Warriors

Warriors focus: Jarrett Jack

884337.jpg

Warriors focus: Jarrett Jack

EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the sixth installment in a seven-part series that spotlights the seven new Warriors.
Part 1: Harrison BarnesPart 2: Kent Bazemore
Part 3: Andrew Bogut
Part 4: Festus Ezeli
Part 5: Draymond Green

Of all the moves the Warriors have made in the past six months, you could argue that trading for Jarrett Jack was the most necessary of them all. With Stephen Curry coming off an injury-plagued 2011-12, it was mandatory that the Warriors go out and get some insurance at that position and thats what they did by acquiring Jack for Dorell Wright this offseason.For a while this summer, it didnt seem like acquiring a point guard was a priority for the Warriors as they appeared to show little interest in free agents such as Andre Miller, Kirk Hinrich and Jason Kidd.But rather than find a point guard in free agency, which most expected, the Warriors moved Wright to Philadelphia and acquired Jack from New Orleans as part of a three-team trade.In addition to upgrading the point guard spot, the move also balanced out the roster some. Small forward, the position Wright plays, isnt exactly an area of need.Jack was brought here to back up Curry, no doubt about it. And who could fault that?Curry played in just 26 games last year because of ankle issues, and if the ankle starts acting up again this season the Warriors will have a competent veteran player behind him.And if Curry does stay healthy, then having Jack gives them a quality backcourt player coming off the bench. Jack is a versatile guard, capable of playing both backcourt positions and he also possesses toughness and veteran know-how. Over the course of his career, Jack has started 249 of 532 games so the assumption is that if Curry gets hurt Jack will step in.Jack is probably more of a combination guard than true point guard, but hes the closest thing to a traditional point guard the Warriors have. Jack played almost exclusively at point guard last season for the Hornets, pairing in the backcourt with former Warrior Marco Belinelli.Jack averaged a career-high 6.3 assists in 2011-12. He also had a couple of big games against Golden State last season, including a triple-double in which he finished with 17 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and zero turnovers.What makes Jack a good fit for the Warriors is his ability to play both guard spots. That will allow him to play alongside either Curry or Klay Thompson, the Warriors projected starting backcourt.RELATED: Who subs for Klay Thompson?
Having Jack should also allow Curry to play some shooting guard, taking advantage of Currys ability to move without the ball and come off screens.Jack averaged 34 minutes per game last season for the Hornets, but its tough to see him getting that many for the Warriors in 2011-12 not if the team is essentially healthy.Ideally, Jack would play somewhere in the mid-20s minutes-range, but with Jack its not so much how many minutes he plays as when he plays. Its not hard to see him logging his share of crunch-time minutes.Jack is a better defender than either Curry or Thompson, and on top of it, hes often able to defend either backcourt position. Hes a steady presence late in games and a solid decision maker. Like Curry and Thompson, Jack is an excellent free-throw shooter.Hes also just one of six players on the roster with any kind of playoff experience. If theres one thing Jack has proven over the course of his career, its that hell find a way to get playing time. Thats not going to change with the Warriors.

Kevin Durant crushes hopes and dreams of Knicks fans everywhere

durant-porzingas-ap.jpg
AP

Kevin Durant crushes hopes and dreams of Knicks fans everywhere

Kevin Durant's summer of court dedications continued recently with a stop in New York City.

After christening a new court at the East Side Community High School in Manhattan, Durant stopped by the House of Hoops in Harlem.

Durant documented the whole trip in a YouTube video post on Tuesday.

While Durant was taking a photo with attendees, a hopeful Knicks fan had a question for the NBA Finals MVP.

"Yo, when are you coming to the Knicks, man?" the fan asked.

"Never," Durant said loudly with a smile on his face.

The Washington, D.C. native took another shot at New York City during the visit.

"NYC, the so-called Mecca of basketball. I'll say it's second in line Mecca of basketball next to Washington, D.C. But I still got love for NYC," Durant said.

Durant and the Warriors make their lone trip to Madison Square Garden to face the Knicks on Feb. 26, 2018.

Durant boasts second best odds to capture 2017-18 MVP award

durant-kevin-curry-steph-laughs.jpg
AP

Durant boasts second best odds to capture 2017-18 MVP award

The 2017-18 NBA season doesn't officially start until Oct. 17, but it's never too early to look at the MVP odds.

Russell Westbrook -- who won the award last year -- is the leader in the clubhouse (7/2), according to Bovada.

Kevin Durant -- the 2017 NBA Finals MVP -- is right on his heels with 9/2 odds.

Kawhi Leonard (13/2), LeBron James (15/2) and James Harden (8/1) round out the Top 5.

Ummmmm, Steph Curry?

[RELATED: Dahntay Jones: Steph Curry not a Top 10 player in NBA]

He checks in at No. 7 with 11/1 odds.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is sixth (17/2).

Draymond Green (60/1) has the 21st best odds.

Klay Thompson was not listed.

Last year, Curry finished in sixth place in the MVP voting -- three third-place votes, one fourth-place vote and 34 fifth-place votes.

Durant received two fifth-place votes.

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