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You guys. The Jazz played basketball last night. Real, live, NBA-ish basketball. And they won. And it was glorious. Okay, so it was preseason, and the opposing Golden State Warriors were playing the second night of a back-to-back and a ...
You guys. The Jazz played basketball last night. Real, live, NBA-ish basketball. And they won. And it was glorious. Okay, so it was preseason, and the opposing Golden State Warriors were playing the second night of a back-to-back and a third game in four days. But still! This was no scrimmage or summer league game, and while the result doesn't matter, the opponents were real NBA players, many of whom are considered "better" than the ones with J-notes on their chests. And the Jazz won, handily. More importantly, the team was a blast to watch. More sharing the ball. More high-energy play. No more static Al-fense on the low block. It was great. (Actually, one of the "highlights" of the night was watching Andris Biedrins somehow find himself isolated in Big Al's former domain in the left post and proceed to look absolutely terrified. (Biedrins made up for that play with a panicked stumble that somehow turned into a gorgeous spin move around Andrew Bogut. I know; I was confused, too.)) Anyway, that enjoyment was the biggest thing I took away from the game last night. I have no idea how good this Jazz roster will actually be over the course of 82 games. The odds are that they won't win most of those. But after three years of frustrating stasis, the change in roster, in play style, and in energy is invigorating. As Bill Murray says at the end of Groundhog Day, "Anything different is good." One thing that hasn't changed? Tyrone Corbin's preference for starting veterans. The news broke before the game: Utah Jazz starters: Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward, Richard Jefferson, Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter. #GSWatUTA— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) October 8, 2013 Needless to say, this...didn't go over well with Jazz fans on Twitter. Hadn't we just seen three infuriating years of seemingly blind deference to older, (probably) inferior players? Will Alec Burks never escape the Wicked Stepcorbin? I admit, I was worried, too. But keeping Burks on the bench to star in the second unit does make some sense. He's a scorer, and he'll get points, looks, and the ball in his hands a lot more when he's not fighting Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter for them. The problem I had was the player starting in his stead: Richard Jefferson. (Or Richard Jefferson's Expiring Contract, to borrow a Simmonsian turn of phrase.) If this guy couldn't get burn with the Warriors last year, why should he be worth any time now? I have to say, though...after seeing R-Jeff play last night, I wasn't entirely appalled. (Engage "Damning With Faint Praise" Mode) He was much more active and energetic than I expected him to be. He moved and defended surprisingly well. He didn't really take any awful shots. And while four points, one rebound and one block in 22 minutes is pretty wretched for an NBA starter, he was only a -3 for the game. He wasn't awful. Really. I promise. (On the other hand, Burks had 14 points, four assists, three rebounds and a steal in 22 minutes. So...yeah.) Anyway, it's all a moot point. Probably. Hopefully. Because Brandon Rush and Marvin Williams will return from injury at some point, and I trust either one of them to hold down the starting 3-spot better than Jefferson. And Ty Corbin did leave himself some wiggle room for lineup adjustments heading into the regular season. We may see Alec starting at some point after all. So no need to overreact...yet. (It helps if I keep telling myself that.) FanPosts! I'm excited to see these pick up now that the season's almost underway. I fully expect you Dunkers to point out observations that we miss, and I'm looking forward to being told I'm wrong about everything. (Yeah, I dunno. It works for me.) Since we just got done talking about minutes and starters and playing time, Jordan Cummings' rotation breakdown is especially relevant: This is based on the "ideal" lineup, when everyone is healthy again. Burke, Rush, Hayward, Kanter, and Favors start. At around the 6 minute
about 6 hours ago
October 7, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Kings 94-81. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Tera...
