After an underwhelming beginning to the season, Warriors‘ forward Jordan Bell turned in one of his best performances of the 2018/19 campaign in Monday’s win over the Suns, and the Warriors need more outings like that moving forward, writes Monte Poole of NBC Sports Bay Area.
“This is how we want Jordan to play,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters, “with great pace and energy and anticipation, being early on rotations defensively, blocking shots and running the floor.”
Bell played less than 16 minutes, but scored a season-high 10 points while also grabbing six rebounds, blocking three shots, and dishing out two assists. And after the Warriors just lost center Damian Jones to a season-ending pectoral injury, the Warriors have been desperate for any help they can get at center before DeMarcus Cousins returns from injury, who Bell credited with his good game.
“Boogie gave me a lot of confidence (Sunday) in open gym, me just kicking his (backside) and getting buckets,” Bell said. “He gave me a lot of confidence. Steve saw it and saw that the confidence was up and decided to play me today.”
Kerr added that he believes Bell is also playing better because he’s started to relax and isn’t trying to do too much – in other words, he’s learning to accept a role.
“He got off to a slow start this year by trying to do too much,” Kerr said. “Lately, he’s settling down. He’s gotten in a few times, even though he hasn’t been in the rotation, where he’s done his job and done a really good job for a few minutes. And that’s what we’re asking.”
There’s more from Oakland:
- Last summer’s prized free agent acquisition, the aforementioned Cousins, went through all of today’s practice, reports Nick Friedell of ESPN. Per Kerr, who spoke to Cousins for a few minutes after practice, the 28-year-old still has to improve his conditioning. So, despite the full practice under his belt, it remains up in the air as to when Cousins will return to game action.
- According to Mark Medina of the Mercury News, it appears that the Warriors will opt to keep Alfonzo McKinnie on the roster and let his contract become fully guaranteed on January 10. It would be interesting to know whether the same could be said had the Warriors’ matched the Cavaliers’ offer sheet for Patrick McCaw.
- ICYMI: Marc Stein believes that Kevin Durant may spend one more season with the Warriors before looking to move on in free agency. Stein also hears that Cousins may be interested in staying in Oakland through the 2019/20 season and Klay Thompson may stay in Golden State past this season as well.