Baron, with the mini ‘fro and sweat dripping from the rugged beard beneath his mean mug, walked over to C.J. Watson and leaned in with fists balled. He faked a few body blows as C.J. curled up on the bench smiling, trying to block and dodge Baron’s air punches.
Davis wound up sitting down next to Watson and getting an update on the Warriors happenings.
I’ve heard in the rumor mill, from a few objective insiders, that Stephen Curry has been giving Monta the business in practice. Specifically, Curry’s been pulling and nailing mid-range jumpers at will. Undoubtedly, Monta has been returning the favor. But no one expects Curry to be able to guard Ellis. But it’s pretty interesting, I think so at least, that Curry is having his way with the starting point guard.
I will tell you one thing, Nellie is bubbling inside about Curry, and Sunday was a bit of evidence as to why.
One thing noticeable about Curry is that he sees the floor and he’s good at finding the open man. Add to that the threat of his stroke, and you’ve got a match-up problem. Curry on the floor with Anthony Morrow gives defenses fits because they both get their shots off quickly, and Morrow forces the defense to spread out.
CURRY: “I know where guys want the ball, which is something a point guard needs to know. Especially in our system, there’s a lot of movement, so knowing who to get the ball to in what position is something that will make us better.”
It is for this reason that Nelson feels like he must get Curry and Ellis on the floor at the same time. He said Curry is going to open up the floor for Ellis.
NELSON: “Anybody that’s going to play with Curry is going to be a beneficiary of a lot of open looks. That’s why I can’t keep him and Monta off the court together.”
Brandan Wright seemed to be in good spirits before Sunday’s game. He said he’s already moved on mentally to the rehabilitation process. The Warriors announced before the game that the MRI revealed damage to the “capsule of his left shoulder” and surgery is required. A timetable for his recovery won’t be set until after the surgery.
He turns 22 on Monday.
Wright said he got hit on the inside of his forearm up near the elbow.
WRIGHT: “My arm must’ve been hit like that a hundred times this summer.”
Wright said this time, the shoulder stayed out of its socket for more than five minutes. Last time, he said, it popped out and went back in. If you’ve ever done it yourself, or at least seen any of the Lethal Weapons, you know that hurts like nobody’s business.
WRIGHT:“Yeah, it definitely hurt.”
Late in the first quarter, Baron was driving for what looked like an uncontested layup. Baron Davis, meet Anthony Randolph.
AR4 came from the weak side and met Baron at the rim, swatted his attempt away. The block started a fast-break that led to Jackson finding Azubuike for an open layup.
Before the game, Curry tried on all his gear to make sure it fits. He likes it not too baggy and not too tight, he said.
The cheers began once they saw him walking out on the court, before his name was even announced, something that hadn’t happened since his junior year at Davidson after he led the school on its tournament run. He said he was already excited, and a bit nervous, after walking out onto the court for warm-ups.
Curry calmed himself down with defense. Seconds into his stint, he deflected a pass that led to a Warriors lay-up. A minute later, he nearly came up with a steal. See, he plays defense.
NELSON: “He just has the ability. Quick hands. Quick feet. I don’t know exactly what it is. He doesn’t look he’s going to be that kind of player, but he is. He’s going to be a special player some day.”
CURRY: “I value it. I work just as hard on the defensive end as I do on the offensive end. Being in the right position is where I’m going to be the most effective. I’ll play one-on-one D and make it hard on my defender, but my role as point guard is to contain the ball and be the help defender where I’m able to get deflections and get some steals and get out in the open court. I think I did that well tonight. I’m trying to be everywhere pretty much on defense. A lock down defender? They might not call me that. But I’ll be a great help defender.”
Stephen Jackson picked up a technical foul late in the first quarter when he complained about a foul call. No, preseason techs don’t count towards the 15 the league gives you during the season before being suspended. But if the replacement refs are still working when the season begins, Jax might be in trouble.
Anthony Morrow swears he has hops, he just doesn’t show them that often because he’s spotting up. Sunday, he showed off some hang time. On a fast-break with one defender, he cradled the ball as he glid across the key and dropped in a reverse layup.
MORROW: “Just instinct, I guess.”
By the way, he was 8-for-11 from the field 4-for-6 from 3-point range, and he had three assists.