Warriors

Why Mike Brown feels like he played role in Klay Thompson's huge game

Why Mike Brown feels like he played role in Klay Thompson's huge game

Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Wednesday night at 6, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Klay Thompson finally had a big game on Sunday.

After scoring just 12, 17 and 12 points in the first three games against the Clippers, the five-time All-Star registered 32 points in Game 4.

Did he do anything different on Friday or Saturday in Los Angeles that contributed to his breakout performance?

“I did a couple things ... I told Jonas (Jerebko) yesterday when we went to the beach and played some volleyball, I'm like, 'Yo I’m just gonna go jump in the ocean. I know that will reset my mind.’ And it worked," Klay told reporters after the Warriors' 113-105 win. "I don't know if I'm gonna jump (in) up north, because it's freezing.

"But it's something I'll definitely contemplate if I don't shoot the ball the rest of the year."

On Monday morning, Golden State assistant coach Mike Brown explained how he could have been there with Klay and Jerebko but ultimately declined the invitation.

“I actually took an Uber after that practice back to the hotel with Klay and Jonas and they were both going to the beach together,” Brown said on 95.7 The Game. “They asked me if I wanted to go and at first I said, ‘Yes.’

“But then I realized my swell figure -- it wouldn’t quite look as nice as theirs. So, I was like, ‘You know what? How about y’all go to the beach by yourselves and I'll go another time with y’all, after I get in that gym a little bit.'

"I didn't go with them, but I feel like I'm part of this 32-point performance because Klay did say he needed some tunes while he was at the beach. And so I said, 'OK, Klay. Here, you can use my Beats Pill.' So I let him use my Beats Pill.

"He tried to keep it but I confronted him when we got off the plane last night and he knew what to do as a young man (against) my grown man strength."

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There are so many amazing components to this tale that it's hard to pick a favorite.

The weather is going to be beautiful in the Bay Area the next couple of days, so hopefully we learn about another legendary Klay story after Game 5 on Wednesday night.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram

Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Warriors care about NBA titles, not noise

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Tara Funk / NBC Sports Bay Area

Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Warriors care about NBA titles, not noise

Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, will take you inside the two-time defending NBA champions as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #askkerith

Tip-Off

Right off the top, let’s get to the injury updates that @CuffyMarva @JustLuna13 @Prannoy29 @daphatroan and others asked about this week for DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant.

DeMarcus: He practiced Thursday for the first time since tearing his left quad on April 16. He very likely will play in the NBA Finals, though which game he'll make his debut in is TBD.

KD: Although he is making good progress, he has not been cleared for on-court activities. He likely will not play in the first games of the Finals, but the Warriors have hope that he’ll be able to play sometime during the series.

Some of this uncertainty might frustrate fans because the exact time for either player to return is unclear. But that’s the nature of injuries. Give DeMarcus and KD the space to heal and prepare to play at a high level. This time of year demands it.

Game On!

@SN0FL4KE How do you compare Boogie and Durant’s road to recovery? Durant seems to get a lot of negative media attention, while DeMarcus (who was in the same boat as Durant to start the year) has been able to fly under the radar for the most part. Is it fair in your opinion?

The Warriors had an idea that DeMarcus’ quad injury was serious, but they also knew a timeframe for his possible comeback. KD’s calf injury has been an evolving situation, with weekly progress reports. And KD has a higher profile on the team, and in the NBA, so the intrigue about his injury feels different.

I saw the hot debate question has moved on from, “Are the Warriors better without KD?” to “Are the Warriors more fun without KD?” and both are silly. Regarding fun and big performances, the Warriors found a way to clinch the series against the Rockets and then sweep the Trail Blazers because they had to. Lose, and it’s over.

I like how much fun Steph, Draymond and Klay had doing it. They’ve been the long-term foundation of the team, and it’s a healthy situation that they play so well together. But I do not understand the negativity around KD. He joins the fun. He creates the fun with some dominating scoring performances. This team celebrates the hot hand. They all shine.

Whatever way the wins come, everyone on the team reacts well to each other as they strive to win a third consecutive championship. Here’s what Kevon Looney told me about the journey the Warriors have been on this season to arrive at the Finals.

@CandlestickWill Will all these “insiders” talking out of their (peach emoji) actually lead KD to stay with the Warriors?

Nothing someone says on a debate show, in an article or on social media will make KD do something.

He told me months ago he has nothing to prove, nor would these people talking out of their (peach emoji) mean anything to him. This is random, but do remember during these playoffs when Jeff Van Gundy dropped a gem during a broadcast: “Don’t listen to criticism from someone you wouldn’t take advice from”? KD isn’t listening to anyone he doesn’t respect.

He has an inner circle of people he cares about, and they’ll help him arrive at his free-agency decision. It’s his choice. Everything else is noise to be ignored.

@707SportsFan Can any of Draymond's great play as of late be attributed the report where NBA players called him overrated? Is there any extra fire in him being on on the national spotlight after that report?

Draymond probably saw that report, but that doesn’t mean it’s fuel. He’s beyond needing extra fire to play his best. Here’s another player who doesn’t have anything to prove. He’s self-motivated to live up to the talent and desire inside himself.

Regarding this report, with 30 teams and a 15-man roster for each, that’s 450 guys. The report contained the results for 127 guys who talked. That’s a small sample size. And of that sample, just 47 answered the question, “Who’s the most overrated?” Draymond and Russell Westbrook tied for first with 17 percent of the vote.

