Ellis learning to take care of the ball

Ellis learning to take care of the ball

WARRIORS PAGE

Let's be honest, Warriors guard Monta Ellis was a turnover machine for a while. He had a run where he produced absolutely frightening numbers when it came to taking care of the ball.During a three-week stretch in November and early December, Ellis had an 11-turnover game, two nine-turnover games and a pair of seven-turnover games.John Stockton, he wasn't.But recently, Ellis has been treating the ball with a little more respect, and he's turned it over just eight times in his past four games."We used him a little differently the last game (San Antonio) and I think went more to his strength," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "I think that's helped. But he is also playing at a very high level. I thought he played his best game &8722; both he and (Corey) Maggette &8722; against San Antonio. And that's hard to say because (Ellis) had some great ones."Assistant coach Keith Smart said the Warriors have taken the ball out of Ellis' hands a little bit more and allowed other players to initiate the offense. Smart also said the Warriors are making a conscientious effort to get Ellis the ball on the weak side of the floor, so that when he goes to the bucket he's not driving against a set defense but one that's moving.Against the Spurs, Ellis had just one turnover in 45 minutes."Truthfully, I'm not getting as many crazy charge calls," Ellis said. "If you go back and look at all the turnovers I had it was never just me turning the ball straight over. It was always something with a charge or guys not catching the ball. That's why coach never said anything about it. The majority of them weren't my fault. It was just trying to making basketball plays and it didn't fall the way it was expected to." Nelson said that he wasn't going to use the same starting lineup tonight against the Wizards that he used Wednesday night against the Spurs.But, of course, Nelson wouldn't say the specific change or changes. Against the Spurs, Nelson went with C.J. Watson, Stephen Curry, Ellis, Corey Maggette and Vladimir Radmanovic.Look for Anthony Morrow or Anthony Randolph to be introduced with the starters against Washington.

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.