Take the pressure off Curry and Thompson


Take the pressure off Curry and Thompson

If you had to rank these items from most important to least important as far as Warriors needs, how would it look? Backcourt depth, overall athleticism, size and rebounding. Kaleo, Bay Area.
Steinmetz: I would put equal importance on a backup point guard and a backup big man. The Warriors need a competent and proven player to play behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and I just dont think theres any way around that.
The Warriors also need a competent and proven player behind Andrew Bogut and David Lee. As far as athleticism, youre right there, too. But perhaps that can be addressed with one or both of those spots.
As Ive written before I think the Warriors need to acquire a guard who can play 20-25 minutes a game because it would take pressure off Curry and Thompson.RELATED: Bringing in point guard a must for the Warriors

Curry is coming off injury and Thompson will be entering Year 2. As for the up front position, it would be great if the Warriors could somehow find a guy like Ekpe Udoh, whom they traded for Bogut in the deal with Milwaukee.
Do you think Andre Iguodala or Danny Granger are realistic options for the Warriors? Rick, Bay Area.
Steinmetz: I think those guys were more realistic last year when the Warriors still had Monta Ellis to dangle. I think both of those players would be a good fit for the Warriors. Question is: What does it take to get them?
Ive got to believe the Warriors have no interest in trading Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee or Andrew Bogut because the Warriors are going forward with that core at this point.
Do the Warriors have enough besides that? Well, certainly theyd have to part with the No. 7 pick and then probably their best player outside of those four. Who is it? Richard Jefferson? Dorell Wright? Neither Brandon Rush nor Dominic McGuire is under contract.RELATED: Seven who might be available at No. 7

So, I dont know if theres a deal there. Heres the other thing: Were talking about two teams that advanced past the first round of the playoffs this past season.
And were talking about two players who were key guys on those teams. Youre going to have to put together something of value to pry one of those players and Im not sure the Warriors have it without parting with someone they dont want to part with.
What do you think about Raymond Felton as a possible additional point guard? Andrew, San Francisco.
Steinmetz: Im not a huge Raymond Felton fan, but Id sure like him more if he were a backup. But I dont think hes ready to be a backup at this point, so I see him as a little unrealistic for the Warriors.
The other thing in a perfect world, that third guard the Warriors would bring in would have some size more like an Andre Miller or Jason Kidd type.
The Warriors are going to need the guard they acquire to defend both guard spots, and thats something Felton cant do. I just dont see Felton as a good fit here.
Talking about a Curry-Thompson backcourt, is it really that much different than a Curry-Ellis backcourt? Sure, Thompson has a bit more size than Ellis, but he didnt exactly prove himself as a defensive stud last year. Consider that and the fact that both Curry and Thompson focus more on the perimeter game, as opposed to scoring in the paint, and do you really have the potential for improvement in the starting 1-2 pairing? Amit, San Jose.
Steinmetz: You bring up a great point about Ellis ability to drive and score at the rim and how Thompson doesnt have that yet. Youre absolutely right. The Warriors could become even more perimeter-oriented next year because of that.
I think the Warriors wanted to get out of the cycle of a team with Monta Ellis taking 20-25 shots a game and trying to win that way. They dont wantneed Thompson to be Ellis, because the Warriors believe everyone else will be able to flourish more without Ellis.
I think the Warriors realize they might have gotten worse in the backcourt with the trade, but in theory they got a lot better up front, too. And I think the Warriors believe it was more important to get better up front.
I do think, however, things have changed overnight for the Warriors. They are now better up front with Lee and Bogut than they are in the backcourt with Curry and Thompson.
Its always been the other way around for the Warriors at least recently.

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors

Spurs destroy Cavs by 29, back within two of Warriors


SAN ANTONIO -- Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs dismantled the ailing Cleveland Cavaliers 103-74 on Monday night in a showdown that turned into a major letdown for the defending NBA champions.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol added 14 points apiece for the Spurs, who won their fifth straight.

Cleveland (47-26) dropped its second in a row, set a season low for points and fell a half-game behind Boston (48-26) for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Cavaliers star LeBron James was injured late in the third quarter after taking an elbow to the base of his neck. He remained on the bench for a while receiving medical attention, then headed toward the locker room and didn't return to the game.

His status was not immediately known.

Cleveland has been out of sync recently, losing three of five, and those struggles only got worse against San Antonio. The Spurs led by as many as 33 points to the delight of the sold-out crowd.

San Antonio (57-16) is two games behind Golden State (59-14) for the league's best record entering a home showdown with the Warriors on Wednesday.

