Golden State Warriors – Martinez Tribune https://martineztribune.com The website of the Martinez Tribune. Thu, 12 Mar 2020 19:58:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 NBA suspends season after Utah’s Gobert contacts virus https://martineztribune.com/2020/03/11/pgjhoh/ Thu, 12 Mar 2020 06:59:26 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=14182 BY MASON BISSADA This developing story was updated at 12PM Pacific Time on March 12th. The National Basketball Association has suspended its season in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi. After initially taking the precaution of not allowing fans into certain arenas for games, the league decided to …

The post NBA suspends season after Utah’s Gobert contacts virus appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY MASON BISSADA

This developing story was updated at 12PM Pacific Time on March 12th.

The National Basketball Association has suspended its season in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi.

After initially taking the precaution of not allowing fans into certain arenas for games, the league decided to suspend the season entirely when Utah Jazz Center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the Coronavirus.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
The NBA announced an unprecedented immediate suspension of it’s season following the news that Utah Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert had test positive for the Coronavirus.

 

The two-time Defensive Player of the Year is supposedly doing well according to fellow NBA player and French national teammate Evan Fournier, who tweeted “Was just on the phone with Rudy. He is doing good. Lets not panic everyone. Love you all.”

The entire Jazz roster was tested for the virus. Rumors that Gobert’s teammate Emmanuel Mudiay had also tested positive for the virus were inaccurate, but fellow All-Star Donovan “Spider” Mitchell confirmed on Instagram that he had tested positive.  The NBA advised all the teams that have played the Jazz in the last 10 days to self-quarantine until they have been tested.

The last day of the 2019-20 season was scheduled for April 15th, with the Finals set to start on June 4th. As of now, the league is suspended “indefinitely,” leaving many to believe games will not resume any time soon.

22-year veteran Vince Carter, who was planning on finally retiring at the end of the season, came to terms with the idea that he’d just played in his final NBA game during his postgame press conference Wednesday following an overtime loss to the Knicks. “Game’s been good,” Carter said after what might have been his last game. “Basketball’s been good to me. I’ve enjoyed each and every moment of it. Good and bad. So if this is it, it’s all good.”

On Thursday morning the NHL followed suit by pausing their season effective immediately, and Major League Baseball has also cancelled all remaining exhibition games in both Arizona and Florida and announced that the start of the regular season will be delayed by at least two weeks.

 

The post NBA suspends season after Utah’s Gobert contacts virus appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
Clippers Blow Out Warriors 131-107 as Fan Lockout Looms https://martineztribune.com/2020/03/10/clippers-blow-out-warriors-as-fan-lockout-looms/ Wed, 11 Mar 2020 06:19:05 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=14175 BY MASON BISSADA In what may turn out to be the final Warriors home game with fans in attendance at Chase Center for the foreseeable future, Golden State lost in demoralizing fashion to the Los Angeles Clippers, 131-107. After the Santa Clara Health Department ordered on Monday that all gatherings of one thousand people or …

The post Clippers Blow Out Warriors 131-107 as Fan Lockout Looms appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY MASON BISSADA

In what may turn out to be the final Warriors home game with fans in attendance at Chase Center for the foreseeable future, Golden State lost in demoralizing fashion to the Los Angeles Clippers, 131-107.

After the Santa Clara Health Department ordered on Monday that all gatherings of one thousand people or more are effectively banned due to the Coronavirus outbreak, many are speculating that San Francisco county can’t be far behind with their own such ruling. Just as the San Jose Sharks will now play their games in an empty arena, so too may the Golden State Warriors in due time. The NBA is set to make a league-wide call on Wednesday addressing further measures, and games may be closed off to the public as soon as Thursday in certain cities.

“It’s absolutely a possibility,” Head Coach Steve Kerr said pregame when asked about potentially playing without fans in attendance. “I’ve played on a couple of teams where it felt like that was the case. We’re in uncharted waters here. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. We’re all just taking the approach that we have to do our jobs and come in and work.”

The Warriors organization has already taken the step of not allowing the media into team locker rooms before and after games, and setting up makeshift podiums for players and coaches outside the away locker room where scrums would usually take place.

“I mean it’s not disruptive much,” Clippers Head Coach Doc Rivers said from his podium when asked about the precautions the league is enforcing. “But it’s different, this is definitely different. This is very serious and our team is taking it very serious and the NBA is taking it very serious and so there are things that we are doing different.”

Some fans seem to have already taken it upon themselves to avoid large gatherings, as a noticeable amount of seats were empty on Tuesday at Chase Center for a game that would usually draw a huge crowd.

 If fans are indeed closed off to games in the future, the question remains of how this absence will affect the way teams play. “Obviously we want our fans to be there,” Eric Paschall said postgame. “We play for our fans, but I feel like as professional basketball players, we can adjust to it because we’ve played basketball our whole lives.”

In terms of the game itself, Golden State was clearly outmatched from the jump, giving up a 28-point deficit by halftime and allowing the Clippers to extend thieir lead to 34 at one point. The Clippers, who currently hold the #2 seed in the Western Conference, hit 20 of their 44 3-point attempts (good for 45.5%) and dominated Golden State in nearly every other statistical category as well. Seven Clips scored in double figures despite no player playing over 27 minutes (their starters sat for nearly all of the fourth quarter).

“We’re playing probably the deepest team in the NBA,” Kerr said postgame. “The Clippers are loaded. Big, strong, physical team and [they] took it to us right away. They were knocking down three’s left and right. If there was anything I was dissapointed in in the first half, it was our 3-point defense.”

All-Star Kawhi Leonard led the way for Los Angeles, dropping 23 points on 9-14 shooting in just 25 minutes of play. Leonard’s midrange jumpshooting was something to behold, knocking in shot after shot whether it was contested or not (more often not, as the Warriors perimeter defense was nearly nonexistent).

For Golden State, Dragan Bender led the way with 23 points on 8-12 shooting, tying his career-high as his second 10-day contract counts down. Though much of his scoring came after the game was essentially over, Bender’s ability to pass, shoot and set screens has proven useful for a depleted Warriors roster.

Andrew Wiggins contributed another 20+ point performance, scoring 21 points on 8-16 shooting and knocking down three of his eight 3-point attempts. Since joining the Warriors, Wiggins has hit 33% of his attempts from beyond the arc, a somewhat passable number given the difficulty of some of his attempts. The form of his jumpshot appears sound, and it isn’t too much to assume that he will get more wide-open looks next year playing next to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

The Warriors will welcome the Brooklyn Nets (and an injured Kevin Durant) to Chase Center on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. It is still undetermined if fans will be welcomed as well.

GAME NOTES:

Stephen Curry missed his second straight game after being diagnosed with the flu. Kerr is optimistic that he’ll be ready for Thursday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Juan Toscano-Anderson left Tuesday’s game early in the first quarter after spraining his ankle. His timetable for a return is unclear.

Ky Bowman returned after missing five games with a sprained ankle, scoring 11 points on 5-6 shooting in 24 minutes of play.

Coming into Tuesday’s game, Golden State leads the league in points per game scored by rookies with 28.9 points per game. This is the highest Warriors rookie scoring average for any Warriors team in the last 23 seasons.

 

The post Clippers Blow Out Warriors 131-107 as Fan Lockout Looms appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
Steph out with flu, but Warriors storm back to beat 76ers https://martineztribune.com/2020/03/07/steph-out-with-flu-but-warriors-storm-back-to-beat-76ers/ Sun, 08 Mar 2020 07:24:54 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=14138 BY MASON BISSADA  The Golden State Warriors narrowly defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 118-114 in what was one of the most thrilling games of the season despite a myriad of injuries to star players on both teams. Entering the fourth quarter down eight, the Warriors (once again without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green) clawed their way …

The post Steph out with flu, but Warriors storm back to beat 76ers appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY MASON BISSADA

 The Golden State Warriors narrowly defeated the Philadelphia 76ers 118-114 in what was one of the most thrilling games of the season despite a myriad of injuries to star players on both teams.

