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Dub Hub: Heat coach Erik Spoelstra praises the Warriors ‘unique style’ of play

Rounding up all Warriors and NBA related news for Thursday, December 28th.

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Golden State Warriors v Miami Heat Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Warriors News:

Heat coach Eric Spoelstra discusses Thursday’s matchup against the Warriors

Why Warriors coach Kerr isn’t bothered by JK’s playing time remarks | NBC Sports Bay Area

The issue is symptomatic of a bigger issue: Golden State is back to being a team that has strength in numbers, and Kerr is trying to deal with it in a way that keeps everybody happy.

“I don’t mind those comments at all,” Kerr said after Wednesday’s practice. “Every guy wants to play, and JK’s a really talented guy. But every game, I have to read the game, and [Andrew Wiggin] was our best player. We decided to go with Wiggs down the stretch, and those are easy decisions for me. The game before [a 126-106 Warriors win at Portland], I think JK finished, and he was playing great.

“It’s just going to vary from game to game for everybody. That’s just where our team is right now. Where JK is, too.”

Gary Payton II returns to practice

How did the Warriors get Trayce Jackson-Davis with the 57th pick? | The Athletic

Contracts are not guaranteed for second-rounders. Teams will often use those picks to draft-and-stash an international prospect or, more recently, find someone that they can give a two-way contract.

Jackson-Davis was a victim of that newer strategy. He’d later learn that right around the 35th pick, almost every team began calling his agency — led by James Dunleavy, the brother of Warriors general manager Mike Dunleavy — indicating a desire to draft Jackson-Davis. But they wanted Jackson-Davis to accept a two-way contract, not a guaranteed roster spot.

Kawakami: Tyrese Haliburton, the Warriors and the 2020 draft — a story of what could’ve been | The Athletic

“Yeah, I did,” Haliburton told me in a phone interview this week. “I was disappointed that they (had) the No. 2 pick because I felt like if they were anywhere out of the top three, I felt like I was going to be the pick.”

But if any workout could change up the consensus top tier of Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball, it might’ve been that one.

“That workout was like the best workout probably of my life,” Haliburton said. “Felt like I shot the cover off the ball. But I understood at the time there was no way they were going to take me at 2.”

Steve Kerr on Warriors Lineup Decisions, Matchup with Heat | Dec. 27, 2023

NBA News:

Aaron Gordon away from Nuggets after dog bite to face, hand | ESPN

“He’s hanging in there,” Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after practice Wednesday. “Obviously, a very traumatic experience and the most important thing I told him is that you take as much time as you need. We’re a family — wins, losses, and when people go through tough times like Aaron’s going through right now.

“We have his back. We love him. We’re here for him. So whenever he’s able to come back, we’re going to open our arms up and embrace him. I told all the guys to make sure they’re reaching out to him, to make sure he’s never feeling like he’s on an island.”

How James Harden has helped turn Kawhi Leonard and the LA Clippers into title contenders | ESPN

“[I’ve gotta] shoot the catch-and-shoots,” Harden told reporters last month. “I haven’t really had catch-and-shoot [opportunities] for real since the OKC days.”

It didn’t come naturally. How could it? Last month, Harden famously said he wasn’t a system player; rather he was the system.

But lately, he’s been doing just that — 35% of his attempts from 3 this season are catch-and-shoots, up from 27% last season — and defenses have paid handsomely: He’s shooting a career-best 42.9% from deep on six tries per game.

Pistons’ Cade Cunningham addresses the team after they broke the record for most consecutive losses

In case you missed it at Golden State of Mind:

Player grades: Warriors vs. Wizards

Klay Thompson

27 minutes, 20 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 turnovers, 8-for-17 shooting, 4-for-10 threes, 58.8% TS, +7

The Warriors have been playing better largely because of how their young players have stepped up, and due to finally getting a little bit of a hold on the turnover problem.

But don’t look past Klay. Is he playing like prime All-Star Klay? No. But is he playing like a certified weapon who is an above-average starting guard in the league? Yes.

Thompson has scored at least 20 points in all five games since getting benched down the stretch after a brutal contest against the Phoenix Suns. During that time he’s averaged 25.2 points per game, and shot 27-for-56 (48.2%) on threes.

That’s a big reason for the Dubs’ success right now.

Grade: B+

Follow @unstoppablebaby on Twitter for all the latest news on the Golden State Warriors.

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