Cleveland opted to play its stars rather than sit them for rest, but the trio of James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat out the fourth quarter of its second rout in the past two weeks.

James exited with 25 seconds remaining in the third after taking an elbow to his neck from David Lee on a rebound. James continually rubbed the area before collapsing after he crossed midcourt and remained on the floor for about a minute before walking unassisted to the bench. He left for the locker room early in the fourth quarter during a timeout.

James finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in 29 minutes.

The Spurs held the Cavaliers scoreless for three minutes after San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was issued a technical foul during a timeout with 6:38 remaining in the first half.

Leonard hit a right-handed runner as the second quarter closed to give the Spurs a 64-40 lead.

Cavaliers: Cleveland completed its schedule against the West, finishing 16-14. In addition to losing to the Spurs by 29 points, the Cavaliers lost by 35 to Golden State and 30 to the Los Angeles Clippers. . Cleveland F Kyle Korver missed his third straight game with a sore left foot, and the team plans to sit him for several games to see if rest and treatment helps. Korver will sit out Thursday in Chicago and Friday at home against Philadelphia before being re-evaluated, a team spokesman said. The shooting specialist missed seven games earlier this month with an inflamed tendon in his foot. . G Iman Shumpert missed his second consecutive game with a sore right knee. . James needs 24 points to pass Shaquille O'Neal for seventh overall in career scoring. O'Neal has 28,596 career points. . The Cavaliers averaged 116.3 points in their previous four games.

Spurs: San Antonio is holding its opponents to an average of less than 100 points for the 22nd straight season. . Danny Green tied his season high with four blocked shots. . Leonard has scored in double figures in 100 straight games.

Cavaliers: At the Chicago Bulls on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

Iguodala making loud free agency case to Warriors in Durant's absence

OAKLAND -- It was with impeccable timing, for the Warriors and for Andre Iguodala, that he has spent recent weeks summoning all the best parts of his game.

He has been a disruptive force on defense, as usual, but at a time when the Warriors needed something extra at both ends of the court, he is providing an abundance of offensive electricity.

Iguodala came through once more on Sunday as the Warriors suffocated Memphis in the fourth quarter to take a 106-94 win at Oracle Arena. Though the team’s Sixth Man again scored at an efficient clip -- 20 points on eight shot attempts -- his ability to energize teammates from Stephen Curry to Draymond Green to Klay Thompson and beyond is no less significant.

“We feed off his energy when we see him get a rebound or get a steal, push up the court, make a crazy inside-out dribble and finish at the rim, knock down threes or play-make for other guys,” Curry said. “It’s fun to watch.”

Iguodala’s rise has coincided with the loss of Kevin Durant, the team’s leading scorer and someone who plays the same position. With Durant out, Iguodala has taken on additional playing time, which can be risky for someone in his 13th season.

“He’s been fantastic,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He looks incredibly athletic, bouncy and fresh. He’s a pro. The guy just knows how to take care of his body. He’s done a great job of stepping up in KD’s absence and recognizing what we need from him.”

The Warriors have played 13 games since Durant went down with a knee injury, and Iguodala has played in 11 of them, shooting 44 percent from deep and 61.8 percent overall. The man who shot 62.3 percent from the line in his first three seasons as a Warrior is at 70.1 percent this season. Leadership also is part of the package.

“I try to read (what’s needed) when I get into the game,” Iguodala said. “Try to bring that energy. And, more than anything, lead by example. Not say too much. Just show it.”

When Iguodala is sprinting up and down the court, rising and dunking on one end, stripping balls away on the other, the Warriors are appreciably better team. If the Curry-Durant-Green-Thompson foursome is the engine, Iguodala is the turbo boost.

“We’re a completely different team when he’s as aggressive as he’s been of late,” Green said. “When he’s moving the way he’s been moving -- he’s beating everybody down the floor -- it makes us a completely different team. “

Igoudala’s minutes have spiked, from 23 per game in November, to 26 in December, to 27 in January and February, to almost 29 in March.

“I don’t want to run his minutes up too much,” Kerr said. “But if he has to play a couple extra minutes while KD is out, then that’s fine.”

It’s fine with Iguodala and it’s paying off for the Warriors.

Iguodala hopes it pays off, literally, when he becomes a free agent in July.

Though free agents entering their 14th season don’t often command big money, he is making a very impressive audition for the Warriors or any team that might be interested in his services.

Iguodala has made it clear he’d prefer to stay in the Bay Area, and at this rate the Warriors may have to find the necessary coins to bring him back.