Small forward not priority for Warriors

793954.jpg

Small forward not priority for Warriors

You cant be serious that backup point guardshooting guard and backup power forwardcenter is a bigger need than small forward. I usually think youre spot on but youre way off on this. Markie, Bay Area.Steinmetz: And Im really confused as to why. The way I see it, the Warriors have two competent small forwards: Dorell Wright and Richard Jefferson. You might not like the year Wright had in 2011-12 and you might think Jefferson is nearing the end, but the reality is youve got a couple of pros there.Could you upgrade? Of course you could. But, keep in mind that both Jefferson and Wright are under contract next year for close to 15 million combined and what are you going to do with them?And what kind of player do you want instead of them? A big scorer? Well, youve already got enough scorers and a team that is clearly better offensively than defensively. So, I just dont get why the small forward position is one of such import for some.You could almost make a case to downgrade there or go in the other direction like try to move Jefferson and make Dominic McGuire the starter.Now, the other half of the equation is why I think theres a higher priority on backup guard and backup big man. Simple, really. Your backcourt is made up of Stephen Curry, who was injured for almost all of last season, and Klay Thompson, entering his second year after an abbreviated rookie season.How can you not think that getting a legit player in the backcourt to support those guys isnt huge? I like Charles Jenkins, but Im not ready to anoint him backup point guard just yet not with Currys health in doubt.The same thinking applies to Bogut. Its not that I dont think hes capable of playing 74 games next year, its that if youre a GM you have to have a plan in place if he doesnt or cant.At this point, Im not ready for Andris Biedrins or Jeremy Tyler to be my first big man off the bench. And I just think thats the kind of thing thats a higher priority than trying to marginally upgrade the small forward position.RELATED: What free agents are out there for Warriors?
Do you like Sullinger? Carlos, San Jose.Steinmetz: When the question is asked as simply as that, it is actually difficult to answer. Do I like Sullinger? Well, I dont dislike him, how about if we start there?There are things I like about Sullinger: Hes skilled; hes smart; and hes a good passer. I really like big men with that kind of foundation. On the other hand, I dont see Sullinger as an NBA all-star, nor I do assume hell be a starter in the pros.I like that he rebounds at the college level because that often translates. But I dont think hes a dominant player, and Im not convinced hell be able to score with his back to the basket in the NBA.What intrigues me most about Sullinger on the Warriors would be having three really good passing big men along with Andrew Bogut and David Lee on the roster.But regardless, its not like Sullinger is going to come in and play 28 minutes a night in Year 1. Thats not going to happen. My expectations of Sullinger as a pro are relatively modest, so I dont have a really strong opinion of him one way or another.Im starting to board the Meyers Leonard bandwagon, though not quite there yet. Its a reach but do you think the Warriors would consider him at No. 7? Josh, San Francisco.Steinmetz: Yes, I think selecting Leonard at No. 7 is a little bit of a reach. However, why should that really matter? Lets say for a moment that the Warriors really like Leonard like him more than John Henson, like him more than Tyler Zeller, like him more than Sullinger, etc.If thats truly the case, then they should go ahead and draft him with the No. 7 pick. And they could, theoretically, do something like that, and call it a day.Theres also the possibility that the Warriors, assuming they like Leonard, could move back a few spots and try to give up the No. 7 pick for a later first-round pick and player.Thats a trickier move, but its the kind of thing savvy front offices pull off.You had Perry Jones III as a lottery pick a week ago in your mock draft, and now hes down at No. 19. Why the drop? Brent, Newark, Calif.Steinmetz: Its no secret that the knock on Jones III is he lacks motivation and he doesnt always play hard. That was a reputation that was out there before workouts.Jones III isnt a perfect player even with a great motor, as they say. And his motor is what everyone questions. The bottom line is that Jones III is a scary pick. Can he handle the competitiveness of the pro game? Can he physically hold up? How hungry is he?There are plenty of other more finished products in this draft than Jones III, and thats important.If youre a team like the Warriors, for example, and youve put so much into this draft pick, it would be quite a risky pick to select a player that some feel may never pan out or who might not have the drive to play in the league.

Spurs beat Grizz, advance to face Rockets in Western Conference semis

Spurs beat Grizz, advance to face Rockets in Western Conference semis

BOX SCORE

MEMPHIS, Tenn -- Kawhi Leonard scored 29 points, and the San Antonio Spurs advanced to the Western Conference semifinals by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 103-96 Thursday night to take the series 4-2.