Entering the fourth quarter down eight, the Warriors (once again without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green) clawed their way back to tie the game with just under four minutes to go in regulation, thanks in large part to Damion Lee and Eric Paschall’s shot-making. Down the stretch, rookie Mychal Mulder hit the biggest shot of his young career, knocking down a deep three to claim the lead for Golden State as Chase Center erupted with applause, possibly the loudest it’s ever been for a non-Curry game this season. With seconds left, Marquese Chriss swatted away Mike Scott’s layup attempt that would’ve given the Sixers the lead. Philadelphia was forced to foul Mulder to extend the game, and the rookie hit two clutch free throws with just seven seconds left to ice the game and give his team the win. Mulder (career-high 18 points, 5-10 FG) was a team-high +15 for the Warriors, and the fact that Steve Kerr had him on the court in the final minutes of a close game speaks to how much he’s impressed on just a 10-day contract.

“A couple games ago, I asked [Mulder], “do you ever get butterflies ?” Damion Lee recalled postgame when asked about Mulder’s play in the clutch. “He’s like ‘nah, never.’ He’s stone-cold and not bashful. Having him out there, being able to space the floor, defend, he’s a high IQ guy as well. He had the highest plus-minus. That’s huge for a ‘10-day’ guy” (Lee put ‘10-day’ in air-quotes, implying that Mulder will inevitably be brought back on another contract).

Lee was once again the team’s offensive engine, scoring a team-high 24 points on 10-17 shooting. He’s been without a doubt Golden State’s best offensive player this season. His offensive rating of 105.2 is the highest for any player on the team who has played 20 games or more. He hit a clutch and-one layup to put his team ahead down the stretch, proving his struggles at the end of Thursday’s game against the Raptors didn’t affect his confidence in the slightest.

Eric Paschall has settled into his sixth-man role, scoring 23 points off the bench on an efficient 8-12 shooting. His midrange isolation game is deadly, and he’s become crafty at drawing fouls in those situations (7-7 from the line on Saturday, including two in the clutch). Paschall’s playmaking has also improved as of late (six assists on Saturday) and his ability to handle the ball allows him to find his teammates in transition or in halfcourt sets.

Marquese Chriss put up one of his most impressive stat lines of the season, filling the box score with 13 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Chriss near triple-double showcased his excellent playmaking skills with passes out of the post.

“One of the first things we noticed in training camp was (Chriss) ability in the high-post,” Head Coach Steve Kerr said postgame when asked about Chriss passing. ”When he would catch the ball, he was always really good with the dribble-handoff stuff. We’ve always had a guy in that role, whether it was Andrew Bogut or David Lee or Draymond Green. You need a good passer in that spot given the shooting that we have and the way we like to play. Marquese showed that ability right away.”

If Chriss can carry this kind of passing skill into next season when he has two elite jumpshooters (Curry and Klay Thompson) flanking him, he’ll make for an excellent backup center if not a starter.

As a team, Golden State did an excellent job of limiting their turnovers (a season low seven) while still moving the ball, as they assisted on 30 of their 44 made field goals. Though the personnel has changed drastically in the last year, Kerr’s “beautiful game” offense reveals itself every now and then.

The 76ers entered Saturday’s matchup without either of their All-Stars, as Ben Simmons (nerve impingement in his lower back) and Joel Embiid (left shoulder sprain) both sat. They were also without their starting shooting guard, Josh Richardson, who was out while going through concussion protocol. Being shorthanded, it was up to their other notable names, Tobias Harris (24 points) and Al Horford (22 points 10 rebounds, seven assists), to carry the load. The duo did just that, taking advantage of Golden State’s lack of size and punishing them in the post. It’s a luxury for Philadelphia to have those two as secondary options to their franchise cornerstones, although the fit has been less than perfect this season.

After an exciting return game against the Raptors, Stephen Curry was once again sidelined, this time due to the flu. The Warriors organization made it very clear that this was just a normal influenza virus and not COVID-19 (coronavirus). Draymond Green also sat with left knee soreness.

Golden State will next welcome their in-state rival Los Angeles Clippers to Chase Center on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

GAME NOTES:

Golden State snapped their season-high losing streak of ten games with the victory. It was the third longest in franchise history.

The Warriors field goal percentage of 55% marks a season-high.

Golden State has won seven of their last eight home games against Philadelphia.

Exactly three years ago on this date, the Warriors set the record for the longest regular-season home winning streak in NBA history, winning their 45th consecutive home game by defeating the Orlando Magic. Golden State would go on to extend the streak to 54 games.

The post Steph out with flu, but Warriors storm back to beat 76ers appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
Warriors lose seventh straight, falling wire-to-wire to Kings https://martineztribune.com/2020/02/25/warriors-lose-seventh-straight-falling-wire-to-wire-to-kings/ Wed, 26 Feb 2020 07:49:01 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=14075 BY MASON BISSADA The Golden State Warriors fell to the Sacramento Kings in wire-to-wire fashion on Tuesday night at the Chase Center, losing by a score of 112-94. Despite coming within striking distance multiple times, the Warriors never led in the game. Golden State’s lack of 3-point shooting proved to be their Achilles Heel, as …

The post Warriors lose seventh straight, falling wire-to-wire to Kings appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY MASON BISSADA

The Golden State Warriors fell to the Sacramento Kings in wire-to-wire fashion on Tuesday night at the Chase Center, losing by a score of 112-94.

Despite coming within striking distance multiple times, the Warriors never led in the game. Golden State’s lack of 3-point shooting proved to be their Achilles Heel, as they shot an abysmal 4-28 (14.3%) for the game from beyond the arc (1-17 in the first half).

“Just a tough night,” Head Coach Steve Kerr said postgame. “Four-for-28. We started to move the ball better in the second half. We had some great possessions with the drive-and-kick and got some open looks. Just one of those nights where the shots didn’t go down.”

The Kings capitalized, as six of their players scored in double figures while shooting an efficient 52.6% from the field and 43.3% from beyond the arc. De’Aaron Fox (8-15 shooting) and former Warrior Harrison Barnes (9-12 shooting) led the Kings with 21 points each, and the shooting guard one-two-punch of Buddy Hield (19 points) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (17 points) also contributed to Sacramento’s dominance.

Were it not for Marquese Chriss continued excellence, the game would’ve been even more one-sided than it already was. After sitting out the previous game with left calf soreness, Chriss (who is from Sacramento) returned and proceeded to drop a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double in 25 minutes of play.

 Chriss advanced skillset continues to impress. His finishing around the rim has already been established, but what has jumped out most as of late is ability to catchthe basketball. It sounds simple and fundamental, but good hands are becoming more and more of a rarity among big men in today’s NBA. Tuesday, Chriss was catching lobs and post-entry passes with an ease and fluidity that put Sacramento’s defense at a disadvantage. He knows the fundamental rule for bigs of not bringing the ball back down once it is caught, and his athleticism allows him to put the ball back up without much of a gather or hesitation.

“I mean he’s got a great touch around the rim,” Ky Bowman said of Chriss. “So just being able to find him and get him to those spots is big for us as guards.”

