Warriors

Oakland's Lillard top rookie

lillard_damian_blazers.jpg

Oakland's Lillard top rookie

The buzzer-beating, game-winning 3 Damian Lillard made over Ryan Anderson and the New Orleans Hornets won’t change the current state of the Rookie of the Year race much, but only because the Portland Trail Blazers’ point guard already was lapping the field.

While No. 1 pick Anthony Davis was the overwhelming choice in a preseason survey of NBA general managers – who don’t always personally fill out the survey, I’m told – to win the award, a direct poll of a half-dozen assistant coaches and scouts – the ones who do the detailed advance reports on opponents, including player evaluations – has Lillard as a heavy favorite at the season’s quarter-pole.
 

Davis, of course, has made only 10 appearances and six starts this season due to a concussion and then a sprained left ankle, but Lillard, the sixth overall pick, has been so impressive that several pollsters believe Lillard may not relinquish his lead even once Davis is healthy and rolling.
 

“Poise and pace,” said one Eastern Conference assistant coach when asked what impressed him most about Lillard. “He does not get too rattled when things are going bad and when they are good he appears to keep the same focus. He shoots it well and makes good passes, but the poise and pace, while obscure, are more important to his success. He is not afraid of the big moment, either. Which is big.”
 

The talent evaluators were asked to give their top seven rookies and Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes made five of six lists but the highest ranking he received was fourth overall. The one scout who left him out of his top seven had Barnes as eighth. The consensus magnificent seven: Lillard; Davis; Terrence Ross (Toronto, SG, 8th pick); Kyle Singler (Detroit, SF, 2011 33rd pick);  Dion Waiters (Cleveland, SG, 4th); Barnes (Golden State, SF, 7th) and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Charlotte, SF, 2nd).
 

Also receiving votes were Pistons center Andre Drummond, the ninth pick; Mavericks small forward Jae Crowder; Timberwolves point guard Alexey Shved, who played six years with CSKA Moscow before signing as a free agent with Minnesota last summer; and Toronto’s Jonas Valanciunas, a Lithuanian power forward drafted fifth last season who stayed overseas because of a prohibitive buy-out clause in his existing contract.
 

Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, the third pick, and Kings power forward and fifth overall pick Thomas Robinson were the most glaring absentees from anyone’s top seven list, although there are extenuating circumstances for Beal: He’s played all season without a bona fide point guard, third-string AJ Price and free-agent pick-up Shaun Livingston filling in for injured John Wall. Robinson could argue that he hasn’t played with a legitimate point guard this season, either, but he also hasn’t been able to get past Jason Thompson, who the Kings signed to a five-year contract extension last summer, and veteran Chuck Hayes, in the rotation on most nights.
 

If there’s one other notable missing name, it’s Hornets guard Austin Rivers, who was third on the GM survey behind Davis (76.7 percent) and Lillard (20 percent) with 3.3 percent.
 “Rivers has not really caught on to the NBA game yet,” said one Northwest Division assistant coach. “He’s still trying to find where he fits. He seems to be a very good right-handed driver but he’s not really spacing the floor with his shot yet.”

With Warriors discussing the matter, Curry reaffirms White House stance

With Warriors discussing the matter, Curry reaffirms White House stance

OAKLAND -- About an hour after general manager Bob Myers said the defending champion Warriors would soon gather to determine their response to any potential invitation from the White House, Stephen Curry reiterated his personal views.

“I don’t want to go,” Curry said during Media Day on Friday.

Curry has previously stated this position, one he shares with several teammates. Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala also have expressed no interest in visiting President Donald Trump. David West has made clear his distaste for Trump’s boorish conduct.

But Curry has thought not only about the subject but also how he reached his conclusion.

“That we don't stand for basically what our president has -- the things that he said and the things that he hasn't said in the right terms -- that we won't stand for it,” he said. “And by acting and not going, hopefully that will inspire some change when it comes to what we tolerate in this country and what is accepted and what we turn a blind eye to.

“It's not just the act of not going. There are things you have to do on the back end to actually push that message into motion. You can talk about all the different personalities that have said things and done things, from (Colin) Kaepernick to what happened to (Michael) Bennett to all sorts of examples of what has gone on in our country that we need to kind of change. And we all are trying to do what we can, using our platforms, using our opportunities to shed light on that.”

Officially, the Warriors have made no firm decision. They will discuss the matter in the coming day in hopes of reaching a consensus.

Though Curry understands the final decision will be made every consulting with every voice in the locker room -- including coach Steve Kerr, who also has been critical of Trump -- he’s unwavering about his personal stance.

“It's not just me going to the White House. If it were, this would be a pretty short conversation,” he said.

“Like I said, it's the organization; it's the team. And it's hard to say because I don't know exactly what we're going to do in lieu of or if we do go or if we don't go or whatever.

“But my beliefs stay the same. I'll have a better answer for that once I can kind of understand where the group is, too.”

While Iguodala passed on delivering his stance, citing that he had been prepped on the subject by the team’s media relations staff, Durant -- like Curry -- said he has to take the opinions of his teammates into consideration.

“It's going to be tough to change my mind,” Durant said, “but we're going to talk about it as a team and figure out the next steps from there.”

West did not divulge his decision, opting to firmly state he “will let everybody know my opinion” once the team meets on the subject.

 

Thunder GM takes high road in response to Durant's Twitter gaffe, harsh words

Thunder GM takes high road in response to Durant's Twitter gaffe, harsh words

 

Kevin Durant didn't mean to lampoon the Thunder, later deleting the tweets, but he said what he said

Asked about Durant on Friday and Thunder GM Sam Prestie took the high road. 

"I think the only thing I can say to that is just to be consistent with everything that I have said and everyone else from the organization," Presti said. "I, and no one from the Thunder, really has anything negative to say about Kevin Durant, and I think we've been hopefully very open about the fact that we have tremendous appreciation and respect for what he and his teammates and coaches and everybody over his tenure here accomplished, and I really don't think there's anything more to say than that."

Durant called the actions "childish" and "idiotic" and said that his actions have impacted his sleep cycles and eating habits.

The Warriors first face the Thunder on Wednesday, Nov. 22 in Oklahoma City.