Pacific Notes: Curry, Warriors, Walton, Rivers

In Stephen Curry‘s absence, the Warriors did not stop winning as they won nine of the 11 games they played without their two-time Most Valuable Player. Despite their winning ways, the Warriors are a completely different team with a different mentality when Curry is healthy, Tim Bontemps of The Washington Post writes.

Without Curry, the Warriors still have shooting prowess of Klay Thompson, the versatility of Draymond Green, and the natural talent of Kevin Durant to guide the team. However, with Curry in the mix, he draws so much attention — mixed with his skill — that opposing teams struggle to adjust.

“He brings something different than anybody ever has, to be honest with you,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr tells Bontemps. “There are plenty of guys who dominate the game in different ways. You think of Shaq overpowering people, or Michael Jordans combination of power and skill and tenacity. But nobody has ever tilted the floor the way Steph does at such a deep range and with such incredible ballhandling skills.”

Curry scored 38 points with an NBA season-high 10 three’s made in his on-court return on Saturday. The 29-8 Warriors remain the top seed in the Western Conference and a healthy Curry only increases the odds that they will finish the regular season with the NBA’s best record for a fourth straight season.

Check out other Pacific Division news below:

  • There have been reports of the Warriors looking to trade one of their big men as JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulias names have come up in rumors. Danny Leroux of The Athletic (subscription required and recommended) examines how trading one of those players would impact the team’s salary cap.
  • The Lakers‘ losses have piled up in recent weeks but head coach Luke Walton is adamant about maintaining his decision-making and coaching style consistent, Bill Oram of the Orange County Register writes. “The guys know every decision I make might not always be right,” Walton said. “But every decision I make is answered with, ‘What do I believe is best for the team?’”
  • Austin Rivers‘ strained right Achilles tendon — while not season-ending — is only the latest blow to a Clippers team that has faced a drove of season-altering injuries, Elliot Teaford of the Orange County Register writes.


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