Prior to the game, Chriss was averaging 14.6 points and 7.7 rebounds in the month of February. He’s building up a large enough sample size to prove this type of play is not just a fluke, and he will only continue to get easier looks as Steph Curry makes his return. His long-term future is still uncertain, but it is becoming harder and harder to see a 2020-21 Warriors roster without Chriss on it.

“I thought Marquese was great again,” Kerr said. He’s strung together a really good couple of months here for us and he’s playing with a lot of energy and confidence.”

Andrew Wiggins had somewhat of a bounce-back game after his forgettable 3-16 shooting on Sunday night against the Pelicans, scoring 16 points on 6-14 shooting. However, he did little else, as he tallied just one assist and no rebounds in 30 minutes of action. Wiggins had a tendency towards these sorts of box scores during his tenure in Minnesota. His playmaking and court vision leave a lot to be desired, and it sometimes appears as though he has tunnel vision towards the basket when deciding what to do with the ball. While he only had two turnovers on the night, it’s a bit discouraging to see such a low assist total, especially when he was playing the de facto point-guard during certain stretches of the game. As for the donut in terms of rebounding, Wiggins will have to make a vast improvement if he wants to be able to play the Harrison-Barnes-stretch-4 role that Steve Kerr has envisioned for his small-ball lineup when the team is fully healthy.

On the positive side, the entire Warriors starting lineup of Wiggins, Chriss, Eric Paschall, (12 points) Jordan Poole (13 points) and Damion Lee (14 points) all scored in double figures. Seeing as the latter three will likely be moved to the bench next season, it is encouraging to see that they can put up decent scoring figures against opposing starters. It’s exciting to envision them as a bench mob that can at least keep the Warriors afloat when Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green rest next year.

Were it not for a slow start, an abundance of turnovers (16) and terrible three-point shooting luck, the Warriors may very well have hung around in this game until the end. However, this could be said about almost every Warriors loss this season.

GAME NOTES:

The loss dropped the Warriors record against the Kings to 0-3 this season. The teams play a final time in Sacramento on April 15th in the final game of the regular season.

Tuesday marked Jordan Poole’s seventh straight double-digit scoring performance. He’s averaging 15.7 points per game over the streak.

Golden State fell to 7-22 (.241) at home this season, dropping its season-high seventh-straight home game. The last time the Warriors lost seven-straight at home was during the 2000-01 season (Feb. 13-March 21, 2001) when they lost nine straight. It was also the Warriors seventh straight overall, and their 46th loss of the season.

The post Warriors lose seventh straight, falling wire-to-wire to Kings appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
Warriors Lose to the Heat In Iguodala’s Return to the Bay Area https://martineztribune.com/2020/02/10/warriors-lose-to-heat-in-iguodalas-return-to-the-bay-area/ Tue, 11 Feb 2020 07:50:22 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13947 BY MASON BISSADA Despite a disheartening 113-101 loss to the Miami Heat on Monday night, Warriors fans at Chase Center were all smiles as they welcomed home former Warrior Andre Iguodala in his first matchup against Golden State in nearly seven years. Iguodala, who was recently traded to the Miami Heat after sitting out half …

The post Warriors Lose to the Heat In Iguodala’s Return to the Bay Area appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY MASON BISSADA

Despite a disheartening 113-101 loss to the Miami Heat on Monday night, Warriors fans at Chase Center were all smiles as they welcomed home former Warrior Andre Iguodala in his first matchup against Golden State in nearly seven years.

Iguodala, who was recently traded to the Miami Heat after sitting out half the season as an inactive member of the Memphis Grizzlies, was given a touching video tribute before tipoff that celebrated his time in the Bay Area. He was then welcomed to center court by former teammate Klay Thompson, who showed nothing but love for the 2015 Finals MVP.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Miami’s Andre Iguodala goes up for a block in his first game against his former teammates Monday night at Chase Center. Iguodala only took one shot, making it, but the Heat was +25 in the 16 minutes he was on the floor.

 

“It’s good to have you back ‘Dre,” Thompson said to mass applause. “And I can’t wait to see your jersey in the rafters one of these days.”

Iguodala returned the compliment, promising fans that “my brothers [Thompson and Steph Curry] will be back in action, full throttle next year to wreak havoc on the league for 80 games” (excluding the two in which the Warriors play the Heat). When Iguodala checked into the game midway through the first quarter, Chase Center showered him with the loudest applause of the night.

As for the game itself, Golden State’s short lived resilience was no match for the Heat, who were in desperate need of a win after losing their last three games in a row. After Golden State’s bench gave up a 16-0 run in the second quarter, the Warriors starters responded with a third quarter run of their own to cut the deficit to four points. This run was led largely by Andrew Wiggins, who scored 14 points in the third quarter alone and had 18 points on the night in his second game as a Warrior.

“I thought his play reflected ours,” Steve Kerr said postgame. “We got nothing going in the first half and then in the third quarter, when we started really competing and playing with pace, that’s when Andrew got going.”

Just as it did in the second quarter, Golden State’s bench (consisting of G-League call-ups) negated the progress that the starters made in the fourth quarter. Miami’s depth (or Golden State’s lack thereof) proved to be the difference in the end. Iguodala, despite playing just 16 minutes, was a +25 on the night, while Juan Toscano-Anderson was a game-low -18. All of Golden State’s starters (besides Ky Bowman) were actually net-positives for the game.

Damion Lee was a bright spot for the Warriors, scoring a career-high 26 points on 7-12 shooting and hitting five of his seven 3-point attempts. Lee’s floor spacing is essential, particularly when Draymond Green is running in transition and playing point-forward. Green, who grabbed nine rebounds and dished out nine assists, was looking for corner shooters off of every Heat miss. When Lee is feeling it from deep, he and Green make a nice pairing.

 Marquese Chriss continues to shine after securing a multi-year contract, scoring a solid 17 points (including a nasty dunk on Miami’s Duncan Robinson) to go along with nine rebounds. Though his rim protection is shaky (Miami scored 50 points in the paint) he has some offensive ability as a lob threat and even an occasional post-up option.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Miami’s Jimmy Butler goes up for a shot over the Warriors Andrew Wiggins during the Heat’s 113-101 win over Golden State Monday night. Butler had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the game.

 

Jimmy Butler led the way for the Heat, tallying a 21-point, 10-rebound double-double. The five-time All-Star didn’t even need to attempt a 3-pointer to be effective. When he wasn’t driving towards the rim, Butler went to work in the midrange going 9-15 from the field.

Jae Crowder, who was packaged with Iguodala in the trade from Memphis, also scored 21 points off the bench, hitting four of his eight 3-pointers. Bam Adebayo also left his mark, logging a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double. What was equally impressive was Adebayo’s passing ability. He dropped seven dimes, either finding teammates in transition or off of backdoor cuts in the post. He even found teammate Derrick Jones Jr. for a ridiculous lob dunk. Adebayo’s court vision may remind Warriors fans of another passing big: Draymond Green.

“Well, I think the similarity is the playmaking,” Steve Kerr said when comparing the two players. “It’s rare to have a combination of playmaking big and a guy that can defend the paint. It’s not something you see very often. Bam has had a fantastic season and I think Miami is playing quite a bit like we have played over the last five years and Bam is at the center of that offense like Draymond has been. It’s a good comparison.”

Golden State must once again retool and relearn their offensive and defensive schemes with the addition of so many new players (particularly Wiggins). This is difficult to do on the fly while facing teams like the Heat who have a clear identity and are fighting for homecourt advantage in the playoffs. Every game from here on out is a learning process, but the Warriors may accumulate quite a few losses along the way.

The Warriors will next take the short flight to Phoenix to face off against the Suns on Wednesday at 6 p.m. in their last game before the All-Star break.

