Why Steve Kerr called Dragan Bender's Warriors debut 'really positive'

Why Steve Kerr called Dragan Bender's Warriors debut 'really positive'

Dragan Bender had a solid debut in a Warriors uniform Sunday night.

The 22-year-old recorded six points, five rebounds, three assists and one block in Golden State's 115-101 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.

He went 2-for-5 from 3-point range and was plus-1 in 20 minutes off the bench.

"It seems like Dragan picks things up really easily ... did a good job last night of recognizing what we were trying to run," coach Steve Kerr told reporters after Monday's practice. "I'm excited about him. He's a really talented player and he could be a good fit for us.

"He's just gotta get comfortable. And it's not an easy thing to do coming in this late in the season. But he's doing a good job."

So what does he have to do to stay with the Dubs beyond his current 10-day contract?

"Just gotta compete and play the role we want him to play, which is pick-and-pop," Kerr said. "Defend his position and understand our schemes. The early look is really positive. He has a good feel for the game.

"We're gonna give him every opportunity."

Bender has five more games -- Tuesday vs. the Kings, Thursday vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, Saturday at the Phoenix Suns, Sunday vs. the Washington Wizards and Tuesday at the Denver Nuggets -- to prove his worth.

[RELATED: Ex-Dubs big Spellman dominating for Wolves' G League team]

"It's definitely not a long time, but just take it day-by-day," Bender said Monday when asked if he's feeling a sense of urgency. "See where it goes. Just enjoy the process, enjoy the experience out here."

The goal is to be in uniform when the Warriors host the Toronto Raptors next Thursday.

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Why Dwyane Wade thinks Steph Curry's greatest strength isn't shooting

Why Dwyane Wade thinks Steph Curry's greatest strength isn't shooting

If you ask most fans, they would say Steph Curry's greatest strength is his shooting ability.

After all, the Warriors' point guard owns the single-season NBA record for 3-pointers made. He's a few years away from owning the all-time record for most made triples.

But for future Hall of Famer Dwyane Wade, Curry's greatest strength comes when he actually doesn't have the basketball in his hands.

During an Instagram Live chat, Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union-Wade were asked to comment on current NBA players. When they got to Curry, Union started.

"So everybody talks about, obviously Steph can shoot," Union said. "I mean, Steph is ... Steph Curry is one of those people, everything you imagine Steph Curry is, he actually is in real life."

Wade continued that thought and then offered his analysis of Curry.

"He is the nicest person in the world," Wade said. "But one of Steph's greatest strengths that a lot of people ... some people, but a lot of people don't because they talk about all the threes and ball-handling is Steph never stops moving off the ball. You guys see when Steph gives the ball up, that's when he's his most dangerous. And that's crazy to think, right? Because when he has the ball, he's unguardable.

"But when he does not have the ball, forget about it. He's like Rip Hamilton and Ray Allen, those guys when it comes to conditioning and shape that he's in and the way he's able to run. That's when he gets scary, when he gives the ball up."

Here's some evidence in case you need a reminder of Curry's ability to move without the basketball:

After Wade's final game against the Warriors in the Bay Area on Feb. 10, 2019, he swapped jerseys with Curry.

[RELATED: Steph, NBA facing harsh reality]

But in his last game ever against the Warriors, on Feb. 27, 2019, Wade broke Curry's heart with a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

What Steph Curry asked first as Warriors prepped to play without fans

What Steph Curry asked first as Warriors prepped to play without fans

On the morning of Wednesday, March 11, the world learned that the Warriors would play the Brooklyn Nets the following night at Chase Center without any fans in the building.

The decision was made in an attempt to halt the spread of the coronavirus.

So who broke the news about the situation to Golden State's players? How did they react?

David Lombardi of The Athletic has the details:

“I had to go with our general manager Bob Myers and meet with our team in the locker room after practice that day and say, ‘Hey, guys, we’re playing tomorrow night and we’re gonna be playing in an arena that has no fans in it,'” (Warriors team president) Rick Welts said, recalling that moment via videochat during a virtual sports technology conference Friday. “And the looks on our players’ faces were like, ‘What? How in the world is that gonna work?’ It was really quiet for quite a while.

“Then I think Steph Curry said, ‘Can we bring our own playlist? Can we play our own music?'”

As you all are aware, there was no music because there was no game between Golden State and Brooklyn.

Later on Wednesday, the NBA suspended the season indefinitely after Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus.

A little over two weeks later and nobody has any clue when the next NBA game will be played.

[RELATED: What Steph, trainer talk most about during virus shutdown]

“How can sports be the place where people feel safe gathering in large numbers again?” Welts said. “I do think this is a little different than what we’ve seen in the past because I do think there’s gonna be a moment in time when the medical world tells us it’s OK to resume normal life. I think there’s a second psychological part of it, though.

“When are people going to truly feel comfortable and safe doing that? Am I really going to be comfortable putting myself in that environment with 18,000 other people at Chase Center to go watch a game? I’m not so sure those two things will happen at the same time.”

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