In wake of Ellis-Bogut trade, some key issues

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In wake of Ellis-Bogut trade, some key issues

All right, the Warriors trade of Monta Ellis, Ekpe Udoh andKwame Brown to the Bucks for Andrew Bogut and Stephen Jackson is sinking in.And there are a lot of angles to examine.

NEWS: Warriors send Monta to Bucks
Here are some issues that come to mind:Crunch-time and halfcourt scoring: Thereis a school of thought regarding the Warriors, in general, that scoring is theleast of their issues. Ive disagreed with that in the past and stilldo.
Yes, the Warriors have been a high-scoring team, but in thehalfcourt and late in games they are not efficient or effective for the mostpart. Quite frankly, there have been plenty of times when the Warriors offensebogged down, and Ellis was able to bail them out by making a shot.The Warriors moved the only player on their roster capable of creating his ownshot, and that will have a tangible effect. Who will score the big points forthe Warriors? Who will get them tough buckets down the stretch ofgames?Its easy to criticize Ellis failures on late-gamepossessions, but the reality is that neither David Lee nor Stephen Curry hasshown aggressiveness offensively when the game is on the line.Maybe they will step up in Ellis absence, but that iscertainly not a given. The Warriors are going to need to establish a completelynew offensive identity, now that theyve lost their long-time leading scorerand it wont be easy.Boguts health: Lets face it, if Bogutdoesnt return to 100 percent this trade will have been a disaster. He brokehis ankle earlier this season, and last season he sustained a serious elbowinjury.If Bogut returns next season and resembles the old Bogut,then the Warriors will have found a center theyve been looking at for years.When Bogut is at his best, he excels at rebounding, shot-blocking and passing and he also can score a little bit.Lee and Bogut could become the best passing powerforwardcenter combination in the league. But it all depends on Boguts health.The Warriors are going to need at least 65 games out of Bogut in each of thenext two seasons. If they dont get that many, theyre in trouble.The rest of this season: Its obvious thatowner Joe Lacob and his front office made this trade because they dont believethe Warriors, as constructed, could make a playoff push.Clearly, this years first-round pick was on their minds.Because of a previous trade, if the Warriors earn the No. 1 through No. 7 pickin the draft, they will keep their pick.If they end up with the No. 8 pick or worse, it will beconveyed to Utah. In other words, the Warriors front office no longer caresabout making the playoffs but instead is interested in securing their own draftpick.So, the more the Warriors fall in the standings, the betterthe odds that theyll get to keep their pick.RELATED: NBA standings
But theyve got a long way to go considering theyre No. 11in the NBA right now. Worst-case scenario would be for the Warriors to not makethe playoffs and still lose their pick.Jacksons status: Its obvious theWarriors will try to re-route Jackson to another team before Thursdaysdeadline, but that is going to be extremely difficult.First off, all the players involved in the trade must passphysicals and thats going to take some time. In other words, its possiblethat the Warriors wont have league clearance to make a move involving Jacksonbecause this deal will not have completely cleared.The other thing is that the Warriors cannot aggregateJackson with any other player or salary, meaning they can only trade him andhim only as part of a deal. They may take more than one player back,however.It seems more than plausible that Jackson will remain aWarrior past the deadline and then the team will have to make a decision whatto do with him.

Draymond fully appreciates 'witnessing greatness' of Warriors-Cavs trilogy

Draymond fully appreciates 'witnessing greatness' of Warriors-Cavs trilogy

OAKLAND -- The hoops historian Draymond Green has a message for those with short memories and cynical outlooks.

The NBA is never better than when The Finals have legendary potential, as is the case with the Warriors and Cavaliers, who next week become the first teams to meet three consecutive seasons to determine a champion.

“It’s a great thing for the league, contrary to popular belief,” Green said Friday after Warriors practice.

Warriors-Cavs Part III is, in fact, a fantastic boon for the league. Interest will peak. Ratings will soar. Storylines will cascade down every mountain, knoll and molehill.

“Right now, you’re witnessing greatness -- two great teams, great players,” Green said. “That’s what it is. It probably won’t be appreciated until it’s over. Say we meet again next year? It still won’t be appreciated -- until we don’t meet again and you realize what you had.”

What fans have is history made, with more in the making.

The Warriors enter The Finals after an unprecedented 12-0 start to the playoffs, becoming the first team to complete three four-game sweeps in a single postseason.

Another sweep, and it’s not inconceivable, would make these Warriors the first team in NBA history with a perfect postseason -- give them the distinction of having the best postseason in American sports history.

The Cavaliers enter The Finals after a 12-1 start and, moreover, with the reheated debate over whether LeBron James has a body of work that equals or surpasses that of Michael Jordan. James is one game removed from surpassing Jordan to become No. 1 on the all-time list for playoff scoring and will make his seventh consecutive appearance in The Finals, something Jordan never did.

Though a Cleveland victory would bolster any argument in James’ favor, a Cleveland loss might be enough to close the case in Jordan’s favor insofar as his Bulls reached six NBA Finals and won them all.

Warriors-Cavaliers has the potential to go beyond what most believe to be the most epic of postseason rivals, that being the Magic Johnson and the Lakers versus Larry Bird and the Celtics. They met only three times (1984, ’85 and ’87) but the NBA went a full 10 seasons with one team or the other in The Finals.

Being a student of the game, Green quite likely knows that -- as well as having a complete understanding of the possibilities ahead.

Even if he suspects others may not.

“But you usually don’t appreciate something until you don’t have it any more,” he said. “Maybe there’s just a lack of appreciation for greatness. When you look at the situation, most people have never reached greatness. So, maybe there’s just not an understanding of what you’re watching.

“I appreciate it. I’m happy we’ve been able to steam-roll people, and I love the fact that they’ve been able to steam-roll people. I just love great things. And I think right now we’ve found two great teams.”

Ayesha Curry shows off rap skills with Steph and E-40 on stage

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AP

Ayesha Curry shows off rap skills with Steph and E-40 on stage

Steph Curry has earned the nickname "Chef Curry" but his wife Ayesha is the real cook of the family.

Ayesha has paved her own path as a successful cook and was brought to BottleRock in Napa for a demonstration. As Steph and rapper E-40 joined her on stage, Ayesha took one of out of E-40's book and did her own remix of Drake's "Energy." 

In this version, Ayesha rapped about what she knows best -- recipes. 

All hyped up, Ayesha dropped the mic to the delight of Steph and E-40 himself.