GAME NOTES:

The Warriors tied their season-low mark for field goals made with just 30 (30-77, 39%).

 Tonight’s loss insures that the Warriors will have a losing record for the first time since the 2011-12 season, when they went 23-43 in a lockout year.

Prior to tonight’s matchup, Golden State had won five consecutive home games against the Miami Heat, along with eight of their last 11 matchups overall.

Tonight marks the first time Miami has swept the season series against the Warriors since the 2010-11 season.

Exactly three years ago, Draymond Green made history by becoming the first player in league history to record a triple-double without scoring double-digit points. Green recorded 10 steals (a franchise record) 10 assists and 11 rebounds. In that same game, Green was just one point away from a five-by-five (five or more in five box score categories) as he also recorded four points and five blocks. Green was the first player to record double digit steals and at least five blocks since the NBA began tracking steals and blocks in 1973-74.

 

The post Warriors Lose to the Heat In Iguodala’s Return to the Bay Area appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
Retooled Warriors put up a fight, but fall to Lakers 125-120 https://martineztribune.com/2020/02/08/retooled-warriors-put-up-a-fight-but-fall-to-lakers-125-120/ Sun, 09 Feb 2020 06:46:40 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13931 BY MASON BISSADA Though the Golden State Warriors roster looked noticeably different after their various trade deadline moves, the results of Saturday night’s game against Los Angeles were fairly similar to most games this season, as they lost a close game to the Lakers 125 -120 at Chase Center. Andrew Wiggins, the most notable addition …

The post Retooled Warriors put up a fight, but fall to Lakers 125-120 appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY MASON BISSADA

Though the Golden State Warriors roster looked noticeably different after their various trade deadline moves, the results of Saturday night’s game against Los Angeles were fairly similar to most games this season, as they lost a close game to the Lakers 125 -120 at Chase Center.

Andrew Wiggins, the most notable addition to the roster, looked comfortable in a Golden State uniform, going for 24 points on 8-12 shooting and 3-4 from beyond the arc. Wiggins also pitched in a bit of defense to a team that desperately needed it, grabbing five steals (one shy of his career-high) in his 31 minutes. Wiggins spent a significant portion of his time playing off the ball, something he’ll have to adjust to, particularly when Steph Curry returns in a few weeks.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
New acquired Andrew Wiggins looks to pass the ball during Golden State’s 125-120 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers at Chase Center Saturday evening. Wiggins finished with 24 points in his Warriors debut.

 

It was encouraging to see Wiggins connecting on his spot-up jumpers and running the floor in transition. Defensively, Kerr assigned Wiggins the unenviable task of slowing LeBron James, who dropped 22 points and 11 assists on the former top pick in the draft by the Timberwolves. Though his body type would suggest he’d be a lockdown perimeter defender, he still has a ways to go in terms of strength and decision-making.

“It’s just great to have a player who we can put on LeBron and at least match up physically,” Head Coach Steve Kerr said postgame. “It’s the hardest position to guard these days in the NBA. So to have a guy who’s 6’8 and athletic and knows the league well and understands how to play, it’s great.”

“I just felt good on the court,” Wiggins said of his Warriors debut. “Let the game come to me. The whole team, we were all unselfish tonight. We moved the ball and we competed. That’s the most important thing.”

Wiggins encouraging offensive play was not enough to keep the Warriors alive against the #1 seed in the Western Conference. Despite cutting what was a 20-point deficit to five points with under a minute to go in regulation, half of the Chase Center (the other half were Laker fans) had their spirits crushed by James, who hit a tough, contested stepback 3-pointer to seal the victory for his Lakers. To paint a picture, the shot seemed eerily similar to the one he made against the Warriors back in 2014 when he was a member of the Miami Heat.

The Lakers, known for their front court size and athleticism, outrebounded the Warriors 47-33. Anthony Davis led the charge with 10 rebounds of his own to go along with 27 points on 9-14 shooting. Defensively, Golden State’s bigs were no match for the seven-time all-star. Davis was dunking over the top of the likes of Alen Smailagic when he wasn’t hitting turnaround jumpshots out of the post.

Newly signed Warrior Marquese Chriss had one of the best nights of his career, going for 26 points and nine rebounds on an extremely efficient 12-15 shooting. Chriss was dunking all over the arena, catching countless lobs from Ky Bowman, who had a career-high 10 assists. Bowman and Chriss pick-and-roll chemistry was electric, and the Lakers often had no answer for it despite their superior size.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Newly signed Warrior Marquese Chriss slams down a basket on the way to a team-high 26 points during the Warriors loss to the Lakers Saturday night at Chase Center.

 

“I like playing with Ky,” Chriss said postgame. I think we have a good understanding of what each other’s strengths are and he likes to get downhill so I just kind of sit and dunk it for him.”

Jordan Poole had one of his better nights as a Warrior, scoring 19 points on 8-12 shooting and hitting three of his seven three-point attempts. Surprisingly, Poole was the Warriors go-to option down the stretch, delivering clutch jumpers off of dribble-handoffs or off his own dribble. Poole has shown signs of life over the last 10 games after having one of worst first half’s of the year of any rookie this season. Time will tell if he can continue to shoot the ball efficiently.

G-League call-ups Jeremy Pargo, Juan Toscano-Anderson and Zach Norvell Jr. each had small moments of glory on the night and proved that they can hold their own against NBA-level competition. Rotating 10-day contracts will continue to be the norm for the Warriors for the rest of the season, after trading away six of their players at the deadline and needing to fill roster spots on a nightly basis.

The Warriors continue to surprise more-talented teams with their resilience and willingness to fight a losing battle until the bitter end. The Lakers may not have known the names of half the players on Golden State’s roster, but that didn’t stop them from hanging around until the final buzzer.

Golden State will welcome Miami to the Chase Center on Monday, where former Warrior Andre Iguodala may make his season-debut after being traded to the Heat just a few days ago.

 GAME NOTES:

After opening up roster spots through various trades at the deadline, Golden State was able to sign two-way call-ups Ky Bowman and Marquese Chriss to multi-year contracts.

Golden State made 51.7 percent of their shots from the field, losing their first game of the season when shooting 50 percent-or-better (2-1).

Wiggins 24 points were the most in a Warriors debut since Kevin Durant scored 27 points in 2016 against San Antonio.

Prior to tonight’s loss, the Warriors had won 12 of their last 13 home games against the Lakers.

The game marked the first time in his career that LeBron James played a NBA game in San Francisco.

Alen Smailagić matched his career-high with 10 points off the bench.

Kevon Looney had five fouls in 14 minutes of play.

Saturday was Klay Thompson’s 30th birthday.

 

 

 

 

The post Retooled Warriors put up a fight, but fall to Lakers 125-120 appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
Warriors fall to Pacers 129-118 despite 37 from Russell https://martineztribune.com/2020/01/24/warriors-fall-to-pacers-129-118-loss-to-despite-37-from-russell/ Sat, 25 Jan 2020 07:44:48 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13901 BY MASON BISSADA Though they refused to die until the very end, the Golden State Warriors were unable to overcome the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at the Chase Center, losing by a score of 129-118 in a game that felt much closer than the final score indicated. Leading the futile effort was D’Angelo Russell, …

The post Warriors fall to Pacers 129-118 despite 37 from Russell appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY MASON BISSADA

Though they refused to die until the very end, the Golden State Warriors were unable to overcome the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at the Chase Center, losing by a score of 129-118 in a game that felt much closer than the final score indicated.

