As you may know, the Golden State Warriors have the easiest remaining schedule, according to those who study this sort of thing. Well, strap in, haters, because the team’s outlook just got decidedly rosier. After an interminable wait after a scary-looking ankle injury, rookie sensation Jordan Bell is likely to return to the court tonight.
It may be too soon to talk like this, but the future Hall-of-Famer could very well be the critical missing component of the Warriors team defense when the playoffs roll around. As coach Steve Kerr has elucidated via his funky substitution patterns - we aren’t nearly settled in with our big man rotation. Zaza Pachulia has been the team’s nominal starter since signing here two seasons ago, but Kerr came out of the All Star break with a Mad Scientist change to the starting lineup when he slotted in human pogo stick Javale McGee in place of the plodding Pachulia.
Bell would seem to be the better option moving forward. Stout in the low block like Pachulia, but springy enough to finish the ridiculousy high lobs that enliven the Currys and Greens on the team.
Curry loves Madison Square Gardens, and it’s a mutual attraction
Steph Curry has put on a lot of memorable performances, but few have been as electric as his 54-point explosion. Have you gotten that subscription to The Athletic yet, like I asked? Because Marcus Thompson has a great article out today about Curry’s explosive game, and some of the perspective around who he was and what the Warriors were back then:
The Warriors had lost seven of their last 10 games, were trending back towards .500 and seemingly ready to fizzle out. Again. They’d lost to Indiana on Feb. 26, falling apart down the stretch. On top of that, David Lee, then the Warriors’ lone All-Star, was suspended for his part in a kerfuffle with Roy Hibbert at Indianapolis.
Down two, with just under five minutes left, he pushed the ball in transition and pulled up from 3 on the break. When it swished, it was hard to tell if the crowd was full of Warriors fans or just in awe of what they were watching. Curry was possessed, and it showed in his galloping, shimmying zombie celebration he did has he ran to the other end of the court. He didn’t even see Green waiting for a high-five.
“The part I remember the most was Draymond just standing there with his hand in the air,” New Orleans assistant coach Darren Erman, then a Warriors assistant, recalled. “It was hilarious. He just went right on by him doing some awkward celebration.”
God, that game was great. That gif is one of my favorite of all time.
This should be a fun one.
Oh, and we didn’t even talk about the weird smack-talk obsession that Enes Kanter has with Kevin Durant.