What Warriors want from Barnes

815606.jpg

What Warriors want from Barnes

LAS VEGAS -- The Warriors had just completed their evening practice onWednesday night, and reporters started to make their way toward assistant coachPete Myers.But before any questions could be asked of Myers, he had onefor the writers: Howd he look tonight?Pretty good, came a response.The player in question was Warriors rookie Harrison Barnes,who had just gotten done with his most impressive showing as a pro. Sure, itwas only a practice that involved short segments of scrimmaging, but it was thefirst real glimpse of what Barnes may be capable of.Barnes knocked down perimeter shots, got to the rim onoccasion and rebounded well from the small forward spot.Hes good, hes good, said Myers, who is serving as theWarriors summer league head coach. He kind of picks his spots. But I think wecan get him to step up offensively. Hes got ability, no question aboutthat.Truth be told, the Warriors havent been concerned aboutBarnes offensive game. That will take care of itself, the Warriors seem tobelieve.Its on the defensive end where the Warriors want Barnes tofocus, at least for now.Were trying to get him on the right track defensively,Myers said. He can do some things there. I dont know if you saw him take thatcharge (on the perimeter, defending Draymond Green). To me, thats huge getting a young kid taking that step, cutting off a players dribble and taking (the charge). Thats big.Barnes acknowledged that the adjustment on the defensive endfrom college to the pros is significant. Barnes said that with all the newconcepts, schemes and terminology hes learning, hes probably doing morethinking than playing at this point.You have to have a high basketball IQ to play at thislevel, Barnes said. So much goes into each possession defensively,offensively, spacing, timing. You have to be locked in and have good mentaltoughness.Myers said the adjustments Barnes has to make are the normfor first-year players, but hes been encouraged by how quickly Barnes picksthings up.A lot of nights (at North Carolina) he was probably thebest athlete on the floor, Myers said. And he played with a lot of athletesso he could get away with some stuff. Now hes matched up with guys who areequally athletic.Said Barnes: There are a lot of things that are different.For example, the corner 3-point shot. I didnt think about that in college. Wejust treated it like a normal play or shot. But in the NBA thats a veryhigh-percentage shot. There are different coverages on pick and rolls,different post defenses. Its been an adjustment, definitely, at the defensiveend.

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had an All-Star Game for the record books.

And on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he's clearly part of the future and a midcourt lob attempt from James Harden even went in, Davis absolutely stole the show.

He scored 52 points, 10 more than Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record that had stood for 55 years, and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182 on Sunday night — the highest-scoring game in league history.

Davis made 26 shots and took 39, both of those also All-Star records. He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes — which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.

Not this time. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, to the delight of his New Orleans fans.

"It was a lot of fun," Davis said. "My teammates did a great job of looking for me."

Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West — where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East, with 12 dunks in his night. LeBron James scored 23 points to become the first All-Star to eclipse 300 in a career, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 14 assists, and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East.

Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.

And if there is any animus remaining between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. They passed each other the ball and slapped hands in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game's top highlights — a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.

"OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.

Draymond Green called the play "cute," and Westbrook and Durant seemed happy with it as well.

"It was a nice give-and-go, man," Westbrook said. "Good give-and-go. Made a good pass. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go."

Added Durant: "It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high so yeah, good play."

Some fans were shouting "De-Fense!" in the fourth quarter. West center DeAndre Jordan heard them, rising from his seat on the West bench to yell "No, no, no" back in their direction.

If those fans were serious, they were disappointed.

Westbrook scored 12 points — all on 3s — in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.

It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honors, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth.

TIP-INS

East: Irving also led the East in rebounds with seven. ... Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16. ... No East player logged more than 24 minutes.

West: Curry took cover in the third quarter, comically hitting the deck face-first as Antetokounmpo went in for yet another dunk. So later in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went over Curry for a rebound slam — one that left Curry staring at the scoreboard for a replay. ... Kawhi Leonard had a steal and dunk in the opening minute, a defensive display that left West coach Steve Kerr in hysterics.

EMBIID CLOSE

Joel Embiid wanted to be in the All-Star Game, and he was close — literally and figuratively.

The Philadelphia star sat on the edge of the baseline next to the West bench, meaning he got to greet players throughout the night and share a few words with some at halftime.

CELEB WATCH

A huge roar greeted Jon Batiste, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" pregame, when he started the song.

It wasn't for him.

That happened to be the moment when John Legend — the halftime performer — and Chrissy Teigen were shown at their sideline seats on the video screens around the arena. And a louder cheer came not long afterward when Beyonce and Jay Z got on-screen.

Among the other celebs in the seats: Guy Fieri, Dave Chappelle, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and The Roots.

UP NEXT

The next All-Star Game is Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, which will host for a record sixth time.

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will not repeat as the NBA All-Star Game's 3-point shootout champion. 

In need of 19 points, Thompson managed only 18 -- that allowed Kemba Walker to advance into the semifinals. 

Houston's Eric Gordon had the high score of the first round. He went on to win the championship -- besting Kyrie Irving.

Thompson has made 182 3-pointers this season which ranks him fifth in the league.