Leading the futile effort was D’Angelo Russell, who tied his career-high of nine 3-pointers made, going 9-13 from beyond the arc and finishing with 37 points to go along with five assists. In the third quarter, when it appeared Indiana was about to pull away and blow the Warriors out like the Jazz did two nights ago, Russell hit four three pointers to cut the lead to four and give the Warriors a fighting chance. Though his performance was in vain, the home crowd truly appreciated Russell’s brief channeling of his Splash Brother teammates.

“He’s an incredible shooter from long range and lethal on the high screen and got there in the third quarter when we made that push,” Head Coach Steve Kerr said postgame. “He’s capable of that…and he did a great job of helping us get back in the game.”

Marquese Chriss added, “I’m never really surprised when he gets hot like that.”

Draymond Green (10 points, 11 assists) recognized Russell’s hot hand and continued to feed him the ball, either in transition while running the break or in the half court as a point-forward. When Green actually has players around him that are making shots, his court vision and unselfishness become much more noticeable and valuable.

Though the Warriors outscored the Pacers 67-60 in second half, they were unable to undo the damage done by the Indiana in the first. It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that a performance in which Golden State shot an efficient 48.8% from the field and 48.7% from three would’ve resulted in at least a single-digit defeat, if not a victory. However, when the opposing team shoots 56.8% from the field and an astounding 60.7% from beyond the arc, all assumptions go out the window. Indiana seemed to have an answer for every run Golden State threw at them, thanks in large part to T.J. Warren (33 points), who made nine of his first 10 shots, and Doug McDermott (24 points), who made his first eight shots and finished the night 6-7 from downtown.

The Pacers, who have been short-handed in the backcourt all season as Victor Oladipo recovers from a knee injury (he’s expected to return January 29th) were also without breakout star Malcom Brogdon after he recently suffered a concussion. However, Indiana didn’t seem to miss Brogdon much, as Domantas Sabonis assumed the role of point-center, dishing out eight assists to go along with a 16-point, 10-rebound double-double. Sabonis operated out of the post, finding cutters with backdoor passes and reading Golden State’s defense from over his shoulder. The likely first-time All-Star showed his entire offensive arsenal, whether it be his vision or his impressive footwork.

The loss came in the wake of a trade in which the Warriors sent center Willie Cauley-Stein to the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavs used their $11.7 million trade exception to take in Cauley-Stein after their starting center, Dwight Powell, went down with a season-ending injury. In exchange, according to Bobby Marks, Golden State will now save nearly $6 million in luxury tax dollars owed to the league and open up another roster spot (to potentially sign 2-way player Ky Bowman for the rest of the season). Cauley-Stein is a legitimate rotation-level center, though his play with Golden State this season has been inconsistent. With Cauley-Stein gone, look for Marquese Chriss and Omari Spellman to get his minutes, along with spot time for Draymond Green as a small-ball 5.

Chriss was given the nod as the starting center Friday in the wake of the trade, and performed as if he wanted to secure the role for the remainder of the season. Though he only had three rebounds, Chriss was a perfect 5-5 from the field in 21 minutes of action. Though he does not offer the floor spacing that Spellman (2-3 from three) does, his athleticism and hustle plays make him a solid option.

Glenn Robinson III continues to be a model of consistency on a team that is anything but. Robinson finished with 18 points and seven rebounds, making two of his five three-pointers and slowing down the scorching hot T.J. Warren in the second half.

After coming off of a brutal 35-point beatdown on Wednesday at the hands of of the Utah Jazz, the Warriors could have easily laid down and died for a Pacers team that is also far more talented than them. Some resiliency is an improvement over no resiliency, and small moral victories are welcome when actual wins are so few and far between.

Golden State now has three days off before traveling to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Tuesday at 4PM in a game that will mark the first of a five-game east coast road trip.

GAME NOTES:

Golden State played its twenty-second different starting lineup of the season tonight.

The Warriors’ 19 three-pointers made was one shy of their season-high (20 on 1/16 vs. Denver).

Indiana’s 60.7% shooting from three was a season-high against Golden State.

The post Warriors fall to Pacers 129-118 despite 37 from Russell appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
Warriors embarrassed by Utah 129-96 as slide continues https://martineztribune.com/2020/01/22/warriors-embarrassed-by-utah-129-96-as-slide-continues/ Thu, 23 Jan 2020 06:41:06 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13878 BY MASON BISSADA The Golden State Warriors became the latest victim of the surging Utah Jazz on Wednesday, falling 129-96 at the Chase Center in what was essentially a wire-to-wire defeat. Utah, which came into the game having won 17 of their last 19 games, dominated Golden State on both sides of the ball from …

The post Warriors embarrassed by Utah 129-96 as slide continues appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY MASON BISSADA

The Golden State Warriors became the latest victim of the surging Utah Jazz on Wednesday, falling 129-96 at the Chase Center in what was essentially a wire-to-wire defeat.

Utah, which came into the game having won 17 of their last 19 games, dominated Golden State on both sides of the ball from the opening tip. A gradual progression of a blowout began with a 14-point lead after one quarter, extended to a 22-point lead at halftime and jumped to a 31-point lead after three quarters, at which point both teams emptied their benches and played 12 minutes of pickup ball.

“I think we ran into a team that’s playing about as well as anybody in the league,” Head Coach Steve Kerr said postgame. “They’re clicking. They’re dominating right now and they dominated us at both ends right from the beginning. I thought we got demoralized in the first half.”

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Rudy Gobbert slams down a shot over Willie Cauley-Stein during Utah’s 129-96 rout of the Warriors Wednesday night. Gobbert dominated in the middle with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

 

Defensively, the Jazz (currently ranked eighth in the NBA in defense), held the Warriors to just 39.8% shooting (26.1% from 3) despite a relatively healthy Golden State roster. Reigning two-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert was his usual rim-deterrent self, blocking three shots and constantly discouraging Warriors from driving anywhere near the paint.

“He’s a big dude,” said D’Angelo Russell of Gobert’s defensive presence. “You definitely think you might have [a shot] and he may affect it, just because of his length. He’s been dominating the game on the defensive end for years now.”

Despite turning the ball over just eight times (tied for their lowest total of the season), Golden State’s offense was miserable as they settled for tough midrange jumpers and shot just 6-23 (26.1%) from 3-point range. With that amount of missed shots, it was no surprise the Jazz outrebounded the Warriors 56-37.

Offensively, Golden State gifted the Jazz whatever they wanted. Corner-3 specialists Bojan Bogdanovic (18 points) and Joe Ingles (11 points and eight assists) went a combined 6-11 from beyond the arc. Overall, the Jazz shot 17-40 (42.5%) from deep. These defensive lapses by Golden State can partially be accredited to the equally-imposing offensive presence of Gobert, who pitched in a monster 22-point, 15-rebound double-double. Gobert’s athleticism and strength makes him a deadly pick-and-roll threat playing off of likely All-Star Donovan Mitchell (23 points on 8-13 shooting). When Utah ran pick-and-roll, Golden State had no choice but to collapse their defense and leave Utah’s shooters wide open.

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER
Utah’s Donovan Mitchell goes up for a shot during
the Jazz 129-96 romp over Golden State at Chase Center. Mitchell lead the way for Utah with 23 points in 22 minutes as the Jazz maintained their position as the second seed in the West.

For Golden State, D’Angelo Russell continues to put up numbers that don’t necessarily translate to wins. Russell quietly scored 26 points on 10-21 shooting to go along with three rebounds, three assists and just one turnover. The Jazz defense forced Golden State into midrange jumpers, but that’s the type of shot Russell often prefers. His trade value remains somewhat high as the trade deadline approaches, but it still appears Golden State is adamant on keeping the young star for the remainder of the dwindling season.