Don’t get bogged down in this stuff. Draymond isn’t.

@dshiao @KerithBurke Damian Jones picked up the 3 quick fouls in Game 3. He was pulled after 3 minutes and was then DNP'd in Game 4. Will he get some minutes in the Finals? #askKerith

I think so. But emphasis on the “some.”

Steve Kerr acknowledged he probably played Damian too soon. Kerr was talking about the situation, not that DJ wasn’t ready to play physically. Kerr tried a lineup shake-up, and it didn’t work out. Oh well.

DJ will bounce back, and the time in between the Western Conference finals and the NBA Finals will help give him more runway to be comfortable playing at game speed again. There aren’t many practices during the playoffs, but nine days off in between games means solid practice time is popping up.

DJ won’t get many minutes with DeMarcus Cousins coming back. His usage also will depend on matchups and other injuries impacting the rotations. The usual stuff.

@Prestemon Do players wait for help getting up off the floor as a bonding thing or do they really have trouble doing it by themselves?

It’s a support-your-teammate thing. It’s camaraderie. Can you imagine how embarrassing it would be if no one helped you up? You’d have to be an unpopular guy, or on a team undisciplined about the norms.

Via IG, @arock75 asks, Will the time off be good for our Warriors?

Oh yeah. I know there’s a “rest versus rust” concern, but this time off will heal bodies and soothe minds. The mental part of performing at a high level is draining, and it’s been a long season. I’m not playing 48 minutes of professional basketball every other night, but I know how I feel this time of year. Tired. Mind-scrambled. Lots of deep sighs.

Having lighter team obligations and time away from basketball makes it easier to go back to the game refreshed. The mental edge will make the Warriors more powerful.

@rj1975 Is there reporter protocol at the post game press conferences? #AskKerith

Postgame is the place for questions that react to what happened in the game and how those things might fit into larger team storylines or NBA history. The people facilitating the press conference ask reporters to say their name and workplace before asking their question.

@MLEco2h2o When do we finally get a WNBA team in the Bay Area?

I don’t know exactly when, but it’s something Joe Lacob is thinking about. Last March, Lacob said he believes a Bay Area WNBA team would be successful and he’s open to exploring the possibility.

According to this 2017 report, timing is important ... as in, when Chase Center is completed. That’s soon!

And for the folks who don’t know, the WNBA regular season starts today! Read the major storylines on Swish Appeal and High Post Hoops.

High Five

Congratulations to the Warriors for collecting some honors. Draymond and Klay made the NBA’s All-Defensive Team as second-team selections. Additional kudos go to Steph Curry for making the All-NBA First Team, and to KD for making the second team.

Klay was perturbed he wasn’t an All-NBA selection, and he wondered aloud, “Do I think there are that many guards in the league better than me? Nope.”

Warriors Outsider Drew Shiller detailed why Klay will miss out on millions of dollars because he wasn’t picked for this All-NBA team. But in typically Klay fashion, he declared what makes him feel better: “Rings.”

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage all season.

Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins could return in time for start of NBA Finals

Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins could return in time for start of NBA Finals

OAKLAND -- In a surprising twist, injured Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins practiced Thursday afternoon for the first time since tearing his left quad. 

With Cousins one step closer to game action, Golden State could be getting reinforcements at just the right time. 

“I feel good. A lot better than I was,” Cousins said Thursday afternoon. “I’m able to get up and down the court more. I’m able to play a little competition basketball."

Minutes before Cousins spoke to the media for the first time in more than a month, the Warriors announced he, along with Kevin Durant, will miss the onset of the NBA Finals next week, but expressed hope both could play sometime during the series

Following Thursday's practice, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Cousins' availability for Game 1 of the Finals on May 30 will depend on his conditioning level. Additionally, Kerr wouldn't commit to starting the big man when ready, saying the decision will depend on matchups. 

Cousins, who tore his quad diving for a loose ball in Game 2 of a first-round series with the Clippers, signed a one-year, $5.2 million deal with the Warriors in July in an effort to boost his value after the perennial All-Star tore his Achilles last season. After averaging 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in 30 regular-season games this year, Cousins seemed primed for a summer payday before the quad injury occurred. Shortly after suffering the injury, Cousins vowed to return in the playoffs. 

“Initially, I thought it was worse than what it was,” Cousins said. “There was obviously a panic, but once the doctors came out and I realized what it was, I gathered myself from a couple of days of frustration, anger, sadness and all of the above. I told myself to get back to work and do it all over again. That’s what I did, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.”

“I feel like that’s what adversity does: It always builds you up and makes you stronger for the next bump,” he added. “That was one of my darkest moments, dealing with the Achilles. I feel like I was in a stronger mental capacity when it came to dealing with this one. Not to say that it’s been easy, but it’s a more comfortable situation.”

Over the last month, Cousins has been seen working on his lateral movement and taking light jump shots after practice. As for his pending return, Cousins believes that he can be a vital piece for a team in need of reinforcements. 

[RELATED: How KD's early Finals absence affects Warriors' matchups]

“I think people know what I can do,” he said. “It’s just about me being healthy. Of course, I want to be out there to help my team and to play the game that I love to play. I also just want to be healthy. This is an opportunity to do that.”