Over the course of the past few days, there have beenreports saying the Warriors have interest in New Orleans point guard Chris Pauland that the Hornets like Golden State point guard Stephen Curry.Both of those things may be true, but lets be clear: Thenotion of the Warriors acquiring Paul is unrealistic for tworeasons.First, it is unlikely the Warriors would trade for Paul particularly if its for Curry without Paul agreeing to an extension thatwould keep him in Golden State beyond this season.And Paul is not going to sign an extension. He made it clearrecently hes going to test the free agent market next summer. So, unless theWarriors want to flirt with disaster which would be letting go of Currylong-term for 66 games with Paul, its tough to see the move happening.Reason No. 2 is just as important. The Warriors have nofirst-round picks to give up for Paul or any other player they hope toacquire in a trade. Not for a while anyway. Bottom line is the Warriors cannotmake a trade that involves a first-round pick until 2016.Thats right. 2016.The reason for that stems from the acquisition of MarcusWilliams a few years back from New Jersey, involving a conditional first-roundselection. That pick has subsequently been traded to Utah, but it still affectsthe Warriors.Because the pick is top-7 protected in 2012 and 2013 andtop-six protected in 2014, the Warriors cant dangle any first-round pick until2016.NBA teams are prevented from trading first-round picks inconsecutive years. So without the Warriors knowing when that pick willeventually be conveyed, they cant trade a first-round pick.The fact that they dont have a pick to trade for Paul is akiller because the Hornets and any team thinking of trading a star player -- aregoing to likely want at least one pick, and perhaps multiple picks, to rebuildwith.
OAKLAND – The shots kept falling, splashing through the net from all over the court, jumpers from 20 feet, from 25, from 30, layups from one side of the bucket, then the other. Klay Thompson was tap-dancing all over the Indiana Pacers.
It didn’t seem logical that a self-respecting NBA team like the Pacers would allow one man to put on a personal showcase, with them as the victims.
That’s precisely what Thompson did Monday night, before the 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, pouring in 60 points – more than he has ever scored in a game, more than anyone in the NBA his scored this season – in a 142-106 crushing of Indiana.
“Klay did do a good job of moving without the ball,” Pacers coach Nate McMillan said. “Tonight, he was moving and they were finding him.
“We needed to get more help, and we didn’t. He lit us up.”
In scoring 60 points in only 29 minutes – he exited with 1:22 left in the third quarter and did not return – Thompson found a zone above even the most ethereal zones. He happened upon a place even the most hallowed most NBA players never get the privilege of experiencing.
“That’s a feat I would put money on to probably never be touched ever again in the history of basketball,” said Stephen Curry, the reigning scoring champion as well as back-to-back MVP.
“I don’t even know what to say,” said Kevin Durant, the four-time scoring champ who also has an MVP trophy to his name. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
With Thompson raining shots, his teammates standing and clapping and boogieing to the roar of the crowd, the Pacers were helpless witnesses to their own dismantling. As Thompson sizzled, and their defense fizzled, one thing became clear: There would be no double-teaming of the hottest shooter in the NBA this season.
How do you double-team Thompson, who plays mostly without the ball, when he’s sharing the court with Curry and Durant? You don’t. You take your chances and hope. And if Thompson is stroking it, you’re in trouble.
The Pacers tried numerous defenders on Thompson and none was up to the challenge. The Warriors, smelling the Pacers’ futility, went after them with a vengeance.
“You could see that once he got hot, Steph was looking for him and Draymond (Green) and KD and Andre (Iguodala) and Zaza (Pachulia), they were all looking for him,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
“I’ve said this before, but I really believe the strength of our team the last few years offensive is the number of guys that can pass and make plays. What’s really gratifying as a coach is when you see that type of unselfishness.”
By the time Indiana’s superstar, Paul George, took the assignment, trying to cool Thompson, it was well into the third quarter, much too late. Thompson had made 21 of his 33 shots, including eight of his 14 launches from beyond the arc. He had become the first player in the shot-clock era (beginning in 1954-55) to score 60 points in fewer than 30 minutes.
He had hung the Pacers on a wall.
“I will celebrate this tonight,” said Thompson, whose previous career-high was 52 points. “It’s a feat I never really thought I would be able to do growing up.”
Asked if could have scored 80 points, Thompson barely skipped a beat.
“Maybe. I think I could have,” he said. “And maybe one day I will have the opportunity. 60 points in 29 minutes is not bad. I’m satisfied with that.”
His teammates were beyond satisfied. They were delighted. Enchanted. Durant scored 20 points and was agape at Thompson’s performance. Curry had 13 points, 11 assists and zero turnovers and was unusually demonstrative in recapping Thompson’s night.
“We just kept feeding him and feeding him, and he was knocking down some unbelievable shots,” Durant said.
“It was just so much fun to watch,” Curry said. “We appreciate that entertainment value as his teammates to see what he was able to do tonight. It was crazy.”
This was Thompson, taking full and extravagant advantage of both his own shooting skill as well as the benefit of teammates too lethal for any defense to ignore.
All of which left the other 29 teams around the NBA watching and wondering where on earth do they turn if any Thompson or Curry or Durant enters a zone.
This is quite the quandary, and it’s precisely what the Warriors had in mind when they hired Durant.
OAKLAND – As the Warriors on Monday night celebrated their 200th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, All-Star guard Klay Thompson gave 19,596 fans an evening they’ll never forget.
Thompson scored 60 points, a career-high for him and the most any player has scored in the NBA this season, to carry the Warriors to a 142-106 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Thompson scored 17 points in the opening period, 23 in the second – for 40, representing a career-high for points in a half – and closed out his night with 20 in the third quarter.
So hot was Thompson that only no other teammate exceeded 20 points. Kevin Durant totaled 20, Stephen Curry had 13 and Ian Clark finished with 11.
Curry posted a season-high 11 assists, and Draymond Green recorded 10 as the Warriors were credited with 45 helpers overall.
With a 116-83 lead after three quarters, Warriors coach Steve Kerr went to his reserves for the entire fourth quarter.
Thompson, who took possession in the first half and locked it up in third quarter.
Thompson’s line: 60 points (21-of-33 from the field, 8-of-14 from deep, 10-of-11 from the free throw line). He played 29 minutes and finished plus-37 for the night.
When a Monta Ellis layup pulled the Pacers within seven (46-39) with 8:14 left in the second quarter, the Warriors went on a 24-3 run to go up 70-42 with 2:34 remaining in the half.
They went into intermission with an 80-50 lead, and Indiana got no closer than xx for the rest of the game.
The Warriors trailed for all of 12 seconds (in the first five minutes) in the game.
Warriors: No injuries were listed and none was reported.
Pacers: No injuries were listed and none was reported.
Rookie C Damian Jones is on assignment with D-League Santa Cruz.
The Warriors travel to Los Angeles, where on Wednesday night they face the Clippers at Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30.