October 7, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Kings 94-81. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports I got a chance interview Yahoo! Sport’s fantasy basketball guru Marc Spears about how the Golden State Warriors stacked up, fantasy wise. Check out Marc’s other articles here. Read on to find out how why the Warriors might have one of the greatest fantasy rosters in the league this year.  Dhara Taheripour: Let’s start with Stephen Curry. Obviously the most recognizable face of the Golden State Warriors franchise and a player who can score effectively from anywhere on the court, but very much so before the arc. Where do you take Stephen Curry in your fantasy draft? Marc Spears: That’s a good question. This league is filled with great point guards and I guess the one thing about Steph when you look at him from a position standpoint is you can use him as a point guard or a shooting guard. Unfortunately they won’t have him listed as a 2 guard so I guess you could use him … you can’t use him as the dual guard position I guess you could say, but he is going to score a lot of points, going to be one of those leaders in scoring, or maybe not one of the league leaders like top 5 but maybe top 15 candidate in scoring. He is going to have a lot of assists and he is going to hit a lot of free throws and three-pointers so there’s a lot of different things he could do. Still may not be at a high number, but he is a solid player. The one concern people always worry  about Steph is injuries. He played a lot of games last year although his body broke down during the playoffs. The thing is, do you pick him over Derrick Rose? Do you pick him over Chris Paul? Probably not those two and probably not Russell Westbrook if he was completey healthy. I think with Steph, there are a lot of guys you could look at a number three point guards there will be Tony Parker, there will be Kyrie Irving, there will be Stephen Curry and might even look at John Wall that high. Russell Westbrook when he is healthy. I think after Chris Paul and after Derrick Rose, Stephen Curry would probably go into consideration as a point guard selection. D: Yeah that sounds about right. It would be hard to see you taking him over DRose or Chris Paul. I guess going in order of positions… M: And Rondo is a good pick too. D: Yeah Rondo but obviously he is not 100 percent. So probably the biggest Warriors offseason addition in recent history or history, Andre Iguodala is a guy who is known as a stat rack. He gets assists, gets rebounds, can score. Where do you value someone like that, someone who is very versatile who can contribute along the board? M: I think a lot of times in fantasy league, people get too concerned with someone who can score a lot of points. The whole fantasy league is not won by just having a great scorer. It’s funny when you play against some people who draft all these great scorers and they win the scoring category every week and can’t do anything else. Iguodala is certainly one of those stat stuffer guys. No he isn’t going to get you 20 points but he’ll give you 12 to 15, he gets rebounds, blocked shots and a lot of steals and he gets to line by driving the ball in. He isn’t going to hit a lot of threes, but he will donate a couple, but he is a guy at the end of the day will fill up every category and perhaps from a fantasy standpoint one of the best guys on the Warriors to take, depending on the amount of minutes he gets. D: So if he contributes the same and gets the same amount of minutes in Denver, because he is a go that can contribute along and especially in a categories type of league, you are getting so much out of just one selection. M: And from another perspective, I think Bogut could quietly be that kind of guy too. D: Yeah I was about to talk about Bogut too because in your last article
about 7 hours ago
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about 14 hours ago
Warriors 78 - Jazz 101
Warriors 78 - Jazz 101
about 14 hours ago
This was an ugly game. Let's all watch Stephen Curry dance instead! In all seriousness, well, if you're taking these preseason games to evaluate future regular season performances, then yeah, this isn't 2009 anymore. Without Harrison...
