Tag:Stephen Curry
Posted on: January 27, 2011 3:03 pm
Edited on: January 27, 2011 3:04 pm
 

Fans to vote on Skills Competition participants

Fans to vote on Skills Contest participants. Derek Fisher one of the candidates. We're not sure why.
Posted by Matt Moore

Did you know that this year, you, yes, you get to choose the participants of the most random, boring competition in the All-Star Saturday Night festivities?

Taco-Bell is giving fans a vote on which players they want to see in the Skills Competition. Chris Paul is the "spokesman" and therefore automatically in, but the rest will be chosen by vote. The list of candidates includes:  and...
  • Derek Fisher?

Let's take a look at the candidates, and what we think their odds are. 

Derrick Rose (-150):  He's got youth, speed, experience as a former winner, and oh, yeah, he did this. Rose is a massive favorite in our opinion, considering he's arguably the best point guard in the league, and the best point athlete of this bunch. He's got the competitive streak to want to win, and the skills involved are specifically suited to his game. Hence the previous pwnage. Being a huge star this league in a major market, he'll have no problems securing selection.

Chris Paul (-140): Nearly the favorite Rose is. Paul's a more accurate passer, more precise with this movements, nearly as fast, and the best overall point guard in this competition. The only reason he's behind Paul at all is injury questions and Paul being in the competition for the fourth time.  

Tony Parker (+150): Parker's a sexy dark horse pick here.  Solid in all areas of competition, healthier than he's been in years, a former Finals MVP, and he's a Spur. Toppling more flashy competition is what they do. His odds of getting voted in aren't as strong, considering the flash and shine of the other candidates, but he might make it off international recognition and veteran respect. 

Russell Westbrook (+250): Westbrook isn't the pure passer a lot of these players are but his handle and speed could be enough to put on a show. When in the zone he's as precise as any player in the league, and he's got a killer instinct rarely found in this league.  He could also go for the dunk approach Derrick Rose did when he won the event, only Westbrook can leap from the free throw line to cut down on time. Even playing in OKC, likely to be selected based off of star power and name recognition alongside Kevin Durant

Tyreke Evans (+450): The dribbling and passing could give him issues, and that's before the three-point shot. Reke's chances aren't great here as he excels based on athleticism. He's simply not the pure skill competitor that some of the other players are. Playing in Sacramento who's having a terrible year and having been forgotten about in a slump following a historic rookie season, Reke's chances at election aren't great. Small market, disappointing season, and bad team. Not a great combo for election, but he's still more likely to make it than some.

Stephen Curry (+200): Curry's a nice, sleek moneymaker to take here. He's an underdog based on name recognition and not being a top level point guard, but in terms of skill, he's got it to win this thing. A terrific passer with excellent control, fast and light to get through the cones, and range for miles, Curry could wind up shocking everyone with this thing, as long as he can make it in. With five of the eight expected to make it, he's got good odds. This is smart money.

John Wall (+500): Wall has been injury-prone this season, has been turnover prone, is a rookie on the big stage for the first time, and isn't a great shooter. BIG GIGANTIC RED FLAGS. Wall could get in based off of popularity, market, and name recognition. But his odds of stepping up and beating the rest of the competition are low. 

Baron Davis (+600): Injury prone? Check. Older? Yup. Inconsistent? Uh-huh. Not a great point? Surely. Biggest star on his team? Third, if we're being generous. Davis is very unlikely to make the vote, and should he somehow get in through the Clipper faithful, it's not likely he'll walk away with the trophy with so many faster guards he's up against. 

Derek Fisher (+7,858): No. Not at all. Not in any situation. Not a great passer. Aged like a German cheese. Not awesome on the dribble, either. I mean, there's no way this guy gets voted in, right? That would be like voting in Andrew Bynum to the All-Star game when he missed 3/4 of the season so far...oh. Never underestimate the power of the Lakers to get in to these things, but Fisher will not win, unless there's some sort of horrific banana peel accident. 


