core in the upcoming season. 

Now, with Summer League wrapped up, here are the final grades for four important young Golden State's participants. 

Jordan Poole

The 2019 first-round draft pick struggled with his shot during the California Classic, making just four of his first 20 attempts through three games. However, he picked up his scoring output in Vegas, averaging 17.8 points, including a 12-point performance against Denver, helping Golden State overcome a 17-point deficit. 

Poole also showed an ability to make plays, throwing a variety of behind-the-back passes, often getting teammates involved in the offense. If Poole can continue his upward offensive trajectory, he can compete for minutes on the floor. 

While Poole showed flashes of potential, he did have some low points. Though he averaged 2.3 steals in Vegas, he struggled to get around switches, something that hindered him in college. In addition, despite the scoring outbursts, he shot just 40 percent from the field over his final four games. 

Final Grade: B- 

Jacob Evans

Evans entered the Summer League hoping to reverse the ills of a disappointing rookie season. In his second Summer League appearance, he seemed to do that, averaging 16.3 points, 4.8 assists and 5.8 rebounds. 

With Shaun Livingston no longer on the roster, Evans will have primary ball-handling responsibility when Stephen Curry and D'Angelo Russell are not on the floor. In Vegas, Evans played a lot of time at point guard and sometimes struggled against heavy ball pressure. Nonetheless, he showed an improved midrange game that could suit him well during his sophomore season. 

Grade: B

Eric Paschal 

Lauded for his shooting, Paschal impressed during the California Classic, shooting 61 percent from the field, including an 18-point, 6-of-8 performance in a loss to the Lakers. 

Golden State remains high on Paschal, despite the fact that he's a second-round draft pick, citing his toughness, IQ and defensive prowess as a reason he'll see playing time next season. 

Grade: B

Alen Smailagic

The 18-year-old showed a bevy of potential, with numerous highlight-reel dunks during Summer League. In four games in Vegas, he averaged 8.5 points, adding 5.0 rebounds in 22 minutes. 

For the Warriors, the Serbian is a long-term project worth an investment, evidenced by the fully guaranteed four-year, $4.3 million contract the team tendered last week.

In Vegas, Smailagic simultaneously showed why he's worth the contract while giving reminders of the work needed to get playing time. While he showed flashes with his dunks, he was frequently out of position for rebounds due to lack of strength.

Grade: C