Warriors Weekly: Steph Curry’s Fake Return

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After a short hiatus, Warriors Weekly is back here on Overtime Heroics. In case you forgot, we’ll take a look at the last week of action for the Golden State Warriors as we recap the games, identify top performers, and see some of the top plays. This past week was not the worst of the season for the Warriors as they did pick up a win but went just 1-3 over 4 games. Additionally, Steph Curry did not return on March 1st against the Wizards like many had anticipated. His delayed return to action continues as Golden State marches toward the NBA Draft lottery. 

2/25 vs. Kings, L 112-94

The week started off with a home game against the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento is a team that needed a hot start after the All-Star break in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. The Kings have done just that, as their win over the Warriors made it three straight wins following the break. They are now 5-1 since the All-Star break and sit just three games back of the eight seed in the Western Conference. 

Luke Walton’s team outscored the Dubs 33-22 in the first quarter and never really looked back. There’s been plenty of those kinds of games for Warriors fans to endure this season. Former Warrior Harrison Barnes dropped 21 points against his old team. De’Aaron Fox also scored 21 along with 5 assists. Buddy Hield, fresh off his Three Point Contest performance at All-Star Weekend, scored 19 points off the bench and knocked down five three-pointers. 

Marquese Chriss continues to take advantage of his opportunity in the Bay this season. The sixth overall pick in 2016 is shooting over 54% from the field this season, the highest mark of his career by far. Chriss put in 21 points in the loss to Sacramento but continues to show why giving up on a 22-year old developing prospect is not always the best idea. Andrew Wiggins chipped in 16 points along with 10 from Ky Bowman off the bench.

The Kings have now won three straight games over the Warriors in this Northern California rivalry series. That’s their longest win streak since 2000-2003 where they reeled off 15 in a row. 

Play of the Game: Marquese Chriss catches a second quarter lob from new teammate Dragan Bender and finishes with authority.

2/27 vs. LA Lakers, L 116-86

No LeBron? No problem at all for the Lakers in this one. LA committed to defense early and often, keeping the Warriors under 100 points for the second straight game. Even without LeBron James, Anthony Davis made things look easy as he scored 23 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and blocked 2 shots. Kyle Kuzma also took advantage of an increased role for the night as he went 8-17 from the field and scored 18 off the bench.

Despite being within two at halftime, the Warriors simply ran out of gas in the third quarter. LA routed them 40-17 in the third, essentially ending the game. Draymond Green was also ejected before halftime after picking up two technicals for arguing with officials. Needless to say, LeBron enjoyed watching the meltdown.

The Warriors were down a wing player themselves in the form of Andrew Wiggins. Unfortunately for them, however, they don’t have the extra talent right now to overcome a loss like that. Golden State scored just 34 points the entire second half. Steve Kerr spoke afterwards about the losing streak and how it’s starting to have an impact on the team’s mentality. 

Rookies Eric Paschall and Jordan Poole led the way for Golden State in the loss, scoring 23 and 16 points respectively. Mychal Mulder, who was recently acquired from the G-League on a 10-day contract, scored his first two NBA points in this one. 

Play of the Game: Eric Paschall baptizes Javale McGee before halftime.

2/29 @ Phoenix, W 115-99

It looks like whatever Kerr said to his team after the Lakers game worked. Well either that, or, the Suns just can’t get out of their own way. In any case, the Warriors picked up a rare win this season over a Suns team that continues to watch its playoff hopes disappear. The crazy thing about this game is that Golden State won with just an eight-man rotation. Draymond, Poole, and Bowman all missed the game with injuries. One player, the aforementioned Mulder, still does not have his NBA stats recorded on the ESPN website nor does he have a picture on there or Basketball Reference. 

What Mulder did have, though, was 14 points in the win along with a trio of shots from beyond the arc. He also had a transition three in the second half that would make the “Splash Brothers” proud. 

https://twitter.com/warriors/status/1233960862961942529

 Paschall was brilliant again, scoring 25 in a bench role this game. Damion Lee continued his impressive season with 20 points.  Wiggins added 17 despite a poor shooting night as well. Former Sun Dragan Bender also set season highs for himself in scoring and rebounds with 13 points and 9 boards. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak for the Dubs. 

Phoenix had a double-digit lead for most of the game before surrendering a 16-0 run at the end of the third quarter and trailed 92-81 going into the final frame. As a team, the Suns shot under 30% the entire second half. That’s unacceptable for a team fighting and scratching to be in the playoff conversation. 

Play of the Game: Oh, you thought someone not named Eric Paschall would be in the play of the game? Well, think again.

https://twitter.com/warriors/status/1233962673810731008

3/1 vs. Wizards, L 124-110

As they have done most of the year, the Warriors concluded the week with a loss. The loss brings the Warriors home-losing streak to nine games. The Wizards also received their first win on the road against the Dubs in six years. 

You think Bradley Beal was upset about not getting into the All-Star game? Beal is averaging 40 points per night since the intermission and became the first player since Kobe Bryant to drop 50 points on back-to-back nights. He scored 34 against the Warriors as their defense just had no answers for him throughout the night. Beal has now set a franchise record for Washington by scoring 25 points or more in 18 straight contests. 

For Warriors fans, this game was disappointing on two fronts. Of course, losing by double-digits at home is never fun. But, as mentioned, Steph Curry was rumored to return this game. Curry has been practicing with the G-League affiliate Santa Cruz Warriors recently to continue getting ready for his return.

There is still no official date set for his return to NBA action.

Andrew Wiggins led the way in the loss with 27 points. Paschall, Poole, and Mulder each chipped in 17 off the bench.

Play of the Game: Is that Draymond to Andre Iguodala or Paschall to Chriss?

Rocco Thompson

So, these weekly recaps normally just include game-related material and on-the-court action. However, Klay Thompson’s dog Rocco made some waves this past week. Since my name is also Rocco, I had to show the english bulldog some love. Klay has a shoe deal with Anta, the Chinese-based shoe company that also makes kicks for Kevin Garnett and Dwyane Wade. The new “KT5” from Anta features a Rocco-inspired design on the shoe and is just a fantastic blend of fashion and cuteness. 

The shoe is available online and was released at the Warriors team store at Chase Center. Needless to say, the launch went well.

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