The Spurs now have beaten Memphis four of the five playoff series between these teams, and this was San Antonio's second straight win over the Grizzlies in the first round.

Tony Parker added 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting, while LaMarcus Aldridge had 17 points and 12 rebounds. Patty Mills had 10 points off the bench for the Spurs. San Antonio outrebounded Memphis 46-28, with 16 of those offensive boards. That led to 17 second-chance points.

Their semifinal with Houston will start Monday night in San Antonio.

Mike Conley scored 26 points, leading the five Memphis starters in double digits. Marc Gasol added 18, Zach Randolph 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Vince Carter had 12 points.

The Grizzlies fell to 3-10 in elimination games, losing six straight.

This was a taut game with 16 ties and nine lead changes, especially with four ties in the fourth quarter.

The Spurs took control after the Grizzlies went up 88-81 on three free throws from Conley with 6:29 left. Then Leonard scored eight straight for San Antonio, starting a 22-8 run to finish the game.

Even with Conley and Gasol a combined 2 of 10 in the first quarter, the Grizzlies trailed only 24-22 after Conley knocked down a 3 at the end of the quarter for his first bucket of the game. Conley hit another 3 for the final shot in the second quarter, putting Memphis up 50-45. The team that led at halftime won each of the first five games.

Parker hit his first six shots before finally missing his seventh with 29 seconds left in the first half.

The Grizzlies took their biggest lead at 57-47 on a 3-pointer by James Ennis III. That gave Memphis as many made 3s (9 of 17) as the Spurs had attempted (3 of 9) at that point. Randolph's layup with 7:19 left matched that 10-point lead at 63-53.

Then the Spurs went on a 13-3 run over a 4-minute span to erase that lead on Aldridge's three-point play at 67-66. Aldridge finished with nine points in helping the Spurs lead 75-74 at the end of the quarter.

TIP-INS

Spurs: They improved to 36-15 with a chance to clinch a series under coach Gregg Popovich, who took over in the 1996-97 season. ... Manu Ginobili converted a four-point play with 1:31 left in the third, putting the Spurs up 73-69. ... The Spurs wound up tying the Grizzlies' reserves with 16 points thanks to Mills.

Grizzlies: The Grizzlies set a franchise record hitting eight 3-pointers in the first half, topping the previous mark of seven in the second half May 1, 2005, against Phoenix. ... Conley has 20 or more points in five straight playoff games, the longest such streak in franchise history.

FREE THROW WATCH

Memphis coach David Fizdale earned a $30,000 fine from the NBA for his "Take that for data" rant about the free throw discrepancy in Game 2. Well, Leonard was 9 of 10 at the free throw line through three quarters compared to the Grizzlies' 7 of 8. The Spurs were 18 of 20 through three quarters. The Spurs finished 22 of 25 compared to 20 of 24 for Memphis.

Warriors GM Myers 'very, very confident' Kerr will return to coaching

Warriors GM Myers 'very, very confident' Kerr will return to coaching

Steve Kerr did not coach in Game 3 or Game 4 against the Blazers and is out indefinitely.

On Thursday, Warriors GM Bob Myers spoke with Jim Rome about Kerr's situation.

“What he’s going through right now is not a product of stress, it’s not a product of coaching, it’s more a physical issue that will be solved," Myers started. "When it will be solved, no one can say. But it is solvable, it’s fixable and like I said, he’s going to coach, but right now he just can’t.

"There’s some things that need to be corrected. But I think he’ll get back. I’m very very confident he will be back coaching, I just can’t say when.”

Kerr was not at practice on Wednesday and is consulting with specialists at Stanford this week.

Kerr is finishing up Year 3 of the five-year deal he signed back in May 2014.

"I think this guy is going to coach for a long time, because he thoroughly enjoys it," Myers said. "He really loves the game, and he is a great teacher. And you’ve had him on, I’m sure you’ve met him and talked to him. It’s one thing to know the game, but he has the ability to communicate it and our players clearly respond.

"So I can see that’s why a question you’d ask I totally get it and other people have asked but no I think he’s going to be in this game for a long time, we just have to get him back healthy now.”

The Warriors' next practice and media availability is on Friday.

The next series against the Jazz or Clippers will start on either Sunday or Tuesday.