This was an ugly game. Let's all watch Stephen Curry dance instead! In all seriousness, well, if you're taking these preseason games to evaluate future regular season performances, then yeah, this isn't 2009 anymore. Without Harrison Barnes (foot) and Jermaine O'Neal (lower back, surprise!) traveling with the team to Salt Lake, the starting five with Klay Thompson came out and looked as sluggish as the two other games. I've wasted - errr - written tons of words on the change in culture around these parts. The type of change that has the players taking Summer League and preseason games as serious as Game 6 of the Conference semifinals. Suffice it to say, they haven't played as if their jobs or goals and expectations are on the line. Perhaps it's just me boliviating and attaching meaningless tropes to the team in the moment but Mark Jackson has never been just about words. He's done the job as well as any other coach as well. The defense, rotations a step slow, jumpers an inch or two off and the movement on offense as visually displeasing as Andrew Bogut hook shots. It's been slow to evolve and the glowing training camp reports we were abuzz with aren't coming to fruition. At least not yet. And that's okay. Losing the continuity of a backup point guard, power forward and infusing that with a brand new small forward, while lessening and growing the roles of David Lee and Bogut, respectively, will take a while to get used to. Look across the other side of the country and we have a test case, though to a lesser extent, of Robert Griffin III. So hyped up as he was rehabbing his injured knee, he never gave himself the chance to fail, having his first in-game reps when it mattered and it's turned into a disaster. For basketball purposes, we can look directly down South and see what the Los Angeles Lakers "accomplished" last season when expectations weren't allowed to breathe. Adding Iguodala hasn't been just his infusion in a vacuum, but a transition of dominoes that's moved key cogs to the bench, and others into lesser and more prominent roles. All this takes some getting used to and growth. Also, the Utah Jazz now pay Andris Biedrins and Richard Jefferson to play basketball for them. And Jefferson even starts! Fun times. In the interim, let's listen to Steph sing: Cool. Cool.
about 15 hours ago
Golden State Warriors: Last year the Warriors finished second in the Pacific division (6th in the Western Conference) with a 47-35 record. The Warriors made the playoffs for the second time since the 1993-1994 season. The Warriors shoc...
Golden State Warriors: Last year the Warriors finished second in the Pacific division (6th in the Western Conference) with a 47-35 record. The Warriors made the playoffs for the second time since the 1993-1994 season. The Warriors shocked the nation beating the 3rd seed Denver Nuggets 4-2. The Warriors ended up losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the next round 4-2. The 2012-2013 improved leaps and bounds over the 2011-2012 squad going from winning .348 to .573. The improvement should not be surprising as many figured that the 2011-2012 Warriors tanked in order to keep their draft pick away from the Jazz. Key Players: Stephen Curry- Starting at point guard for the Warriors. Curry played in 78 games for the Warriors last year. Curry's health was a big reason for the Warriors new found success last season. Curry averaged 22.9 ppg, 6.9 apg and 1.6 spg. Henry Abbott on whether Stephen can be a top-15 player: Yes, if healthy. That's a big if, though. If I were the Warriors, I'd manage his minutes like the Spurs have long done with Manu Ginobili. It starts by admitting he is both a wonderful player and injury-prone. I'd also make sure he stays light. There's an NBA tendency to lift your way to injury prevention, but in my view, the last thing those ankles need is more weight on them. Stephen's latest tweets: Andrew Bogut: Last season Bogut played in just 32 regular season games for the Warriors but in all 12 postseason games. Bogut's scoring and rebounding numbers were down last year to just 5.8 ppg and 7.7 rpg. Bogut improved in the playoffs however bringing up his scoring average to 7.2 ppg and his rebounding to a whopping 10.9 rpg. Zach Harper on Andrew Bogut: When he's healthy, Andrew Bogut is one of the top centers in the NBA. His ability to anchor a top defense was instrumental in the brief success he experienced when he was on the Milwaukee Bucks and his offensive game is pretty well-rounded with scoring around the basket and his passing game. The problem with Andrew Bogut is he's rarely healthy. He's missed 104 games the last two seasons and has only cracked 70 games twice in his eight-year career. Andrew's latest tweets: Andre Iguodala: Andrei's career averages f 15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.5 blocked shots. What the Warriors saw in Iguodala: The Warriors saw that Iguodala could bring them many of the things they need: an elite perimeter defender, another ball-handler and someone who can both drive and kick or drive and dunk. He joined most of his new teammates for daily voluntary workouts from just after Labor Day until training camp opened Saturday, but he said the acclimation process remains far from complete. Iguodala's latest tweets : Head Coach: Mark Jackson (Click his name for required reading about Jackson from Moni). We all have opinions about Jackson. Jazz fans will never forget his one ghastly year with the Utah Jazz. Probable Starters: Andre Iguodala Stephen Curry Andrew Bogut David Lee Harrison Barnes Last game: the Warriors beat the Sacramento Kings 94-81 The Utah Jazz: The Warriors have played two preseason games already, tonight will be the Jazz's first preseason game of the year. The Jazz have said goodbye to many players this offseason including: Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Randy Foye, Mo Williams, Demarre Carroll, Earl Watson, Jamaal Tinsley and Kevin Murphy have moved on to different teams or adventures. As you know four out of the five regular starters for the 2012 season are no longer with the team. That means we will have a completely different starting lineup. Here is what Aaron Falk reported from shoot around today on the starting lineup: So the players at least don't know who the startling lineup will be. I personally think that is a disservice. It seems like Trey should be getting regular minutes with the probable starters to build chemistry. It seems to me like that should be the case for whoever is goi
about 19 hours ago
Sports Illustrated ranked the top-100 NBA players over at the Point Forward heading into the 2013-14 campaign and Stephen Curry earned himself a spot amongst the 20 best in the league. In previous entries, we looked at the Golden State W...
