The Warriors (3-4) find themselves in their first tough spotof the season. Theyre on a two-game losing streak for the first time this yearand theyre staring at a tough three-game road trip.In the meantime, the Atlanta Hawks are in town for a game againstthe Warriors.The Hawks are in a little bit of a transition, having tradedJoe Johnson in the offseason. But they still have two competent players upfront in Josh Smith and Al Horford and athletic frontcourts can sometimesgive the Warriors trouble.Here are some things to watch for during Wednesdaysgame:Contain Josh Smith: Smith can be anoppositions nightmare or an oppositions best friend. He is talented andathletic but not always motivated.Hes not a very good perimeter shooter and yet hell ventureout near the 3-point line often. Smith is off to an awful start this season.Hes averaging just 14.8 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, and shooting 40percent from the field and 14.3 percent from 3-point range.And how about this Smith is shooting 20 percent from theline this year (3-for-15). Its important that the Warriors dont allow Smithto get going.Bounce back for Thompson: Its been along four days for Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson. He missed a couple offree throws that could have sealed a game against Denver on Saturday, thenfollowed it up by failing to foul when he was instructed to do so.RELATED: Klay Thompson talks about forgettable gameThompson went 9-for-26 from the floor in that 107-101double-overtime loss to the Nuggets, and for the season hes shooting just 37.5percent.For the Warriors to be at their best, Thompson needs to bemaking shots.Get some easy ones: The Warriors havebecome too reliant on the outside jump shot in recent days and thats going tohave to change moving forward.Whether its finding some kind of interior scoring orgetting some uncontested fastbreak layups in transition, the Warriors have tofind a way to get higher percentage shots.To that end, lets see if Warriors coach Mark Jacksonperhaps begins to call Harrison Barnes number. Of all the Warriors, Barnes hasbeen the best at getting the rim in the halfcourt.
At his introductory press conference on Friday afternoon, Jordan Bell said that he tries to emulate his game after Draymond Green.
He said that he can learn a lot from Draymond.
Then, Warriors GM Bob Myers directed his next words at the newest addition to the team:
[RELATED: Why are Warriors willing to pay for picks? Lacob: 'If you just do the math...']
"Draymond will be a fun challenge for you," Myers said as he laughed and grabbed Bell on the shoulder. "Draymond texted me after I was driving home (following the draft). And he said, 'What the expletive is your problem?' So you can fill in the blank. And then he said, 'I have to hear about this expletive on the internet, you didn't expletive tell me about it?'
"So I couldn't text and drive so I called him and said, 'OK. All right. Calm down.' He said, 'I need his number, I need to talk to him,' so I gave it to Draymond ... he's like our team mom in a way ... you're gonna love playing with him, because to be honest, with Draymond it's about respect ... that's the type of team we have but we feel like that's how you are, too."
So what exactly did Draymond to say the 2016-17 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year?
"So he FaceTime'd me ... and I was with my friends celebrating. I texted the number back and I was like, 'Who is this?' And then he didn't reply, so I called the number and I was like, 'Yo, who is this?'
"And then he was like, 'Yo. I FaceTime'd you. Hang up right now, FaceTime me back, don't call. So I was like, 'Yeah, you're right.' So I hung up and I FaceTime'd him and he didn't answer. And I was like, 'All right.' I was like I should wait a couple seconds, and I waited like five seconds and I called him back on FaceTime.
"He was like, 'Yo, enjoy this night. Celebrate it. It only happens once, but after this night, we have to get back to work. We trying to get rings over here, so be ready for it."
Other takeaways from the press conference:
- Andre Iguodala is one of Bell's favorite players of all-time
- Kevin Durant texted Bell on Friday to welcome him to the Warriors
- Steve Kerr called Bell after the draft and on Friday
- Steph Curry texted Myers after the Warriors paid the Bulls $3.5 million for the rights to Bell
Jordan Bell's locker is right next to Draymond Green's locker. I don't think that's a coincidence— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) June 23, 2017
Jordan Bell mentions Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. Who is going to break the news to him that Kevin Durant is on the team?— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) June 23, 2017
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller
The NBA Draft was a resounding success for the chattering classes – that is, until it actually happened, at which point all the potential scenarios were reduced to reality, and as we are coming to learn, nobody much likes reality any more.
After all, what’s more fun – arguing about where Jimmy Butler was going to be traded, or the trade that sent him to Minnesota itself? Let me help you with that – it was the first one.
Before the act, anything is possible, and therefore anything can be suggested. Once the act is completed, though?
Scoreboard. End of discussion. Fun dies. Go home.
Try this is you don't think so:
Fact: Lonzo Ball wants to be a Laker. Hilarious supposition that drives conversation (and drinks) across the nation: What if he doesn’t get to be a Laker and his father pulls his own head off like a champagne cork? Result that ends all discussion: Lonzo Ball is a Laker.
And then it ratchets itself again. Hilarious re-supposition that re-energizes the argumentals: How good will Lonzo Ball be? Result that ends all discussion: How good he actually is. Tie-breaker: His dad pulling his own head off like a champagne cork.
This is how daily fantasy became popular – the creation of a different reality or realities that have nothing to do with the actual games played by the actual people. This is also how esports became a thing – creatures of the imagination fighting other creatures of the imagination over fictional glories.
Hell, it’s why the best day of the college basketball season is the day the 68-team NCAA tournament bracket is filled. The games ruin it by being the definitive word on the bracket.
It is, in short, the triumph of the process over the actual deed – interactive make-believe gone mad.
So it was Thursday night. The most talked-about draft in perhaps ever which delivered one extraordinary thing – the Butler trade to Minnesota rather than Boston or Cleveland. Everything else about the evening was noise signifying chalk. All the players everyone thought would go high went high, the ones in the middle were pretty much mid-level draftees, and the bottom twenty were . . . well, what bottom 20 picks usually are: G-Leaguers.
There weren’t any goofy foreigners, no stretches, no spite-filled Kristaps Porzingis trade by a fulminating Phil Jackson. Nobody did anything aggressively stupid or jaw-droppingly brilliant, which without all the pre-draft yelling and screaming would have made this a fairly bland evening.
The lesson, then, is this: In the new world of show-me-something-shiny-right-now, the shiny part of the NBA draft was the run-up. And we love the run-up, almost more than we love the games.
Or maybe we’re just better as a nation at the run-up. The NFL Draft is its own industry, right down to the large-men-running-in-their-underwear degrade-o-thon known as the combine. The NHL this year doubled down with an expansion draft the day before its amateur draft. The pregame show does a better number than the rest of the day, and since the new media truth is that the pregame show is all day, every day, we have hooked ourselves on conversations about what might be and flit about like a hummingbird on Ritalin to the next what-might-be thing.
This preference for the individually tailored virtual universe over the one we all actually live in is not something to be lamented or wept over. It just is, and it will remain that way until the games just wither and die and all there is talking about something that actually will never happen instead of a million things that might.
In that moment, the robots will win. Or more precisely, they’ll get to the round of sixteen, and we can all argue about whether they would be better off meeting the Cylons or the shape-shifters in the regional final.