Stephen Curry will probably always wince when the memories of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals come up. After a regular season where he helped lift his team to 73 wins, on the biggest stage of the game it was LeBron James and Kyrie Irving who were making plays late, while Curry couldn’t shake loose from Kevin Love. The Warriors lost Game 7 on their home court, and Curry was hunting threes late despite going 4-of-14 from deep that game.
That’s going to eat away at any competitor. Curry told Sam Amick of the USA Today he’s not over that loss, but he’s using it as motivation.
“I still haven’t gotten over Game 7,” Curry told USA TODAY Sports during a break in the shoot (of a commercial). “That’s something that will stay with me pretty much forever, for good and bad reasons. Obviously you hated the feeling, but it’s also a motivator to come back even stronger and try not to have that feeling again.
“I’m at that point now where I can try to fuel any kind of terrible nightmares or thoughts about Game 7 into motivation for how I’m going to prepare myself for this year.”
Finals losses have fueled many a player and team (think San Antonio in 2014). Curry is certainly no different. It took him a little while to start turning the loss into fuel — he admits in the article he was down for a while — but he has come around and now wants his shot at redemption.
Hunger and desire are not going to be the questions for Golden State this season. Figuring out how to blend Kevin Durant into this star-laden team, and how to win consistently despite the loss of depth the franchise gave up to get Durant, are much bigger issues.
But likely ones Curry and the Warriors solve by the time it matters.
Caris LeVert shows promise, which is why the Nets traded to select him at No. 20 in last June’s draft (he was part of the Thaddeus Young deal with Indiana). LeVert is a 6’7″ two guard who can shoot the rock — 45 percent from three at Michigan last season — who has the potential to be someone who can create shots off the bounce for himself and others.
He’s also had foot issues that have ended each of the last two seasons early.
The Nets are going to take their time bringing the rookie along slowly, reports Chris Mannix of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
Brooklyn is going to start Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at the two, with Joe Harris backing him up. They are in no rush — it’s not like LeVert is going to vault this team into the playoffs — the Nets can bring him along slowly. See if new coach Kenny Atkinson can develop him.
But they can’t find that out until they make sure LeVert is healthy and this foot issue us not chronic. Sounds like the Nets will wisely take it slow.
Another unarmed black man has been shot and killed by white police officers.
This time, Terence Crutcher had his hands up when police arrived at his stalled out car on the highway near Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dashcam and helicopter footage show a man with his hands in the air, but officer Betty Shelby chose to use deadly force and go for a kill shot (while another used a taser at the same time). Then rather than administer first aid Crutcher bled out in the street while being largely ignored.
The video and story have gone viral on social media and a number of NBA players have responded including Russell Westbrook, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Paul.
The NBA season is a marathon. One that wears down even the best-conditioned athletes. Nobody is fully healthy, nobody is fully rested and ready to go when the playoffs start. It’s all a matter of degrees.
Rookies can never be fully prepared for the physical grind.
Which is the main reason Lakers coach Luke Walton wants Brandon Ingram to come off the bench, he told Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News.
For Ingram, Walton anticipated “that the biggest challenge for him will be the physical abuse of an NBA season.” The reasons have little to do with Ingram’s thin frame that is currently listed at 6-foot-9 and 190 pounds. Walton expressed more concern how the 19-year-old Ingram would adapt to the NBA’s 82-game schedule after playing 36 games during his lone season at Duke.
“No player has ever been through that until you get to the NBA,” Walton said. “It’s exhausting until your body gets used to it and adjusts to it. It takes time. The biggest challenge for him will be figuring out the best way to manage that, still train and take care of himself. The on-court stuff and his play will be just fine. It’ll be the challenge of the 82 game season he might struggle with.”
That’s some spin from Walton. Yes, Ingram would struggle with the 82-game season regardless of his build and conditioning. However, his slight build is only going to exacerbate that challenge for his first NBA season. Or two.
Expect Ingram’s role and confidence to grow as the season goes on. Expect his chemistry with D'Angelo Russell and the rest of the young Laker core to improve over the course of the season. Hopefully, Ingram will soak up lessons watching Luol Deng prepare physically and mentally.
Bringing Ingram off the bench to start is a smart move, but the sooner his play demands he starts the better.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles federal judge has ruled a woman accusing NBA star Derrick Rose of rape cannot remain anonymous at her upcoming civil trial.
U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald ruled Tuesday.
The woman has only been identified in documents as Jane Doe. The Associated Press typically does not identify alleged victims of sexual abuse.
The 30-year-old woman says the former MVP and two of his friends raped her in 2013 while she was incapacitated from drinking. Rose denies her claims and contends he had consensual sex with the woman.
Rose’s lawyer argued his client would be harmed if the woman’s identity wasn’t revealed, and he cited interviews and a press conference she conducted last week as a reason to use her real name.