Sports Illustrated ranked the top-100 NBA players over at the Point Forward heading into the 2013-14 campaign and Stephen Curry earned himself a spot amongst the 20 best in the league. In previous entries, we looked at the Golden State Warriors that were snubbed from the list and then analyzed the rankings of Klay Thompson […]
about 21 hours ago
May 12, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts during overtime in game four of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated th...
May 12, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) reacts during overtime in game four of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs against the San Antonio Spurs at Oracle Arena. The Warriors defeated the Spurs 97-87 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports I got a chance to MoGo Sport’s co-founder Tom Hoey about his revolutionary mouthguard, who just recently added a new brand ambassador: Golden State Warriors’ own Stephen Curry. Check out MoGo here and see why Steph decided to become the first player in NBA history to wear a flavored mouthguard.  Dhara Taheripour: How did you come about the idea of a flavored mouthguard? Tom Hoey: My partner, Bruce Angus, and I got exposed to the technology to place flavoring, all-natural flavors, FDA approved flavors into plastic and the way that the process works, it’s actually embedded into the polymer, which are the molecules of the plastic, which is really what makes the technology revolutionary, because past attempts were either heavily scented or it’s coated on the mouthguard and you were it once or twice and after one or two outings, the mouthguard is back to being a plain or unflavored mouthguard. When we got exposed to the technology, being former athletes ourselves, one of the first things we thought of that would be great would be a flavored mouthguard and how cool that would be and a what a great way to change the user experience, which typically has not been a great one, you know wearing a mouthguard, you get that dry mouth, cottony taste and we wanted to go away from that and what we have seen and demonstrated with all the athletes that have had it so far is that it really did change the user experience and as we like to say, it’s gone from a “need to wear” to a “want to wear.” D: Yeah, I was lucky enough to get some samples and one of the things I noticed, that you mentioned, was the difference between something that would be coated [and embedded flavor] and I had the mouthguard in my mouth and it really tasted like the flavor throughout. I tried out the lemon flavor because that’s the one that Stephen Curry got and I noticed the lemon flavor immediately when I put it in, but I also noticed a continued taste without it becoming duller. T: Yeah and it’s designed so that we can control the flavor load and we have designed it such that if you are wearing it for long periods of time, you will still get a sense of hydration. The flavoring generates your saliva glands so that’s where you’re getting that hydration effect. If you increase the flavor intensity, our concern is that it’s going to be too much if you are wearing it for an hour, two hour practice or an hour and half practice. You get enough of it and it’s meant to be there and remind you that it’s there, but not overpowering. D: And obviously also not to be distracting as you don’t want the athlete thinking about how good this mouthguard tastes as the play is going on T: What we have heard from the top athletes is that the best equipment they wear is the equipment they forget that they are wearing and our goal is that if we can succeed with that with the mouthguard, we really feel like we have a great product for all athletes for all ages. D: While this might be your breakthrough to the NBA, it’s by no means your breakthrough to the larger professional sports market as you already have Evgeni Malkin and Colin Kaepernick as ambassadors to your brand. Why now and why Stephen Curry for your breakthrough to the NBA. T: As we look to the NBA players, obviously the mouthguard is front and center. I don’t know what the exact percentages are, but a high percent of players are wearing a mouthguard and we saw that as an opportunity [breakthrough to the league], but equally as an opportunity of finding the right athlete to be the conduit and bring it to youth basketball. Although mouthguards are not mandated for youth basketball, we love to see more and more youth baske
about 22 hours ago
Although I've been writing exclusively about the 2013 WNBA Finals, I've also been keeping up with other happenings around the women's basketball world and today seemed like a good day to play catch-up: the Women's Basketball Coaches Asso...