Draymond Green contributed another Charles Barkley-coined triple-single, tallying five points, four rebounds, two assists and one technical foul in 25 minutes of play. In an effort to spark a bit of offense into his group, Kerr closed the first half by moving Green to center and Glenn Robinson III (10 points, 2-4 from three) to power forward, but the shift provided little fruit on either end of the floor. Still, it’s encouraging to see Golden State attempting the unconventional, seeing as the conventional hasn’t worked in the slightest this season.

There is only so much any team can do when matched up against a squad that is clicking as much as the Jazz are. Still, the progressive nature of this blowout suggests the Warriors showed little resilience in the face of this adversity. There were no spurts or runs by Golden State from which to gleam any positivity. It was a bad loss that only got worse as the game went on.

Golden State will hope to regain some positivity against Indiana on Friday at 7:30 PM, as they welcome the Pacers to the Bay Area for the only time this season.

GAME NOTES:

This was already the fourth and final matchup against Utah this season, in which the Warriors were swept (0-4) by the Jazz for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

D’Angelo Russell has scored 20+ points in 10 of his last 12 games.

Jacob Evans III played limited minutes in his first game back since his concussion (scoring four points).

 

 

The post Warriors embarrassed by Utah 129-96 as slide continues appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
Warriors mid-season report card: Focusing on the future https://martineztribune.com/2020/01/14/warriors-mid-season-report-card-focusing-on-the-future/ Tue, 14 Jan 2020 08:48:29 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13822 BY MASON BISSADA The 2019-20 season has been one of pain for the Golden State Warriors organization. Its players are feeling this pain physically in the form of broken hands (Stephen Curry), torn ACL’s (Klay Thompson) and shoulder contusions (D’Angelo Russell), and its fans are feeling the pain mentally and emotionally in the form of …

The post Warriors mid-season report card: Focusing on the future appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY MASON BISSADA

The 2019-20 season has been one of pain for the Golden State Warriors organization. Its players are feeling this pain physically in the form of broken hands (Stephen Curry), torn ACL’s (Klay Thompson) and shoulder contusions (D’Angelo Russell), and its fans are feeling the pain mentally and emotionally in the form of 32 losses (against only nine wins) at the halfway point of the season. A down year, following three championships and five straight years of Finals appearances, was expected after the departure of Kevin Durant and the loss of Klay Thompson to injury. But no one could’ve predicted a down year of this magnitude. Chalk it up to bad luck, salary cap constraints or intentional losing, but this year has been a harsh reality check for all involved. With all that being said, here is our midseason review for the Warriors after game 41, taking injuries, contract constraints and other painful variables into account.

Team Overview

Statistically, the numbers are as bad as the Warriors record would reflect. While the 20th ranked defense in the NBA (points allowed per 100 possessions) is actually somewhat impressive given their personnel, the 30th ranked offense (points scored per 100) is downright deplorable, though not unexpected. On games where D’Angelo Russell is out and Ky Bowman is sent down to Santa Cruz with the Warriors G-League affiliate (an inconvenient stipulation of Bowman’s two-way contract) the Warriors are forced to trot out lineups with no point guard whatsoever. While Draymond Green might consider himself a floor general, having him or Alec Burks as a primary playmaker isn’t exactly a winning formula. Combine that with the Warriors lack of 3-point spacing (they rank 26th in 3-point percentage at 33.6%) and things start to get really ugly.

Defensively, Golden State does have quarters, if not entire games, where they slow down talented offenses. Throwing out no-point guard lineups means above-average size on the perimeter, and players like Glenn Robinson III and Eric Paschall have punched above their weight in terms of guarding scoring wing-types. Problems arise in terms of rebounding (25th in the league) and rim protection, but there are areas for Golden State to take pride in moving forward.

It’s worth reiterating that the Warriors have been one of the most injury-riddled teams in the league. Beyond its stars, its supporting cast has struggled with various ailments. There have been games where only eight Warriors suited up before tip-off. Perhaps this is good luck in terms of lottery odds and the pursuit of tanking. It is even possible that the Warriors organization has told its players and medical staff to be overly cautious with these injuries. There is no point in rushing someone back if the team has nothing to play for. That being said, the team is probably slightly better than their record would suggest.

Roster Report Card

Stephen Curry

Statistics: 20.3 PPG, 5 RPG, 6.5 APG, 40.9% FG, 24.3% 3PT, 4 games played.

Grade: Incomplete

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER

 

Stephen Curry breaking his left hand just four games into the season after an embarrassing 1-3 start to the season was essentially adding injury to insult. It was already becoming apparent that the Warriors were no longer a power in the Western Conference and would likely struggle to make the playoffs even with Curry healthy, but at least fans would have someone fun to watch and root for. Regardless of team record, it would’ve been exciting to see Curry attempt 12 three’s a game and attempt to outscore opponents all on his own. Though his hand injury will likely cement the Warriors lottery odds, it’s a shame fans will miss out on the majority of a season from the greatest Warrior of All-Time while in his prime.

Klay Thompson

Statistics: N/A

Grade: Incomplete

Thompson was often the unsung hero of the Warriors dynasty, particularly after Kevin Durant arrived in 2016. But now, with the Warriors in desperate need of any sort of floor spacing and perimeter defense, his absence is felt more than ever. Thompson’s off-ball movement would take a ton of pressure off of D’Angelo Russell and make use of Draymond Green’s court vision. He could also take away the other team’s biggest threat. Thompson has always been the perfect glue guy, and his presence with this rebuilding roster would elevate the play of many of the new young pieces. This is assuming that he is still essentially the same player he was before his ACL tear. It seems, based on all reports, that fans will have to wait until next season to find out if this is still the case.

Draymond Green

Statistics: 8.6 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.6 APG, 38.7% FG, 27.2% 3PT, 30 games played

Grade: C-

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER

 

As it has been for the entirety of his career, motivation is a key factor when it comes to Draymond Green. And in what situation would Green be any less motivated than the one through which he’s currently suffering ? All of his championship teammates (sans Kevon Looney) are gone or injured, and he is left as the de facto leader of a group of youngsters in a franchise that is not-so-subtly trying to tank. Now, does this excuse his subpar play ? Of course not. Green has been nowhere near his Defensive Player of the Year self on one end and his jumpshot has looked as broken as ever on the other. His passing has remained consistent and his turnover rate has declined slightly despite his increased usage rate, but it’s obvious that he isn’t maximizing his potential. It is worth noting, however, that players like Green are ceiling raisers, not floor raisers. Green is at his best with other long, switchy wings and a plethora of 3-point shooting around him. His help defense and playmaking are better suited for turning a playoff team into a contender, not turning a bad team into a mediocre one.

D’Angelo Russell

Statistics: 23.7 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 6 APG, 43.7% FG, 37.1% 3PT, 23 games played

Grade: B

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER

 

Russell has dealt with various injuries throughout the season (most recently a shoulder contusion that has kept him sidelined for the last six games), but when healthy, he’s done a decent job of providing much needed offense on a team devoid of any shotmaking. In terms of the aforementioned ‘floor-rasier vs. ceiling-raiser’ issue pertaining to Draymond Green, Russell is at the other end of the spectrum. On nights where he has it going, he can turn an otherwise G-League level offense into a passable one that can beat other subpar teams. Defensively, he has shown little improvement from his first four years in the league. He falls asleep when guarding off the ball and cannot fight over a screen when covering pick-and-rolls. Russell the asset is often more interesting than Russell the player, but we’ll get to that later. In terms on-court production Russell is a very good offensive creator who gives a lot of it back on the other end. It is still undecided whether he can contribute to true winning basketball. Northern California readers: think of Kevin Martin’s tenure as a Sacramento King as a good facsimile for Russell’s contributions.

