The Warriors are betting big on Stephen Curry. It was only a matter of time before they had to choose between Curry and Monta Ellis, they chose Curry. But they did so with the knowledge that Curry was still having ankle issues, which have plagued him his entire career. But he and Andrew Bogut make up the new core for the Warriors, so they’re very invested in him finally getting healthy. Which is why the next week will be big.
Curry had surgery late in the year (along with half the roster) and has been playing and working out the last few months. But he hasn’t done anything intensive or on back to back days. Most notably though, this week marks his first workout with the Warriors with “no restrictions.” From CSN Bay Area:
Curry will arrive in the Bay Area on Tuesday night and then work out for four consecutive days at the team’s downtown practice facility.
Warriors general manager Bob Myers indicated that Curry has been working out much of the summer but that this stretch will mark a stepping up of Curry’s rehab and basketball-related work.
“I don’t think he’ll have any restrictions,” said Myers, who was attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the Warriors’ technology center at College Track on Monday. “He’s being cautious because he has time to be. But as far as full-go, he’s there right now. He’s not going to push it unnecessarily, though. He’s going to be cautious. But as far as restrictions, they’ve all been lifted.”
via Next test for Curry’s ankle comes this week.
The key for Curry right now isn’t even to show a full recovery or quickness. It’s just to be able to go through the work. Endurance has to be the first big key for the Warriors.
Curry’s going to have more freedom than every this year with Ellis gone. He’s got shooters and finishers with Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson. He’s got bigs to run pick and roll with with David Lee and Andrew Bogut. He’ll likely have a slower pace team that wont’ have to put so much wear and tear on his body. But he still has to show he can do it. This is that first step.
Cross your fingers.
NEW YORK (AP) — Hall of Fame basketball player Dikembe Mutombo will receive the Sager Strong Award at this year’s NBA Awards show.
The award is named for longtime Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager and presented annually to an individual who has been a trailblazer while exemplifying courage, faith, compassion and grace.
Mutombo’s honor was announced Tuesday by the NBA and Turner.
The four-time Defensive Player of the Year created the Dikembe Mutombo Foundation to improve conditions for people in his native Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital has treated nearly a quarter of a million people since opening in 2007.
He will receive a colorful suit jacket, the kind Sager fashioned during his years on air before dying of leukemia. The award will be presented on June 25 in Santa Monica, California.
Former New Orleans coach Monty Williams was last year’s inaugural recipient.
It wasn’t just Lonzo Ball‘s awkward jumper that was a problem for him, so was his finishing around the rim — Ball shot less than 50 percent in the restricted area and 43.6 percent inside eight feet. In today’s NBA, he has to become more of a consistent scoring threat to open up his passing lanes.
Part of that is Ball getting physically stronger, something that also would help him avoid injuries and play in more than 52 games (what he did as a rookie). That part he is working on already, Kyle Kuzma told Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN.
“Consistency in the weight room, that is the biggest thing,” Kuzma said on Tuesday of what he has seen out of Ball this offseason so far. “He has been in there pretty much every day I have been in here around this time. You can tell he is taking the weight room a lot more serious and that is going to help him by allowing him to recover faster and hopefully next year be on the court more because of that weight room.”
The Lakers are counting on the development of their young core — Ball, Kuzma, Brandon Ingram, etc. — as well as free agents they can attract this summer to lift them into the playoffs next season.
Magic Johnson told Ball this is going to be the most important summer of his life, that now he has to put in the work to take his body and game to the next level. To play like a No. 2 pick.
So far, so good.
After the game, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said his team ran out of gas, which is what led to their 3-of-18 fourth-quarter shooting and just 12 points. There’s some truth to that, particularly with Andre Iguodala out forcing other guys into the rotation and a heavier load on the stars.
But give the Rockets credit here.
Part of what wore down the Warriors was fantastic pressure defense from Houston that made Golden State really work on offense. As Golden State got tired, players settled for midrange jumpers, not getting to the rim much (three times in the quarter) and not having the legs under their threes (0-of-6 in the quarter).
Meanwhile, it wasn’t pretty, but James Harden and Chris Paul were making plays.
Check out those plays again in the video above — we finally got a good game in a series, we should savor that.
The Houston Rockets leveled the Western Conference finals against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night by a margin of 95-92. The win for the Rockets was ugly, but it leveled the series at 2-2 heading back to Houston.
It was a close game down the stretch, and it looked like Golden State’s last chance to get the win was going to come on a possession with 11 seconds to go following a missed James Harden jumper.
The Warriors immediately turned up the floor and did not call a timeout. The resulting possession was messy, and it wound up ending on a difficult Klay Thompson turnaround jumper. Golden State would get another shot at a 3-pointer with half a second left thanks to a foul on Thompson’s miss, but many were still left wondering why Steve Kerr did not choose to call a timeout during the possession before.
Kerr addressed the decision after the game.
You sort of have to side with Kerr in principle, but if you’d seen the way the Warriors played the rest of that fourth quarter you would probably err on calling a timeout and letting them set something up. Curry was 1-of-8 in the fourth, Durant shot poorly most of the game, and Golden State scored 12 total points in the final period.
When you consider Curry got a look at a wide open 3-pointer in the corner with 0.5 seconds left on the clock when the Warriors did call a timeout on the next possession, it makes it look even worse.
In any case, Houston beat out Golden State in a close game and we’re headed back to Texas for Game 5 on Thursday.