Although I've been writing exclusively about the 2013 WNBA Finals, I've also been keeping up with other happenings around the women's basketball world and today seemed like a good day to play catch-up: the Women's Basketball Coaches Association announced their 2013-14 Preseason Wade Watch list. The following are few more links relevant to the Wade Watch list as well as some other good reads from the last week or so before tonight's WNBA Finals game (8 p.m. EDT, ESPN2). For more on the Finals - including ratings for Game 1 - check out our 2013 WNBA Finals storystream. UConn's release about the Preseason Wade Watch list notes that Breanna Stewart is one of two sophomores on the preseason list (with Tennessee's Bashaara Graves). The Huskies led the way with four selections while no other team had more than two selections (Cal, Duke, Notre Dame and Tennessee). Read more >>> Doug Feinberg of the AP reports that the college players - including seniors and 2014 WNBA Draft prospects Stefanie Dolson, Kayla McBride, Odyssey Sims, and Alyssa Thomas - had an impressive performance at last weekend's U.S. national women’s basketball camp in Las Vegas. Los Angeles Sparks star Candace Parker had some high praise for Notre Dame's McBride: "Kayla McBride, she’s played extremely well. She’s knocking down the shot. I didn’t realize how strong and how much of a pro body she has already." Read more >>> No Hallie Christofferson on the Wade Trophy watch list? Not a fan of that. Unanimous All-Big 12. — Matt Shoultz (@mjshoultz) October 8, 2013 John Naughton of the Des Moines Register wrote a feature describing versatile All-Big XII forward Hallie Christofferson's role on the team. "I think she’s one of the best players in the country that people don’t know about," Fennelly said. "To go from Exira, Iowa, to a unanimous all-Big 12 player, that’s quite a leap." The article also includes video of their media day, which has player opinion of what their new offense will look like. Read more >>> Boti Nagy of The Advertiser writes that Australian Opals coach Brendan Joyce has been successful in gaining support to hold a 12-day camp in the U.S. during the 2014 WNBA preseason. All four WNBA teams with Australian players have shown interest in hosting the camp, which would include Joyce pulling Australian players out of camps. Read more >>> Mike Tierney of the New York Times wrote a great feature about the past two years of Atlanta Dream All-Star Angel McCoughtry's career, including her reflection on what happened last year and buzz that the Dream should've traded her. McCoughtry maintains that she had nothing to do with former coach and general manager Marynell Meadors being fired but maintains that she felt disrespected. Read more >>> Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune had a great feature on Minnesota Lynx All-WNBA point guard Lindsay Whalen before Game 1 of the WNBA Finals shedding some light on her personality and demeanor off the court. Of particular interest was the extended reflection from Whalen and others on their mid-season slump, which included the loss to the Atlanta Dream on August 20: "We were getting some islands on the floor rather than getting together and getting stronger.’’ Read more >>> Dave Southorn of the Idaho Statesman had an interesting piece on Atlanta Dream coach Fred Williams who played for the Boise State Broncos in the late 70's. Fittingly, "Fast Freddie" played a style similar to what you see from the Dream today: "We pushed the ball up the floor, which suited me well, and the fans there, the fans were tremendous." Read more >>> Mark Ambrogi of the Indianapolis Star wrote last week that the biggest question mark for the Indiana Fever this offseason is what to do with unrestricted free agent guard Katie Douglas, who missed the majority of this past season due to injury. General Manager & President Kelly Krauskopf said they'l
1 day ago
It's becoming apparent that Klay Thompson has much more confidence, experience and composure on the offensive end. That works to his advantage as a sixth man, starter, shooting guard or anything else in life. But we knew this already. Th...