Eric Paschall

Statistics: 13.6 PPG, 4.5 RPG, 1.8 APG, 48.7% FG, 27.6% 3PT, 36 games played

Grade: B+

For a time towards the beginning of the season, it looked like Paschall was forcing himself into the Rookie of the Year conversation. He was briefly the Number-1 option on a depleted Warriors  team and carrying the load with competence not often seen from second-round picks in their first year. Various injuries to his knee and hip have slowed him down to some extent (this is a trend throughout the roster) but when healthy, Paschall has shown skill beyond his years. Though his 3-point shot is still missing and his playmaking is a work in progress, his scoring from the triple-threat and post positions make him an intriguing offensive player. He has the ever-desirable ‘too big for 3’s and too quick for 4’s’ body type that will serve him well should the rest of his skillset develop.

Damion Lee

Statistics: 12.3 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 2.3 APG, 40.7% FG, 36% 3PT, 26 games played

Grade: B

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER

 

Since returning from injury, Lee has been one of the two or three best offensive players for the Warriors. He is surprisingly explosive driving to the hoop and has hit his three’s at an above-average clip, two categories in which the Warriors were lacking. Kerr has rewarded Lee with a starting position and General Manager Bob Myers has rewarded him with a multi-year contract extension (Lee was previously the Warriors’ other two-way contract).

Ky Bowman

Statistics: 7.5 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.9 RPG, 41.2% FG, 34.8% 3PT, 36 games played

Grade: B

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER

 

Bowman’s game screams “energy,” a trait that is often infectious with this team and is the best path to victory for any roster that lacks natural talent. He’s a speedy, athletic point guard that does a decent job of controlling the pace of the game on offense and pestering the opposing team’s point guard on the other end of the floor. While his jumpshot is a bit unreliable and he is hesitant to take three’s as a result, he is an overall positive offensive player. Unfortunately, he’s nearly reached the 45-day limit on his two-way contract. With D’Angelo Russell returning from injury, Bowman is likely to spend the rest of the season in Santa Cruz. Still, he projects as a viable backup point guard to Steph Curry next season.

Glenn Robinson III

Statistics: 12.2 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.6 APG, 45.7% FG, 38.6% 3PT, 40 games played

Grade: B+

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER

 

Robinson has been the Warriors’ best two-way player this season. Granted, the bar for that title is low, but that should not diminish his success after a lost season in Detroit last year. His perimeter defense at the 2 and 3 positions has been above average, and he’s the best volume 3-point shooter on the team. He’s also shown primary offensive creation (stepback jumpers, dribble-drive penetration) that he’s never displayed in his career before. Robinson appears to be another “ceiling-raiser” type player that will truly prove his worth when the roster is completely healthy. A Curry/Thompson/Robinson/Paschall/Green pseudo-death-lineup is extremely intriguing.

Willie Cauley-Stein

Statistics: 7.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 55.5% FG, N/A 3PT, 36 games played

Grade: C-

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER

 

Cauley-Stein was hoped to be the answer for the Warriors at center, or at least share that title with Kevon Looney, but he hasn’t quite lived up to expectations. His rim protection and defensive awareness leave something to be desired, and he is not nearly the switchable force many touted him to be going back to his college days. Offensively, he is posting just a 100.5 offensive rating. His superior athletic ability hasn’t seemed to help him as a roll man working off of D’Angelo Russell or Ky Bowman. Steve Kerr recently benched Cauley-Stein in favor of Omari Spellman, likely due to Cauley-Stein’s lack of floor spacing ability.

Omari Spellman

Statistics: 7.8 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1 APG, 45.4% FG, 43% 3PT, 38 games played

Grade: C

Spellman has been a bit of an enigma this season. His goal to start the season was to get into playing shape and shed a few pounds (he admitted this himself) and he seems to have achieved that goal as of late. He looks more mobile, and has scored in double-digits in five consecutive games as of January 12th. It is still unclear what Spellman’s position is, as he does not offer any substantial rim protection necessary to play center. Still, he does inject a bit more shooting into lineups that desperately need it. On a team with two more-talented power forwards in Green and Paschall, perhaps Kerr has found a niche for Spellman at center for the time being.

Alec Burks

Statistics: 15.8 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.1 APG, 41.1% FG, 36.4% 3PT, 38 games played

Grade: B-

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER

 

The fact that Alec Burks is the second-leading scorer on this Warriors team behind Russell is quite indicative of the type of season they’re having. Still Burks has seized a scoring niche that was essentially up for grabs after Curry went down. Though it is often feast or famine with him (he shot 3-17 the other night against the Clippers), his creation is desperately needed on the second unit, where he is essentially the backup point guard (note the career-high in assists per game).

Jacob Evans III

Statistics: 4.7 PPG, 1.6 RPG, 1.1 APG, 31.1% FG, 37% 3PT, 20 games played

Grade: D+

Evans has been in and out of Golden State’s rotation, but hasn’t been a positive player when Kerr is forced to play him due to a lack of bodies. His effective field goal percentage of 35.9% is egregious, and his decision making with the ball is unremarkable. He does give effort on the defensive end, but not enough to make up for his lack of offensive ability.

Kevon Looney

Statistics: 2.6 PPG, 2.9 RPG, 0.4 APG, 34.4% FG, 50% 3PT, 10 games played

Grade: Incomplete

Though 10 games is probably a large enough sample size for a letter grade, Looney’s season has been too riddled with injuries to properly evaluate his play. He played hurt, and re-injured himself shortly after. He’s still currently out indefinitely with an abdominal injury that has sidelined him since mid-December. When healthy last season, Looney was a valuable center earning minutes in the NBA Finals. Time will tell if he can return to that form at some point this season.

Jordan Poole

Statistics: 6.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 1.8 APG, 26.3% FG, 24.8% 3PT, 34 games played

Grade: F+

Jordan Poole has been one of the worst players in the NBA from a statistical standpoint. He came out of college labeled a shooter, and has missed three out of every four he’s taken this season. He’s undersized for his position defensively, and doesn’t seem to have much awareness when he’s on the court. It might not be entirely his fault, as he’s often been tasked with more than he can handle due to the Warriors injury plague. He shows flashes of intelligent playmaking, but not nearly enough to make up for his poor offensive play. At the end of the day, his shot just isn’t falling, and the sample size is large enough to confirm this is not a fluke or cold streak.

Alen Smailagić

Statistics: 4.6 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 0.6 APG, 53.8% FG, 25% 3PT, 8 games played

Grade: C+

©DANIEL GLUSKOTER

 

Smailagic is still largely a huge question mark. He’s long, lanky and incredibly raw (he’s the only 2000’s baby on the team). His jumpshot is what will determine whether he’s an NBA player, but his body type has the potential to fit a Warriors style offense. He also recently had his ‘”welcome to the NBA” moment when Kawhi Leonard threw down a nasty dunk on his head, so perhaps that moment will catapult his career.

Trade Deadline

D’Angelo Russell’s short Warriors career has already been riddled with trade rumors. It makes sense. The Warriors are in no position to contend for a playoff spot and Russell is a young, talented player that still hasn’t reached his peak. However, he is also on the first year of a four-year max contract. While this may seem like security to some, it could also seem like handcuffs to others. It also appears that, internally, the Warriors are in no rush to deal the young star. The most recent evidence comes from The Athletic’s Sam Amick, who reported that Golden State is unlikely to move Russell by the trade deadline and a deal involving the Orlando Magic’s Aaron Gordon is a “hard no” on Golden State’s end. It seems that the Warriors want to see what they have with Russell next to their fully-loaded roster before making any rash decisions. There is also the possibility that Golden State could package Russell and their 2020 draft pick for a much bigger fish once the draft lottery order is determined.