Posted on: January 24, 2011 4:46 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2011 4:53 pm
 

Warriors G Stephen Curry shocked by trade talk

Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry responds to owner Joe Lacob saying that he could be traded. Posted by Ben Golliver. stephen-curry

Joe Lacob is the newly-minted owner of the Golden State Warriors, so we should probably forgive him for being a bit too honest in his recent talk of shaking up his roster. In comments made to MercuryNews.com last week, Lacob said that no one on his team is untouchable and that he would consider breaking up the Stephen Curry / Monta Ellis backcourt if presented with a good trade offer.
"I really like those guys as individuals, and I like them as players," Lacob said. "But I have to be honest, it depends. If we got offered a great situation, would I break it up? Yes."
The owner called Ellis "our core, franchise player," and agreed that Curry has not played to the standards of last season.
"Does that mean that Curry would be traded, or more likely to be traded than Ellis? Not necessarily," Lacob said. "It really depends. "... This is all dependent on what you're going to get in return."
Well, that is certainly an unusual way to conduct business in the NBA. 

Curry has been hampered by ankle injuries throughout the season and, it cannot be forgotten, is still really freaking good. He's on a rookie deal, his scoring numbers are up, he's improved his assist/turnover ratio, he's one of the best shooters in the league, he brings no ego or baggage to the table, he wants to win and plays hard every night, he puts in the hours to make himself better and he's helped Ellis take a step forward in his career development this season. He has shortcomings defensively, but so does the rest of the team, as Golden State is ranked No. 26 in defensive efficiency

This is a guy that you want to keep happy and that you want to keep long-term. He's a franchise piece and executives from all the teams out there without a quality starting point guard are likely reading Lacob's statements and wondering whether he's lost his marbles or is in over his head.

To his credit, Curry responded in the best way possible: producing on the court and remaining as professional as possible. Here are his thoughts, via the Oakland Tribune.
"It's a bit of a shock, because you feel like you're doing everything else you were supposed to be doing," Curry said Sunday. "Especially since I've never been in a situation where me changing teams or being traded would be an option, it's kind of like a weird thing to think about. But they've been straightforward about what they see in us and it's all been positive for me, so I don't have any problem brushing that off."
If you call 66 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds over two games brushing it off, then Curry indeed dusted the rumors off his shoulder. He led a fourth-quarter comeback in Friday's win over Sacramento. He almost did again Saturday against the Clippers in Los Angeles with backcourt mate Monta Ellis limited by a sore ankle.

"If anything," Curry said, "it was the result of me reminding myself. I'm my biggest critic. I just play the game and don't worry about expectations except the ones I put on myself."
Calling out players in public is almost always a recipe for disaster, even when we're talking about a choirboy like Curry. Surely when Lacob has some time to reflect on his statements and the impact they would have on a young guy like Curry, he might realize that he could have found a better approach publicly. 

NBA stars have memories like elephants, and team and player have many negotiating sessions ahead of them. Goodwill in public is a highly underrated commodity in this league. 
Posted on: January 21, 2011 2:21 pm
 

Now the Warriors are going for Carmelo?

Posted by Royce Young

As soon as Mikhail Prokhorov let the words out of his mouth, Masai Ujiri's phone probably started ringing. And ringing. And ringing.

Once it became clear that the New Jersey Nets were pulling out of the Carmelo Anthony chase, the world opened up to 29 other teams that might be in search of a new piece to the puzzle. Not necessarily in terms of just Anthony, but maybe they could become a partner in a potential three-way deal.

But some out there are definitely interested in the services of Melo. He's a star with star power and scoring power. No matter what the statistical inclined people say, Melo is a very, very good basketball player. And people want it.

So on top of the Knicks, Rockets and Mavericks, add in a new team that might be interested in playing the Melo game. The Golden State Warriors.

"We've had discussions with Denver," owner Joe Lacob to the Mercury News. "And I think it's possible. But unfortunately, he clearly wants to be one place geographically."

Ah, so Lacob isn't actually completely serious about it, because unlike some, he realizes that the whole extension thing is the catch in this whole thing. But Lacob said he thinks the Warriors can offer a package that would top any other out there. He said the team wouldn't be shy about breaking up Monta Ellis and Stephen Curry if the right deal presented itself.

"We think we have better assets to go after someone like him, that caliber, than most of the teams out there that are being talked about," Lacob said.

The Warriors new ownership group clearly has visions of running this franchise in a different way than Chris Cohan. Lacob isn't shy about saying what he wants. He talked about the team needing post help, about not understanding some of Keith Smart's rotations and how they feel the need to be aggressive and active in trade discussions.

"We're willing to do anything to improve this team -- I told you," Lacob said.