It's becoming apparent that Klay Thompson has much more confidence, experience and composure on the offensive end. That works to his advantage as a sixth man, starter, shooting guard or anything else in life. But we knew this already. Thompson has no conscience when it comes to shooting, slashing, missing or scoring. And again, it's preseason, where Mark Jackson is tinkering with rotations, starting lineups and plays. There really isn't much to read into this except for accepting what we already knew. Harrison Barnes appeared to aggravate a previous foot injury but it doesn't seem serious. There's no knowing whether he will start the season as the Opening Night starting forward but here's thinking it won't matter much because he'll play 30+ minutes per night, regardless. Jackson said Barnes' foot was bothering him in Ontario. Tried to give it a go today but once he saw he wasn't himself, he shut him down — Marcus Thompson (@gswscribe) October 8, 2013 Look, Seth Curry isn't going to make the team. I'm not an insider but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the Warriors invited an undrafted, recovering, undersized shooting guard to training camp in some small, miniscule part because of his big brother. But that doesn't matter because the moment he shared with the crowd was pretty great, leading up until the buzzer-beater jumper. Big brother Steph seemed a bit embarassed - they showed him laughing and covering his face with a towel - as it happened, but I'm a sucker for Hallmark-esque family moments. If you recall, Jeremy Lin had the same treatment a couple years ago when the Warriors sucked and it seemed like more a marketing ploy than a fair shake at a roster spot. He's since done fairly well for himself. Back to the game, there wasn't much from which to divulge. Andrew Bogut looked spry again. David Lee was much more active around the basket, driving for layups and snatching offensive boards from defenders. Perhaps the most eye-opening sequence happened when Andre Iguodala - highlighted in this game more for his alley-oop dunks and acrobatic finishes - caught a pass at the top of the key from the low block, and in one motion flicked it to Curry in the corner for the three. A half later, he sprinted to the right side three-point break, awaited a pass from Curry as he dribbled out from the baseline. From here, we usually see one of the Warrior guards take the ball, initate their own play and go from there. Iguodala instead caught it, calmly faked a three, waited for the defender to jump (for some odd reason), leaving Curry in the corner wide-open and Iguodala flicked a pass to him. Boom. It's obvious that he sees the court much better than Jarrett Jack ever has and sees plays developing as they happen, not when it has happened already. It's easy for us to complain about players missing spots but at the speed with which the NBA plays in, thre's a lot to process and not much time to take action. Iguodala does this in a fashion that makes me, us, appreciate his game that much more. Keep on the lookout for defensive breakdowns throughout the season. Quick look around the team: Dewayne Dedmon: It appears Bob Myers has found his new Festus Ezeli, down to the stone hands, athletic quick feet, absurdly long arms and perpetual moving screens. In all seriousness, he looked quicker than Jermaine O'Neal, though he won't play nearly as many minutes, if necessary. Draymond Green: Really skinny and doing annoying things to people. Just the way we love it. Kent Bazemore: Showed off the three-point shot but struggled to create like he did in Summer League because well, yeah, this isn't Summer League. There will still be a rotation spot for him as he matures into a 3-and-D player. Toney Douglas: Played a weird game where his on-ball defense was solid but couldn't make wide-open layups. The trio of him, Curry and Thompson will now attempt to set the record for most illogical ratio where they shoo
1 day ago