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
The Warriors head to OKC as the No. 1 team in the West. They’ve held that position for most of the season. They’ve had some ugly losses, but their 46-21 record still is the best in the conference.
It does seem like this season has had more “stuff” ... tension or turmoil, or whatever you want to call it. But through it all, the Warriors are on track to continue their historic run.
The game notes have this bullet point: Golden State has a 328-83 (.798) record in the regular season and playoffs over the last four seasons, the best four-year winning percentage in NBA history. Additionally, the Warriors own the best winning percentage (.759) in the postseason in any four-year span in NBA history.
It’s normal to be harder on the people who have reached the top. And when those people say they want more, they strive to be better, and the storylines around them reflect that. The Warriors are held to a high standard because that’s what they demand of themselves.
That said? It’s cool to sit back for a sec and say whoa. This team, this year, is really good.
Via IG @miraclepieco Kerith: During the first part of the season, much was made of Klay Thompson’s “slump.” Given recent performances, is it time to start talking about Steph Curry’s slump?
I remember all those Klay questions and the takeaways: Klay is confident. He’ll shoot his way out of it. And he did! We also talked about how Klay’s performances can be indicative of how well the offense is flowing overall. Same with Steph.
Since the All-Star break, Steph is shooting 41 percent on field-goal attempts, 37 percent on 3-pointers and 90 percent on free-throw tries.
It’s fair to notice Steph’s percentages are down and wonder what’s up. Steve Kerr believes the dip is part of a weird patch for the team at large, going 5-5 since the All-Star break.
This week at practice, Kerr explained: “When the group is affected, everyone is affected. When the group is disconnected a little bit, it takes away our team’s energy. When our team’s energy is lagging, I think that affects Steph, for sure. ... But he’s Steph Curry. He’s going to have some huge games no matter what happens. He’s in a little bit of a rut right now, but it happens to everybody.”
By the way, at this EXACT time in the season two years ago, the same “Is Steph in a slump?” questions popped up. Here’s Monte Poole’s report from March 14, 2017. There are late-season patterns before the playoffs happen. In this story, Steph said he doesn’t like the word “slump” because there’s a connotation of a lack of confidence. He will never lack confidence.
Via IG: @dabidhwonphoto What’s the status of Damian Jones, and with Bogut re-entering the lineup for a year long contract, what do you believe the Warriors will do to continue developing him or find plans otherwise if not the right fit?
Let’s tackle the Bogut part of this question first. His contract with the Warriors is good for the remainder of this NBA season. At its conclusion, he will return to his team in Australia, the Sydney Kings. Bogut’s reunion with the Warriors is a short-term thing for this season’s playoff push.
Bogut is expected to join the Warriors during the next homestand.
Damian Jones is the only center the Warriors have on the roster under contract for next season. Steve Kerr said it is “doubtful” Jones will play in the postseason.
DJ is rehabbing well from his torn pectoral muscle, and he might be available to play at the end of May, but consider that situation. He’s been rehabbing since December ... ramping up to game speed after that much time away is difficult … and the playoffs aren’t ordinary games.
It’s a not a good idea to throw DJ into high-pressure games where there’s no room to have some wobbly moments after so much time away. It’s not worth the potential confidence hit when the Warriors have DeMarcus Cousins, Kevon Looney, Jordan Bell and Bogut to hold down the center position.
DJ is a young, promising center the Warriors have spent much time developing. They believe in him. He fits.
@TheGeeMoneyShow #askKerith with Boogie’s increased minutes how has his conditioning come along?
He’s looking good. In his 11 games before the All-Star break, he was getting about 23 minutes per game. Now he’s getting closer to 30.
Some of the markers of good conditioning are whether a player Boogie’s size is running the floor well and staying engaged on defense. He’s doing both.
The game against the Rockets was Boogie’s 20th of the season. He’s moving the way he knows he can. The perspective for Boogie was the first games back were like his training camp, then he settled in, and now he’s finding a higher gear.
@RobertsonBrad Is Klay clearly underrated? He would be #1 on many teams but he is #3 only on this roster. #askKerith
It’s easy to see Klay’s worth when he missed the Celtics game and the Warriors lost by 33, then he came back and dropped 39 points against the Nuggets in a big win. This is an oversimplification, of course -- wins and losses are team efforts -- but Klay frequently shows his value.
On a team where Steph and KD have the most intrigue, Klay plugs away and performs. His defense is strong. His energy is good.
Speaking of his fellow Splash Brother, Steph and Klay now are the only duo in NBA history to have seven consecutive seasons of 200-plus 3-pointers together. They perfectly complement each other, on the court and personality-wise.
Klay said he wants to be a Warrior for life, but other teams will for sure come sniffing around during his free agency. He’s talented and respected.
@Tuscangirlygirl #askKerith Kevin Durant is such a serious guy. What makes him laugh? A deep belly laugh?
What a great question! I asked KD, and he said, “I watch Martin every night.” That’s the '90s sitcom with Martin Lawrence and Tisha Campbell.
KD continued, “I’m usually (rolling) on the floor when I watch.”
@rj1975 As a seasoned professional, are there certain colors/looks you avoid for the camera? Do you work with a clothing designer? #AskKerith
Busy patterns, like small stripes and houndstooth prints make the camera freak out. I try to keep it simple with solid colors. I like to wear red, blue, pink and black the most. Yellow and tan don’t look great on me because I’m pale. I look washed out.
After awhile, I get bored of solids and toss in something with striking print. This season, I’ve worn more jackets because it’s cold in arenas. I want to be comfortable so I can focus on the job. My favorite thing in my closet is a faux fur floral bomber jacket. It’s a striking print that I wouldn’t usually wear for work, but sometimes it’s fun to break the rules.
I don’t work with a designer. I have enough things in my closet over my years in broadcasting to have the staples. I add to the staples with some pieces from Rent the Runway and frequent shopping.
In my personal life, I tend to wear the same things. Normal right? My favorite pair of jeans. My favorite boots. But with a job in the public eye, I try not to repeat the same work outfit for at least three months. That’s my preference to look fresh.
This week’s high five goes to Logan Murdock, for jumping into his role with NBC Sports Bay Area mid-season and tackling new things, like regular TV hits. He’s crushing it!
After I posted a pic of Monte, Logan and I doing a hit in the pregame show, viewer @townbiz77 wanted to know if we formed “Run MLK.” Monte ... Logan ... Kerith. I love it!