Steinmetz: Smart's strong words for Warriors' Curry


Steinmetz: Smart's strong words for Warriors' Curry


OAKLAND -- For seemingly the umpteenth time this season, Warriors coach Keith Smart was asked Wednesday after shootaround about the Stephen Curry-Monta Ellis backcourt.

Thats been a hot topic lately, mostly spurred by owner Joe Lacob, who said recently that nobody on the Warriors is untouchable.

RELATED: Q&A with Warriors owner Joe Lacob

Smart is always diplomatic when talking about Curry and Ellis, making sure to talk of the positives and negatives of both players.

But on Wednesday, Smart seemed to make it clear that he hasnt been crazy with the Currys first half of the season -- and that he hasnt stepped up in Year 2.

Steph I dont know what it is, Smart said, when asked about how the backcourt is evolving. Maybe hes just a late starter. Maybe he just takes 40 games off and then decides to turn it on. We saw this a little bit last year with him.

NEWS: Curry OK to face New Orleans

Smart was referring to Currys slow start at the beginning of last season, his first in the NBA. Smart acknowledged Curry is playing better of late and that some of this seasons struggles likely have been because hes still figuring out all the nuances of becoming a point guard.

I think trying to run the team and doing the things we wanted him to, getting everybody involved, not really looking for his shot -- now I think hes being a bit more aggressive, Smart said. And I think the team wants him to do that and he needs to do that for us.

I think thats happening. Hes still playing even if you look at the numbers from last year, and I just think hes really tried to focus on being that point guard, and running the team and getting guys the ball.

Even the turnovers he was having it was based on trying to make a play for a teammate. Now hes being more aggressive for himself and that will open up things for him, open up lanes for him.

But he and Monta Monta, of course, has been playing at his normal pace and Steph is now moving up. Steph and David are now playing very well. So, thats three guys who are playing well. Weve got to get a couple more guys playing at a high level like those guys."

What's your take? Email Matt and let him know. He may use it in his Mailbag.

John Wall commits to Wizards long term with huge contract extension


John Wall commits to Wizards long term with huge contract extension

The Washington Wizards' long-term future is now a lot clearer, as superstar point guard John Wall agreed to terms on a four-year contract worth $170 million. David Aldridge first reported the news.

Wall, 26, re-ups with the Wizards through the 2022-23 season. By the time it expires he will be 32 years old, meaning the Wizards have locked him up for the majority if not all of his prime.

Wall was able to earn the dollar amount he did in part because of his selection to third team All-NBA for the 2016-17 season. Under the recently installed collective bargaining agreement, honors like All-NBA and Defensive Player of the Year allow players to earn more money on contract extensions.

The Wizards drafted Wall first overall in 2010 out of the University of Kentucky. In his seven NBA seasons since, Wall has blossomed into one of the NBA's best players with career averages of 18.8 points, 9.2 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. He has been an All-Star in each of the past four seasons and is a one-time All-Defensive team selection.


Kevin Love closes Twitter response with 'now go kick some rocks'


Kevin Love closes Twitter response with 'now go kick some rocks'

On Friday afternoon, news broke that Kyrie Irving reportedly requested a trade from the Cavs.

Shortly thereafter, a Twitter account with over 296,000 followers tweeted the following:

[RATTO: Kyrie Irving needs to be traded to one place, and one place only]

A little over an hour later, Kevin Love responded:

On Tuesday night, Irving told Sports Illustrated the Cavs are "in a very peculiar place."

In the weeks between Cleveland's Game 5 loss to the Warriors and the start of free agency, Love was reportedly on the trading block.

The Cavs and GM David Griffin "mutually" parted ways three days before the NBA Draft.

Cleveland is finally finalizing a deal with assistant GM Coby Altman to become the permanent general manager, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

LeBron James can opt out and become a free agent next summer, and there is already speculation about where he may go.

Man. The last six weeks in Cleveland have been wild...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller