Warriors draft look: Shooting guards

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Warriors draft look: Shooting guards

The Warriors headinto Thursdays NBA draft with four selections: The No. 7 pick, the No. 30pick, the No. 35 pick and the No. 52 pick. While the Warriors would seem tohave four positions pretty much set point guard, shooting guard, powerforward and center the reality is that they could go in any direction comedraft day.

STEINMETZ: NBA mock draft 3.0
Leading up toThursday, well rank the top players at each position, and see whether or notthey could fit into the Warriors draft plans.SHOOTINGGUARDSBrad Beal, Florida,6-3, 207 pounds: From Day 1, Beal has been considered the bestshooting guard in the NBA draft, and hell take that mantle all the way toThursday. He may never be a star, but most NBA executives believe hell be asolid starter for much of his career.Warriorsangle: Quite frankly, there doesnt seem to be one. Beal never workedout for the Warriors, and he likely wont be there when they draft at No.7.DionWaiters, Syracuse, 6-4, 210 pounds: Waiters very well may be thetoughest player in the draft, someone who is not afraid to be aggressive andmake some mistakes along the way.Hes certainly moreof a shooting guard than a point guard, though he can play some point. Thething about Waiters is this: Hes not a perfect player, but the consensus seemsto be hes got a chance to be pretty darn good.Warriorsangle: On the surface, the Warriors wouldnt seem to have a lot ofinterest in Waiters. Hes not a true point guard which they need andtheyve made it abundantly clear that Klay Thompson is their man at thetwo.But if you look alittle deeper, you could make a case for Waiters. More importantly, the Warriorscould, too. The Warriors certainly need toughness, and he would bring some ofthat.And even if Waitersstrength isnt the point, he wont have to play a lot of it because StephenCurry will get most of the minutes there. No doubt, Waiters would be a surprisepick but it wouldnt be completely shocking or out of the blue.JeremyLamb, Connecticut, 6-5, 180 pounds: When it comes to sheer talent andability, some believe Lamb is right up there with Beal. And as far as upsidesgo, Lambs is pretty high.But theres thatlittle question about his toughness and whether or not hell be able to adjustto the physicality of the league. If Lamb can, hes got a chance to be prettygood.Warriorsangle: Lamb didnt work out for the Warriors, and nobody seems tothink hell end up in Golden State even though hell likely be there whenthey draft.The probablethinking on Lamb is that he pretty much plays just one position and thats Thompsonsspot. The fact Lamb is a shooting guard and shooting guard only likely meansthe Warriors will pass.TerrenceRoss, Washington, 6-6, 195 pounds: Theres a lot to like about Ross.Hes got NBA size and strength and hes already a pretty good shooter andgetting better.Hes also one of thebest rebounding guards in the draft, averaging more than six per game for theHuskies this past season.Warriorsangle: There are suggestions that there is an unknown team or two inthe top-10 that covets Ross. So, naturally, the Warriors come to mind, sincetheyre picking No. 7.But Ross would be aproblematic pick not unlike Lamb because his best position is smallforward. Ross might be able to play some three in time, but probably notconsistently.It just seems liketheres too much overlap there with Thompson. If the Warriors go small, youvegot to believe the small player they take can probably play a little of bothguard spots.AustinRivers, Duke, 6-4, 200 pounds; Those who like Rivers talk about hisbasketball IQ and his pedigree (hes the son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers). Buthe has his detractors, and theyll tell you hes an undersized two and a volumeshooter, to boot.One thing is clearwith Rivers: Hes got room for growth.Warriorsangle: It doesnt seem to make any sense for the Warriors to beinterested in an undersized shooting guard. Then again, Rivers could impact theWarriors in an indirect way.If the Blazers takeRivers at No. 6, the Warriors would no doubt love that, as it would mean apreviously un-slipped player had just slipped to Golden State.

LeBron goes off after latest loss: Cavs 'not better than last year'

LeBron goes off after latest loss: Cavs 'not better than last year'

CLEVELAND -- LeBron James has alluded to flaws with Cleveland's roster all season.

He got much more detailed about the cracks and crevices in the NBA champions after their fifth loss in seven games.

James urged the team's front office to do more after a 124-122 loss Monday night to the New Orleans Pelicans, who were missing star forward Anthony Davis.

"We're not better than last year, from a personnel standpoint," he said. "We're a top-heavy team. ... I just hope we're not satisfied as an organization."

On Tuesday, James went on Twitter to explain that his comments weren't directed at Cavs general manager David Griffin or Cleveland's coaching staff.

"I not mad or upset at management cause Griff and staff have done a great job, I just feel we still need to improve in order to repeat..." James tweeted. "If that's what we wanna do."

After speaking to a larger group of reporters on Monday night, James saved his most biting comments for Cleveland's traveling beat writers.

The Cavs haven't played well for weeks, and James felt the need to unload.

"It's been a (lousy) 2017 so far," he said.

His biggest issue is with the current makeup of the Cavs, who have been hurt most by allowing backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova to leave as a free agent and injuries to forward Chris Andersen and guard J.R. Smith. James watched the Golden State Warriors retool after losing in last year's NBA Finals and feels the Cavs haven't done enough to address their biggest needs.

James said he's expressed his opinions directly to Griffin, who recently obtained Kyle Korver in a trade with Atlanta.

"We need a (expletive) playmaker. I'm not saying you can just go find one, like you can go outside and see trees. I didn't say that," James said.

Griffin has an open roster spot and two small trade exceptions. The trading deadline is Feb. 23 and free agents can be signed until March 1 to be eligible for the playoffs.

Now in his 14th season, James knows his time to win more titles is dwindling.

"I don't know what we got to offer," James said of possible deals. "I just know me, personally. I don't got no time to waste. I'll be 33 in the winter, and I ain't got time to waste."

It remains to be seen whether James' public rant will spark the team. But James also knows that the Cavs will do anything within reason to accommodate him. What King James wants, he usually gets.

Despite their recent slide, the Cavs still have the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Cleveland hosts Sacramento on Wednesday as well as Brooklyn and Oklahoma City later this week.

 

Many reasons behind Warriors' loss in Miami: 'They played harder'

Many reasons behind Warriors' loss in Miami: 'They played harder'

So, what happened to the Warriors in Miami?

They were undone by a combination of factors, from the locale to the challenge of playing on consecutive nights to their tendency to saunter through the first half before unleashing the full force of their talents in the second.

From the poor long-distance shooting to the thrashing they took on the glass.

There also was the absence of Andre Iguodala, sitting on a rest night, and perhaps most of all, Heat guard Dion Waiters performing as if he were Superman.

Each of these was a factor, and the combination of challenges was too much for the Warriors to overcome in a 105-102 loss at American Airlines Arena.

“Tonight was an NBA loss on a Monday, nothing to panic over,” Kevin Durant told reporters in Miami.

“We were just a step slow.”

That they were, at both ends. The offense too often trudged about as if jogging in mud, and the defense lagged along as if affected by fatigue or disinterest.

“Give Miami credit: They played harder,” Klay Thompson said.

The Warriors (38-7) through the first three quarters were outrebounded 37-29 and outshot from 3-point distance -- their specialty -- 37.5 percent to 18.2 percent. If go into the fourth quarter shooting their average (38.7 percent) from deep, they have an eight-point lead.

Instead, they were down four, 77-73, and in need of a comeback on a night when Waiters was a force field against that possibility. He scored a career-high-tying 33 points on 13-of-20 shooting, including 6-of-8 from deep.

“You have to tip your hat to him,” Durant said of his former teammate in Oklahoma City. “He made big shots all night. He was aggressive. He had his jumper going. He didn’t hit the rim tonight; everything went straight in.”

The Warriors were down, 98-88, with less than four minutes to play before embarking on a stirring comeback to tie the game, 102-102, on a Durant dunk with 11.7 seconds left. They came alive, suddenly playing with their hair on fire.

And Waiters, who scored 24 points in the second half, poured water right on top of their heads, draining a 3-pointer with 0.6 seconds to win the game.

“We didn’t have a good effort just trying to execute the first 3[1/2] quarters,” said Stephen Curry, whose 10 rebounds were more than Draymond Green and Durant combined. “You feel like you still have a shot down seven to 10 with six minutes left.

“But when you get down like that on the road and a guy hits some tough shots like Dion did, you have to take that pill and understand we put ourselves in that position to allow those shots to effect the game. He played well, but we didn’t do anything to help ourselves the first 3[1/2] quarters.”

So ended the seven-game win streak during which the Warriors were utterly dominating, beating opponents by an average of 19.4 points per game. The usual culprit, death by turnover, is not to be blamed.

The Warriors committed 14 turnovers, off which the Heat scored 8 points, while scoring 18 points of 15 Miami giveaways.

“It was more a case of not being fully engaged defensively and on edge like we need to be,” coach Steve Kerr said.

In Miami, of all places, the Warriors strayed from their normal routine. They arrived late Sunday afternoon and did not have a shootaround Monday morning. They rested Iguodala. They missed eight free throws and 22 triples.

They found no real rhythm until the final, futile minutes.

“We just have to play from the beginning,” Draymond Green said. “I don’t think we really ever established ourselves in that game. Other than a little at the end, that was it.”

And, still, that might have been enough, if not for Waiters.