Year 3 breakouts for JK and Moody? pic.twitter.com/COQRawrrvc— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) October 3, 2023
Some might say such perseverance makes McGruder a “tough guy.” Mere minutes before that infamous Green presser, Klay Thompson, serving as a guest analyst on the telecast as he recovered from an Achilles injury, saw McGruder bark at Toscano-Anderson and said: “This dude might be out of the league soon.”
At a recent workout, Thompson admitted to McGruder that his comment was unjustified. Thompson, who has known McGruder since college, should have known better than to doubt someone who has built a career on beating odds.
“Klay and I joke about it now,” McGruder said. “Where I come from, people in your neighborhood who are your best friends say crazier things than what he said. It’s nothing I’ve never heard before.”
Gay’s know-how and size, 6-foot-9, 250 pounds, are what attracted the Warriors. A large wing early in his career, Gay lost some of his elite athleticism after undergoing surgery to repair a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon in January 2017. He returned to action nine months later but has since been used mostly as a power forward.
Some of the old explosion remains evident, and that, along with Gay’s experience, likely will be crucial to earning a spot on the Golden State roster.
“Rudy’s been great,” coach Steve Kerr says. “He looks good. His body is feeling good. He’s just a pro. He’s been around the league for a long time, so he recognizes everything that’s happening on the floor. He’s obviously a very talented, very skilled player.
“It’s great to have him here in camp. We’ll see how it plays out over the next few weeks.”
Later on Wednesday, the Golden State Warriors said they would make an announcement Thursday but did not provide any details.
Steve Kerr on his early impressions of Usman Garuba: “As a young player he has a good sense of who he is and that's a big part of succeeding in this league is having an identity and an awareness of what your job is. He plays really hard and has a great motor.”— Shayna Rubin (@ShaynaRubin) October 4, 2023
The low free throws reflect Ball’s reluctant, scattershot paint game. His attempts from the restricted area have decreased every season. He is one of the worst guard finishers in the league — 54% at the rim, a stunning number given his size.
Ball approaches the basket in a rush, sometimes overeager to get rid of the ball before even touching the paint. That is the paradox of Ball: Dishing it early can be healthy, but there is such a thing — even for point guards — of dishing it too early, too often. Ball chases shots when it might be best to keep the ball moving, and moves the ball when it might be best to keep searching.
Against dropback schemes, Ball short-circuits pick-and-rolls — picking his dribble up 20 feet from the rim with runway ahead, lofting ultra-long floaters or kicking to shooters who aren’t open because Ball hasn’t sucked in the defense. (Against traps, Ball’s willingness to make the first available pass is essential; he catapults his screeners into 4-on-3s. Ball and Gordon Hayward worked an effective two-man game in this style. The Ball-Terry Rozierpick-and-roll is an occasional wrinkle.)
Last season: 58-24
Pairing Giannis Antetokounmpo with Damian Lillard creates an offensive powerhouse that will be unparalleled in the Eastern Conference. Neither player has ever played with someone as great as the other, and not since LaMarcus Aldridge has Dame played with anyone as good as Khris Middleton or Brook Lopez. How will teams even try to contain a Dame-Giannis pick-and-roll? If they trap Dame, that leaves Giannis open on the roll. If they drop to protect against lobs to Giannis, then Dame has an open pull-up. If they somehow contain the duo, then it’s a kick out to Middleton attacking a rotating defense or Lopez launching an open 3. Rookie head coach Adrian Griffin has all the ingredients to create nightmares for defenses, but going from Jrue Holiday to Dame undoubtedly leaves the Bucks defense worse off. Lopez and Giannis provide plenty of rim protection, but it’d be beneficial if Jae Crowder can return to form on defense or a young player such as MarJon Beauchamp or Andre Jackson can step into a role as a wing stopper. With their asset cupboard nearly bare—only a 2027 second-round pick and Portland’s 2024 second to their name—the Bucks are banking on internal development to fortify their bench and complement their star-studded lineup.
Pistons head coach Monty Williams discusses backup center minutes between a pair of former second-overall picks
Monty said Wiseman and Bagley are competing for “the backup big spot.” Sounds like there’s only room in the rotation for one of them. pic.twitter.com/lyW5TwK5z9— Omari Sankofa II (@omarisankofa) October 4, 2023
In case you missed it at Golden State of Mind:
But just because Curry and Paul are on the short side of the NBA spectrum doesn’t mean they play entirely below the rim. And they made that abundantly clear at the start of training camp, when the duo of future Hall-of-Famers showed off their hops by throwing down some convincing dunks.
Paul’s was impressively athletic, as he threw down the running dunk with ease, tucking his feet back for style points and cocking the ball back a bit.