Why Warriors coach says D'Angelo Russell can be 'really, really good'

Why Warriors coach says D'Angelo Russell can be 'really, really good'

When watching Steph Curry go over his famous pregame routine, there always is one person by the superstar's side: Warriors assistant coach Bruce Fraser. 

Going into the 2019-20 NBA regular season, Fraser has closely been working with another Golden State guard. Fraser often is seen after practice expanding D'Angelo Russell's game as the young guard inserts himself into coach Steve Kerr's offense. 

In Fraser's short time working with Russell, the coach already has been pleasantly surprised by the left-hander's shooting stroke. 

"I knew he could shoot it, but he’s kept up with Steph in some of the drills and then there are areas of his game that he can improve on, so we’ve been working on that," Fraser said to the Mercury News' Wes Goldberg. "He’s going to be really good.”

One area in particular that Fraser wants the former No. 2 overall draft pick to work on is shooting off the dribble. The coach believes Russell compares well to Curry on shooting off the catch, but is quite behind the two-time MVP with pulling up off a dribble. 

Fraser is using Curry as motivation, too. He personally witnessed how hard Steph worked over the years to master his craft and thinks Russell can get to that point as well. 

"For D’Angelo, the exciting thing is that he has an even higher ceiling, so that, over time, is what we’ll try to get to," Fraser said. "Not just with me, but with all the player development coaches that are involved with him." 

The past few seasons, the Warriors have added older, veteran players to a star-studded roster. Signing Russell, whom the Warriors acquired in a sign-and-trade with the Nets this offseason when Kevin Durant departed for Brooklyn, is a whole different situation. 

Russell, 23, is on his third team in five years since being drafted in 2015, and is coming off a career-year where the All-Star averaged 21.1 points and 7.0 assists per game. 

[RELATED: Steph makes Dubs' first bucket at first Chase Center game]

"It’s exciting. It’s exciting for him, it’s exciting for us. He has a chance to be really, really good. He’s a really good playmaker, he’s a really good passer, along with a scorer," Fraser said. "It’s unfortunate that we don’t have Klay to give him another guy to throw it to, but in the meantime we’ve got to develop our young talent. D’Angelo is a part of that.

"It’s going to be a growth year for us, and D’Angelo is in that category, and we’re excited to have him.”

When it's all said and done, Fraser sees Curry and Russell starring in the same backcourt. Just give it time.

Kevin Durant gets Finals revenge on Drake in 'Laugh Now, Cry Later' video

Kevin Durant gets Finals revenge on Drake in 'Laugh Now, Cry Later' video

Any Warriors fans who wanted to dunk on Drake before, during or after last year's NBA Finals can now live vicariously through Kevin Durant.

The Toronto Raptors global ambassador and rapper dropped the music video for "Laugh Now Cry Later" featuring Lil Durk on Thursday, with Drake spending most of it on Nike's Beaverton, Ore. campus. Former Raiders star Marshawn Lynch steals the show by tackling Drake in a brief appearance, but Durant absolutely dominates the Canadian star in a 1-on-1 game.


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Durant hasn't played in an NBA game since rupturing his Achilles in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA Finals against Drake's Raptors, and his rehab is, at the very least, far enough along to best someone who once air-balled a 3-pointer warming up with Kentucky. By my count, Durant was 5-of-5 from the field with a steal, a block and two dunks over Drake.

Yes, I counted stats from a fake 1-on-1 game in a music video. What did you do with your Thursday night?

Drake traded barbs with Durant and the Warriors when Toronto and Golden State squared off in last year's Finals. There was Drake's "Home Alone" hoodie worn before Game 2, followed by Klay Thompson dropping a "See you in the Bay, Aubrey" after the Warriors' win that night. Then Drake trolled Thompson, and later Draymond Green, but it was all good-natured. Green and Drake met up between Games 1 and 2, while Steph Curry even gave the rapper a congratulatory call after the Raptors won their first NBA title.

[RELATED: Draymond wants you to know he liked Trent Jr. before you did]

Durant's no longer a Warrior, of course, with Game 5 marking his last appearance in a Golden State uniform before he joined the Brooklyn Nets in free agency. Drake said he was "wrecked" seeing Durant get hurt, and he even referenced the NBA star's eventual road back to the court in a verse on Rick Ross' "Gold Roses" last summer. It's fitting, then, that we'd get one of our first glimpses at Durant back on the court in a Drake video.

That it plays out like a fever-dream revenge fantasy written by one of their own has to be a cathartic, added bonus for Warriors fans.

Draymond Green has been on Gary Trent Jr. bandwagon longer than you

Draymond Green has been on Gary Trent Jr. bandwagon longer than you

Warriors star Draymond Green wants you to know he was on the Gary Trent Jr. bandwagon before he became one of the restarted NBA season's breakout stars.

The Portland Trail Blazers guard entered Thursday shooting an impressive 52.6 percent from the field and an unconscious 52.6 percent from 3-point range. He didn't hit those heights in the Blazers' 134-133 win over the Brooklyn Nets, but they never trailed again after Trent Jr.'s fourth 3-pointer of the night gave them a 130-128 lead with 2:29 to go in regulation.

Porland's win locked up its spot in the play-in game(s) for the Western Conference's eighth and final playoff spot, and Green loved what he saw from Trent Jr. down the stretch.

Green has been a fan of Trent Jr. for (at least) a few months.

Back on March 6, Green tweeted his appreciation for the guard on the night Trent Jr. flashed his defensive chops guarding Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker.

[RELATED: Haberstroh believes Wiggins' game 'will rise' if not traded]

Green's praise of Trent Jr. should cost a whole lot less than the $50,000 tampering fine he laughed off stemming from praising Booker on an "Inside the NBA" appearance. That praise also involved a plea to "get my man out of Phoenix," of course, and the NBA didn't take too kindly to Green's suggestion.

Some good, old-fashioned Twitter tire-pumping won't make Green's pockets lighter, and it has the added bonus of bolstering his basketball hipster credentials by saying he was on the Trent Jr. train before everyone else.

Really, it's a win-win for everyone involved.

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