Warriors' Thompson sets sophomore season goal


Warriors' Thompson sets sophomore season goal

OAKLAND -- For a rookie, Klay Thompson got up a lot of shotslast season. Heck, for a veteran Thompson got up a lot of shots.Thompson found himself the recipient of plenty of playingtime and plenty of offensive freedom after the Warriors traded Monta Ellis lastseason to the Milwaukee Bucks.Thompson became the teams starting shooting guard, but evenmore important, he was the starting shooting guard on a team that had been hithard by injuries.So he got to take plenty of shots. Question is will he getas many if everybodys healthy?Warriors coach Mark Jackson thinks he just might.There are certain guys that just get their looks, Jacksonsaid after Thursdays practice. You cant explain it. There are certain guysthat if you just put them out there on the floor and dont run anything forthem theyre still going to get their shot attempts. And there are certain guysthat if you run stuff for them, theyre not going to get their shotattempts.Hes a traditional shooting guard, a knock-down shooter.That ball is going to find him and hes going to be in position where hesgoing to get his shots.Thompson averaged 11 shots per game last season in just24-plus minutes per game. But after Ellis was traded, Thompsons playing timewent up and so did his attempts.Thompson took 20 or more shots seven times in the last fiveweeks of the season, and only in one of those games did he make more than halfof those attempts.Thompson shot 44.3 percent from the field and 41.4 percentfrom 3-point range.But he believes he can be more efficient this season, andthats what hes looking to do most.I definitely see my role changing, Thompson said. Imworking with (the starting unit). I should have a lot more responsibility on myshoulders, which I welcome. I just love my role now and I cant wait to startplaying games and seeing what I can do.Hopefully with my work over the summer, I can be moreefficient. I think Im going to get more open looks because we have more postplayers now and there are so many perimeter scorers.NOTES: Warriors center Andrew Bogut hasbeen increasing his workload, and on Thursday he did a lot of running and drillwork after practice. Bogut is still hoping to play on opening night. RookieDraymond Green was held out of practice again because of left kneeinflammation. Jackson said hes not close to deciding who will win the smallforward job, but its going to go to the player that makes the team better. The Warriors first preseason game is on Sunday against the L.A. Lakers inFresno. ... The Warriors had double sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and a single practice on Thursday. Jackson is giving the team a day off on Friday.

Over next few days, Steve Kerr's doctors have one goal to achieve

Over next few days, Steve Kerr's doctors have one goal to achieve

PORTLAND -- After a full week of sheer agony, Steve Kerr walked out of Moda Center late Monday night with hardly a bounce in his step but at least a modicum of hope in his heart.

That’s the power of the Warriors coach feeling optimistic about his future health if not his present condition.

The Warriors had swept the Trail Blazers out of the postseason, yes, but Kerr’s immediate concerns are more about life than basketball. This is a man on a desperate mission to end his chronic misery.

In the 19 months since undergoing two back surgeries in the summer of 2015, Kerr has wondered if relief ever would come. It has not. And now, suddenly, he feels it might. Maybe.

Since Kerr announced his decision Sunday to step away from basketball to focus on his health, the calls and e-mails have come flooding in. People want to help. Some have remedies. Some speak of herbs that might alleviate some of his suffering.

Kerr is willing to listen. He has long reached the point where he feels he has nothing to lose by listening to anything reasonable and considering anything that might help.

[POOLE: This is cruel: Steve Kerr imprisoned by misery that has engulfed his body]

He revealed to NBCSportsBayArea.com that in recent days he has spoken to several people who have experienced the debilitating effects of a cerebrospinal fluid leak and been able to overcome it. He says that because his symptoms have intensified over the past week, in an odd twist, that may make it easier for specialists to trace the precise source.

“That’s what the next few days are all about,” Kerr said, standing down the hallway from the visitor’s locker room. “They’re trying to find it. If they can find it, they can fix it.”

He’ll begin in the coming days by consulting with specialists at Stanford Medical Center, which has some of the more respected surgeons in the world.

Though Kerr requested that we not reveal certain elements of what’s ahead, he said he felt somewhat better than had a few days ago. Maybe part of that was hearing the comeback stories of others.

Kerr detailed the story of an NFL executive who experienced much the same painful and lingering after-effects as he did following his second surgery. This executive, who shall not be named, dealt with it for five months before the problem was detected and repaired.

“He’s 100 percent,” Kerr said. “So I’m hopeful. And he’s not the only one.”

Kerr reiterated that his lower back is fine. The surgery actually alleviated that pain, only to bring about something even worse. He conceded there have been moments when he felt there was no hope, that there would be no end to the suffering.

Last week was, in fact, such a period. That’s why he felt it necessary to step away from his coaching duties for an indefinite period, handing things over to assistant coach Mike Brown.

“I had no chance,” he said. “I had been trying everything.”

Kerr felt good enough to address the team after their victory. He was proud of everyone, he said, from coaches to players to staff members, any member of the traveling party.

It’s a start. Hearing Kerr talk of the past few days, as well as the many months before, it all makes sense that he chose to take some time for himself. He had reached a point where walking away from his job was necessary to save his sanity, if not his life.

How could he function and meet the demands of an NBA coach if he barely could function as a human being?

Four takeaways from Warriors' first-round sweep of Blazers

Four takeaways from Warriors' first-round sweep of Blazers

PORTLAND -- Four games, four quarters to each and the Warriors are on to the next round of the postseason.

Here are four things we learned about these Warriors in the wake of their four-game sweep of the Trail Blazers in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs.

IT’S A TEAM THING: The Warriors lost All-Star forward Kevin Durant in Game 1, came back and won Game 2. They lost head coach Steve Kerr before Game 3, went out and fashioned one of the biggest comebacks in franchise postseason history. They are constructed in such a way that the collective is strong enough to overcome the loss of one man. They won this series in a walk despite being shorthanded for the last three games and without their head coach for the last two. This team and this staff are bigger than any individual.

JAVALE McGEE MATTERS: By last Sept. 16 the summer was all but gone and every coveted player NBA player had been accounted for. That’s when the Warriors signed McGee with the hope that he could provide some length and athleticism on the block, if only for a few minutes a night -- and, surely, some nights not at all. McGee was the last man to make the team, and here he was dominating a Trail Blazers team that, to be fair, lacked a healthy center. He was special in this series, and what he provides will be needed as the Warriors move forward.

DRAYMOND’S VALUE IS BEYOND MEASURE: There were so many examples during the regular season that illustrated Draymond Green’s significance to the Warriors. He topped them all in this series. He defended, at some point, every member of the Portland team. He rebounded. He made 3-pointers. He blocked 17 shots. The Blazers tried him early but quickly become discouraged at attacking whenever he was on the court. He disrupted their offense in more ways than they could have imagined. As a bonus, he avoided notable run-ins with officials.

SPLASHING NOT NEEDED: Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were fabulous in the second half of Game 3 and Curry stood out in Game 4. But by the time the Splash Brothers found their offensive groove, the Warriors were up 2-0 in the series and rallying behind their defense en route to taking Game 3. The battle of the backcourts, logically deemed a critical factor in this series, was a virtual statistical standoff. Curry/Thompson combined for 192 points, while Damian Lillard 111 and CJ McCollum totaled 201. If it’s the numbers are that close, the Warriors will win every series, and probably sweep.