We hear you, Joe. But talking is one thing. Warriors fans have heard a lot of that. Melo obviously isn't in the cards for Golden State but it sounds like the team is willing to take a chance to make a splash. That's progress, I think.

Posted on: January 20, 2011 1:38 pm
Edited on: January 20, 2011 1:44 pm
 

Game Changer: Clippers keep rolling

The Los Angeles Clippers keep rolling, Blake Griffin goes 360 pivot before dunking, Monta Ellis hits a game-winner and more. Posted by Ben Golliver.

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer. 

THE BIG ONE: CLIPPERS KEEP ROLLING

There's no better story in the NBA over the last two weeks than the resurgent Los Angeles Clippers, who pulled themselves together after a dreadful start to the season. Rather than treat 2011 as a walk of shame, the Clippers are cat-walking through the competition, notching their third straight victory and sixth in the last seven games by smashing the Minnesota Timberwolves, 126-111. 

Every night is the Blake Griffin show, and Griffin delivered yet again (see highlights below). But Wednesday night also revealed some excellent scoring balance and all-around unselfish, excited play. The Timberwolves are simply awful on defense and the Clippers exploited those holes nicely, getting lots of easy looks by registering 26 assists on 44 field goal makes, shooting nearly 50% as a team on the night.

Eric Gordon, battling through a finger injury, put up 23 points on just 14 shots and he didn't miss from downtown. With the Clippers' recent success, are we finally turning a corner as a nation and realizing what Gordon's been doing over the last few months? This nice SB Nation analysis suggests that maybe we are.

Aside from LA's headliners, there's progress to be seen up and down the roster. If you rewound back to the early struggles and made a checklist of the improvements you would want to see, that list would look something like...
  • DeAndre Jordan must play engaged, excited ball and trust his physical skills.
  • Baron Davis must try. Really try.
  • Eric Bledsoe needs to be an impact player in his minutes.
  • Griffin must get to the free throw line all night long.
All of those things happened last night, and it was smooth sailing against an inferior opponent. A major step for any lottery team comes when they are able to put away other lottery teams forcefully. Do that enough and you're in the playoff picture. If things keep clicking along like this, it's not impossible to imagine that Los Angeles could find themselves in a tussle for the Western Conference's 8th seed by season's end.

As for now, the second half of a home-and-away back-to-back greets them on Thursday night, in Portland against the Trail Blazers.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES OF THE NIGHT:


Danny Granger: 32 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, three steals, one block on 11-19 shooting in 42 minutes in an Indiana Pacers road loss to the Golden State Warriors.

DeJuan Blair: 22 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block on 11-16 shooting in 35 minutes in a San Antonio Spurs home victory over the Toronto Raptors.

Carmelo Anthony: 35 points, seven rebounds, one assist in 38 minutes in a Denver Nuggets home victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Monta Ellis: 36 points, five rebounds, six assists in 44 minutes in a Golden State Warriors home victory over the Indiana Pacers.

DON'T MISS:

WHIMSY:

Like Dwight Howard and Shaquille O'Neal wrestling, except the exact opposite. Indiana Pacers forward Tyler Hansbrough and Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry compete in a funny faces contest. Winner gets possession.   hansbrough-curry

HIGHLIGHT REEL PART ONE:

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin did it again for the 4,000,000th time this season in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves last night, taking the basketball coast-to-coast, pivoting 360 degrees to avoid Corey Brewer, taking two power gather dribbles and rising up to throw down the monster slam. Did I mention he's a power forward?



HIGHLIGHT REEL PART TWO:

This dunk is so nice you have to watch it twice. Here's Griffin in the super slow motion.


HERO OF THE NIGHT:

Golden State Warriors guard Monta Ellis delivers the last-second game-winner at home, pushing the Warriors past the Indiana Pacers 110-108, much to the delight of the Oracle Arena crowd. Courtesy of YouTube user thehoopscene.


Posted on: January 9, 2011 2:26 pm
Edited on: January 9, 2011 2:30 pm
 

Warriors look to improve, eye Prince, Randolph?