In terms of smaller moves, Glenn Robinson III could help a contender with his highly-coveted three-and-D skillset, but it seems unlikely that any team would be willing to give up a first-round pick for him given the other players on the trade market that are ahead of him. Unless the Warriors are blown away by an offer, look for them to keep Robinson and test out his fit next to the Splash Brothers next season.

A Look to the Future

At 9-32, the Warriors currently have the second-worst record in the NBA behind the Atlanta Hawks. This means they currently have the highest chance (14%), along with the Hawks and New York Knicks, at the #1 pick in the 2020 Draft. Whether they admit it or not, everyone in the Warriors organization is aware of these standings and they are going to do everything within the legality of the league to insure that this remains the case. In fact, we may already be seeing a 76ers “process” scenario taking place. Recent videos posted by the Athletic’s Anthony Slater of a Warriors practice show Steph Curry using his left hand during shooting and dribbling drills without any sort of hindrance. This is not to say that Curry is completely healthy at this moment and is out for no reason. However this does come back to the idea of caution. If this were the playoffs, it wouldn’t be unheard of for Curry to return within the next two weeks. Other players with similar injuries have come back far sooner than Curry’s current timetable. But if Golden State is playing for ping pong balls rather than rings, why not let his hand heal to 110% before bringing him back to a depleted roster ? Curry will no doubt help the Warriors win games, and that just isn’t their priority right now. Look for him to return towards the end of February or early March.

Until then, this season will continue to be a “development” year. The young players will continue to play big minutes whether they’ve earned them or not, and Draymond Green will continue to give sad, single-sentence answers to reporters after heart-breaking losses. Perhaps the All-Star break will give the team some much-needed reflection time and they’ll return with a new mindset. Other than that, all eyes are focused on the May 19th draft lottery, when the results of whether there will be any upside to the suffering of Warriors fans will be revealed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Warriors mid-season report card: Focusing on the future appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
Clippers hand Warriors another heart-breaking loss, 109-100 https://martineztribune.com/2020/01/10/clippers-hand-warriors-another-heart-breaking-loss-109-100/ Sat, 11 Jan 2020 07:58:23 +0000 https://martineztribune.com/?p=13790 BY MASON BISSADA In what is becoming more and more of a consistent trend, the Golden State Warriors suffered yet another heart-breaking loss to a contending team with whom they had no business going toe-to-toe with in the first place. Tonight, that contender was the Los Angeles Clippers, who rallied in the fourth quarter after …

The post Clippers hand Warriors another heart-breaking loss, 109-100 appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>
BY MASON BISSADA

In what is becoming more and more of a consistent trend, the Golden State Warriors suffered yet another heart-breaking loss to a contending team with whom they had no business going toe-to-toe with in the first place. Tonight, that contender was the Los Angeles Clippers, who rallied in the fourth quarter after being down as many as 10, outscoring the Warriors 36-17 in the final quarter of play and stealing a 109-100 victory Friday night at Staples Center from a Warriors team that can’t seem to catch a break.

In the final minutes, Golden State was simply out-executed by a team that was more talented, more experienced and more explosive on both ends of the floor. With just over a minute to go, Kawhi Leonard, who carried his team offensively with 36 points on 14-25 shooting to go along with eight rebounds and five assists, hammered home a monster dunk on what seemed like all five Warriors to put Los Angeles up six. On the following possession, Patrick Beverely swatted Glenn Robinson III’s shot attempt. Alec Burks was able to recover the ball, only to have his shot blocked just the same by Leonard, essentially sealing the game. Golden State’s uncanny shot-making luck ran out when it mattered most, and the better team won yet again.

“They overwhelmed us [in the fourth quarter],” Head Coach Steve Kerr said postgame. “They played a great quarter and got downhill. Kawhi and Lou Williams both got going. We just couldn’t put the ball in the basket. They’re a hell of a team and we just couldn’t keep up with them.”

Had Golden State been able to sustain the level of play they displayed through the first three quarters, tonight might have been their most impressive win of the season. Through three quarters, the Warriors led 83-73, finding success by forcing Clipper turnovers (they had 19 on the night) and scoring in transition.

Key to those first three successful quarters was Omari Spellman, who rewarded Steve Kerr for inserting him into the starting lineup by dropping 17 points and hitting four of his eight 3-pointers. 11 of those 17 came in the first half, as Spellman struggled with foul trouble in the second. While he doesn’t have the sheer athletic ability that Willie Cauley-Stein brings, Spellman gave the Warriors a spacing element that Cauley-Stein doesn’t offer while still being a rebounding presence defensively. Steve Kerr seems to be enjoying the freedom of losing, as he continues to tinker with his rebuilding group in search of a halfway decent lineup.

“I thought “Oh man, let’s go!’” Spellman said when asked what his reaction was to learning he’d be starting. “This is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for. My confidence has been coming back. I just wanted to hoop.”

With D’Angelo Russell out for a sixth straight game with a shoulder contusion, the offensive burden was once again up for grabs in the Warriors’ starting lineup. Tonight, Glenn Robinson III once again carried the majority of the load, scoring 17 points on 7-12 shooting. Robinson’s offensive creation this season continues to ascend. In the third quarter, Robinson dropped in a bucket off of a tough stepback jumper that one wouldn’t assume he has in his bag of tricks. Though he is often overtaxed as a number-one option, Robinson continues to shine on a depleted roster.

It is tough to say whether Alec Burks shot the Warriors out of this game or kept them afloat when they should’ve sank. On the one hand, he shot a miserable 3-17 from the field including 1-7 from three for just 16 points. On the other hand, he did get to the free-throw line nine times, making all of his attempts and forcing Clippers shooting guard Landry Shammet into foul trouble. He was also a team-high plus-7 on the night. It’s probably more of the first hand, but on a team that seriously lacks any sort of offensive creation, particularly off the bench, you live with these sort of nights from players like Burks, who can occasionally spark a scoring burst.

For the Clippers, it was essentially the Kawhi Leonard Show. He attempted 25 shots while the rest of the starting lineup attempted a combined 23. However, with running-mate Paul George out, Lou Williams stepped up yet again and dropped a cool 21 points and eight assists to sustain the Clippers’ offense while Leonard sat. The Warriors did a decent job of slowing the rest of the Clippers’ roster (particularly Montrezl Harrell, who scored just 11 points), but in the end, the Leonard/Williams duo proved enough on its own to get the job done.

Golden State continues to give away winnable games in “yes, yes, yes, no !” fashion. While this is obviously beneficial in the long run in terms of lottery odds and their 2020 first-round pick, these sort of heart-breaking defeats must have some sort of mental effect on this team’s young core. Losing isn’t fun, and building losing habits is not ideal for a team that hopes to return to contention next season.

Golden State will hope to recover from tonight’s loss when they square off against the Grizzlies on Sunday in Memphis at 3 p.m.

GAME NOTES:

Glenn Robinson III simply cannot guard Kawhi Leonard. While this sounds obvious and very few players in the league can, it is worth noting that Robinson has been touted as the Warriors’ perimeter stopper. Perhaps he is being taxed too much on the offensive end.

Ky Bowman had a quiet night tonight, which is a shame considering his G-League call-ups continue to dwindle.

The post Clippers hand Warriors another heart-breaking loss, 109-100 appeared first on Martinez Tribune.

]]>