Steinmetz: West sees W's potential, seeks size

163518.jpg

Steinmetz: West sees W's potential, seeks size

May 24, 2011STEINMETZ ARCHIVEWARRIORS PAGE WARRIORS VIDEOMatt SteinmetzCSNBayArea.com

SAN FRANCISCO -- Let's be honest, it's nice and all that Jerry West is going to have a variety of duties with the Warriors -- including some marketing, sponsorship and public relations stuff. But all most people care about is this: Are the Warriors going to be any better of a basketball team now?Well, of course, that remains to be seen. But at West's introductory press conference on Tuesday morning, we got our first indications of what he thinks of the Warriors, their personnel and what they have to do to become a factor.The Warriors have missed the playoffs for the past four seasons, and 16 of the past 17 years overall. And yet West, who has been a part of the NBA for six different decades of basketball, doesn't believe things are desperate.RELATED: West sees 'great opportunity' to grow Warriors
"I think I see the needs of this team," said West, whose Lakers teams won six NBA championships while he was general manager. "To me they're kind of definite. It's not always possible to do something overnight. But they don't have to do a lot here, in my opinion, to make the playoffs. That's the first step."And the definite need: "I think they need more size," West said.No surprise there. Yes, that means the backcourt and frontcourt. West was asked what he thought of the Warriors' backcourt of Stephen Curry and Monta Ellis and whether that undersized combination can be successful."They're two terrific young players, they are," West said. "Watching Monta Ellis is like watching a blur. He's really competitive. I like tough-minded players. Obviously, you'd like to have more size back there. I think those are areas you can address. I look at that backcourt and it's not a lot of fun to play them in a open game, I know that."STEINMETZ: Playoffs show Warriors short on size
And the interior?"I say size -- that would be up front," West said. "How can you get somebody in there who will be more consistent than the players they have here? They have young, attractive players that there's promise for. But those are the areas I think you have to look at and say: 'The best risk-takers do the best.'"West seems to be in agreement with owner Joe Lacob and general manager Larry Riley when it comes to Curry and Ellis -- that they're the key pieces and the strength of the team.In fact, West even went a little further, suggesting a backcourt of Curry and Ellis might be able to thrive in the playoffs. Conventional wisdom has that backcourt being too weak defensively for the Warriors to ever become successful. West doesn't seem so sure."If you watch the playoff games, the difference in playoff games is you can't run an offense," West said. "You cannot run an offense. You need people who can create off the dribble, and both those kids can do it. And they are kids. I think you'll see them grow together, but again you would like more size."But not necessarily a big-time scorer. A role player might suffice."I'm not a big statistics person," West said. "I'm not. I really believe that when you look at a player, the way I value a player ... Is he versatile? I like more versatile players. Somebody gets hurt, a coach can put someone else in different positions. But you cannot measure what's inside."

Curry blames weatherman for career-worst 0-for-11 from 3-point range

Curry blames weatherman for career-worst 0-for-11 from 3-point range

In the wake of a 119-108 Warriors win over the 76ers Monday night in Philadelphia, Stephen Curry had a ready explanation for his 0-of-11 shooting 3-point distance.

He didn’t properly account for the change in weather.

“The weatherman said it’s like a low-pressure system that was coming in (and) I forgot to adjust to the thickness of the air,” he told reporters at Wells Fargo Center.

Curry’s comment may open to interpretation, but it was clear his sense of humor remained intact even after a career-worst shooting night beyond the arc.

He wasn’t the only Warrior finding it difficult to score from deep. Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green combined to go 5-of-20. The Warriors were 6-of-29 from deep, their second-lowest total of the season.

“It’s weird,” he said. “Not to discredit anything they did. The first half we had a lot of open looks that didn’t go in. Klay made a couple down the stretch. KD made one. Draymond made one from the corner.

“Other than that we still took really good shots that didn’t go in. But for us to still have moxie to withstand that and still pretty much have the lead the whole game and allow our defense to get us a win tonight was kind of our M.O.”

Given that Curry owns the single-game record for triples (13) as well as the single-season record (402), it was most alarming that he couldn’t find at least one. And he had opportunities.

“It happens but you have to try and find other ways to impact the game,” he said. “I was trying to get to the paint a little bit more and just try to make plays. One thing is I don’t get down on myself. Obviously, that’s why I got 11 of them up. I still have confidence the next one is going in and that will stay the same tomorrow.”

The Warriors face the Wizards Tuesday in Washington. In Curry’s last appearance at the Verizon Center, last Feb. 3, he went for 51 points. He was 11-of-15 from deep.

“What I love about Steph is he went 0-11 tonight from three but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at his face,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He never loses confidence; he never hangs his head. It is a sign of a guy with ultimate confidence in his ability and the awareness that it is one of those nights.

“He is likely to come out tomorrow and make about seven in a row at some point. So that’s what I love about Steph. He keeps playing.”

 

Draymond hits personal reset button, sets tone in win over 76ers

Draymond hits personal reset button, sets tone in win over 76ers

In the hours before tipoff Monday night, Warriors coach Steve Kerr fielded questions about Draymond Green, who not only played well beneath his standard in the previous game but also exhibited a couple flashes of temper, including one directed at Kerr.

“He had one of those nights; it just wasn’t his night,” Kerr told reporters in Philadelphia. “Things didn’t go his way. He was frustrated. I’m very confident that tonight he’ll bounce back.”

Yes, he did. One game after allowing his emotions to undermine the best of his game, Green pushed his personal reset button and drove the Warriors to 119-108 victory over the 76ers.

It was a rather predictable performance insofar as Green generally responds to poor games by making a statement of his strength.Or, should we say, strengths.

Though the numbers -- 14 points, 11 assists, six rebounds, five steals, a plus-22 over 37 minutes -- tell a significant story, Green’s impact, as usual, extended beyond statistics. He set a strong positive tone, and when he does that it can offset subpar performances by his teammates.

“We’ve got a lot of guys who can play,” Kerr said afterward. “So on a night like tonight, where Steph (Curry) doesn’t have it going, we’ve got plenty of other guys who can score and make plays and a lot of them came through.

“I thought Draymond was really the player of the game. He just brought incredible energy and set a good tone right from the beginning of the game.”

On a night when Stephen Curry’s shot abandoned him (0-of-11 from deep, 7-of-23 overall), Green scrambled to provide whatever was needed, when it was needed. He was particularly adept at setting his teammates, as evidenced by his game-high assists total.

“One guy can’t do it every night,” Green told reporters. “Two guys can’t do it every night. Sometimes, it’s got to be a complete team effort. Tonight, it was that.”

The Warriors shot 41.7 percent through the first three quarters and 44.9 for the game. The Sixers battled them to a virtual standoff on the glass. The Warriors got by mostly with free throws (33-of-39) and Green’s effort and smarts.

That Green is a difference-maker in unconventional ways, often beyond the box score, is what makes him unique.

And it’s what makes it easier to cope with those nights when he’s as much of a headache to his team as the opponent, as was the case Saturday, when was 1-of-10 from the field, had more turnovers (three) than assists (two) unleashed some frustrations.

“Draymond’s value to us is his defense and rebounding and basketball IQ and intensity,” Kerr said before the game. “His shot is going to come and go. He’s going to have games where he makes some threes. He’s going to have games where he doesn’t. But it really doesn’t matter to me. What matters to me is everything else that he does for us. That’s where his real value comes in.”

Kerr clearly was confident that Green would revert to being his customary self. Green can create waves, which result in turbulence along the journey, but on the vast majority of occasions, he’s there for his teammates and his coaches.