The Golden State Warriors are reportedly looking to "add to the talent pool" and are possibly eying multiple trade targets. Posted by Ben Golliver. we-believe

Things could be a lot worse for the Golden State Warriors, who lost Ekpe Udoh, their 2010 lottery pick, for the first few months of the season and have dealt with persistent ankle trouble for starting point guard Stephen Curry. Nevertheless, the Warriors are 15-21, hanging out on the fringes of the Western Conference playoff discussion. They're at the metaphorical crossroads: a strong push before the All-Star break could make for a fun stretch ride battling teams like Portland, Phoenix, Memphis and Houston for the final playoff spot. No push, however, and the Warriors are right back where they've been for the last three years: in the draft lottery. 

So it shouldn't come as a surprise that murmurs out of the Bay have the Warriors looking to improve their roster. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Warriors could be buyers during the run-up to this year's trade deadline.
The goal, whether at the trade deadline or in the offseason, is to acquire a "good player who adds to the talent pool," Riley said.
The Warriors are interested in Tayshaun Prince and have been intrigued by Zach Randolph, two guys who might fit that description and could be available. Some league sources still believe Andre Iguodala - one of Curry's favorites - could be made available, but many have soured on that scuttlebutt.
The Warriors are armed with two large expiring contracts -- Dan Gadzuric's worth $7.2 million and Vladimir Radmanovic's worth $6.8 million -- so they have some cards to play. 

Detroit Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince is an intriguing possibility in Golden State, as his versatile two-way game and championship pedigree would bring two elements the Warriors are sorely lacking. However, Prince is himself an expiring contract, so it's unclear what Golden State could offer Detroit to pry him loose. He's also said to be anxious to play for a winner, given that he's in the twilight of his career, and the Warriors might not yet fit that bill. Renting Prince for the balance of the season and letting him walk during the summer could be a possibility, however it doesn't seem ideal for the Warriors as they are in the middle of a promising rebuild. This would amount to a sideways move and would cost them trade chips.

As for Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph, he's in mercenary mode, as his current contract runs up at the end of this season and he's looking for a final mega-payday. The Warriors must ask themselves: how well does Randolph fit with our core pieces? Randolph is an excellent scorer and rebounder, but he likes his shots and touches, and Curry, guard Monta Ellis and forward David Lee all need the rock already. Randolph is also strictly a power forward, so playing him alongside Lee would require the Warriors to continue to play smallball. The Warriors are accustomed to playing that way, but it is not necessarily ideal if they're looking to commit long-term dollars to acquire another big man. Put in simpler terms, Randolph and Lee together would be a bit redundant and would wind up being quite expensive. Renting Randolph for the balance of the season could also cause more problems that it would be worth, as he would require a total re-jiggering of the front court rotation, compromising the playing time of long-term core pieces and bringing an uncertain short-term return.

If the Warriors are simply looking to expand their talent pool, they might be better served playing this Moneyball-style, cashing in their expiring contracts and/or draft picks to improve their depth and the quality of their reserves.
Posted on: December 21, 2010 6:46 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:45 pm
 

Grizzlies don't regret drafting Hasheem Thabeet

The Memphis Grizzlies stand behind their selection of center Hasheem Thabeet in the 2009 NBA Draft. Posted by Ben Golliverhasheem-thabeet It's rare that a man as big as Memphis Grizzlies center Hasheem Thabeet, who stands 7-foot-3, can be so invisible. But in his second NBA season, he's an after-after-thought, barely seeing the court and adding little value during another frustrating season for Memphis. If anyone cared about Thabeet, there would probably be a lot more "bust" talk bubbling, but to this point indifference has ruled the day. As such, Grizzlies GM Chris Wallace did the smart thing Tuesday, standing by his center when asked by NBA Fanhouse whether he would reconsider the team's 2009 draft selection.
"I'm not a regrets guy,'' Wallace said. "I don't think he should be put in a dead-letter file. That's extremely premature for that.''
Thabeet, who is averaging 1.4 points and 1.3 rebounds a game, sounds like he is at a loss for why he's not very good, and it sort of makes you feel bad for him. 
"It's really difficult,'' Thabeet said about living up to expectations of being the No. 2 pick. "I'm here working out. The team knows where they are with me. I'm just doing my job. I don't really have an explanation about the question I get every day. I put myself in this situation so I got to deal with it. But to be part (of the NBA) is special, and I'm happy to be here.''
I can't say I'm a huge Thabeet fan, and it would be surprising if he develops into a productive player. But while he certainly wasn't a good pick, it's difficult to kill the Grizzlies for making it.  Before the draft, Thabeet was clearly high risk / high reward, the exact type of player a middling franchise like Memphis should take a risk on, especially considering the pieces they had in place. With young, developing guards like Mike Conley and OJ Mayo already in the pipeline, plus wing Rudy Gay fully established, addressing the frontcourt was even more important for Memphis than it usually is for lottery teams. Going down the list of players taken in the lottery behind Thabeet, the best players -- Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings, and Tyreke Evans -- each would likely have required Memphis to make a decision between him or Conley in the short-term. The best case scenario probably would have been to draft Evans and play him at the two guard spot, shifting Mayo immediately into a reserve role. That would have been a delicate situation, but if managed properly would have given Memphis a potent backcourt without too much roster turnover.  Outside of those three point guards, there aren't many impact players in the first round, and no meaningful big man sleepers have emerged. The smart play for Memphis probably would have been to trade down, a possibility that was rumored leading up to draft night, but taking a chance on Thabeet wasn't franchise-crippling by any means. Back to Wallace's statements: it's still too early for regrets. Thabeet was drafted as a project and his rookie deal ensures that the project can continue (at a reasonable salary for a team with such a small payroll) through 2012-2013 at least, should the Grizzlies remain interested.  Will Thabeet figure it out? Who knows. But Jordan Hill or Tyler Hansbrough, the next two bigs drafted, aren't leading teams to the title any time soon either.
Posted on: December 14, 2010 9:25 am
Edited on: December 14, 2010 11:26 am
 

Shootaround 12.14.10: Respect and disrespect

Magic says the Pistons are soft, Roy Hibbert has great hands, and Noah meets the Worm, all in today's Shootaround.
Posted by Matt Moore

  • So remember when the Pacers traded for Darren Collison and he was supposed to be their point guard of the future, taking them to the next level?  Well, they've gotten to the next level, suddenly in a position to contend for a playoff spot. But Collison has been left in the dirt, and can't quite figure out why . People who weren't blown away by Collison's numbers last season questioned his poise and defensive stature, and it would appear those same elements are what is keeping T.J. Ford and A.J. Price in heavy minutes. Who would have thought the Pacers would have a point guard overflow a year ago?
  • Roy Hibbert has turned into quite the passing big man because of his time spent this summer with Bill Walton.  8 Points, 9 Seconds breaks down what's helped him improve , and his confidence has been as important as his quick decision making. There's something to be said for simply going with your instincts instead of debating yourself into a bad posssession. It's that All-Around play that has to leave you wondering... is Hibbert an All-Star this season? One guy who doesn't think so? His coach .
Posted on: December 11, 2010 1:04 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:26 pm
 

Heat win 7th straight, blast Warriors, 106-84

The Miami Heat dominate the Golden State Warriors in California on Friday night for their seventh consecutive win. Posted by Ben Golliver lebron-james-warriors

It was a tale of two halves in Northern California, as the Golden State Warriors managed to play the Miami Heat mostly even through the first 24 minutes, but got blown up by some fiery outside shooting from LeBron James in the third quarter, as the Heat cruised the rest of the way for their seventh consecutive victory, 106-84. The Warriors looked like a rudderless ship in the second half, thanks in no small part to the absence of starting point guard Stephen Curry, who continues to nurse an injured ankle. The Warriors went big, shifting Monta Ellis over to the point guard spot, but cold shooting proved to be Golden State's undoing, as they couldn't keep up with the run of easy baskets James and company created in transition. James iced it for sure in the closing minutes of the third quarter, dropping in back-to-back-to-back three-pointers, much to his own delight. From there it was all smiles and sunshine for the streaking Heat,  Both James and teammate, guard Dwyane Wade, nearly had triple doubles, despite sitting much of the fourth quarter. James finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and nine assists. Wade led the Heat with 34 points, and added nine rebounds and seven assists. Ellis led the Warriors with 20 points, three rebounds and seven assists. ESPN columnist Bill "The Sports Guy" Simmons provided game analysis, and he mentally sparred with fellow analyst Mark Jackson, which made for some mildly humorous Boston and anti-Boston ribbing. With the win, the Heat improve to 16-8 on the season, and take over the top spot in the Southeast Division, moving into the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference thanks to an Orlando loss. They'll close their current four-game road trip with what should be a gimme in Sacramento against the Kings, arguably the worst team in the NBA, on Saturday night. The Warriors fall to 8-15, still good for third place in the Pacific Division.
 
 
 
 
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