Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Paul George. They all have something in common in the NBA’s annual GM Survey, released Tuesday morning. All of them finished tied for third in the category “Best Shooting Guard in the NBA.”
Wait, is that a compliment or a dis?
Curry, along with Andre Iguodala, made a few appearances in the annual survey. It’s a minor barometer, but certainly this year’s survey echo the Warriors’ rising status in the league.
Here are the categories that featured the Warriors.
* 10.3 percent of NBA GMs predicted the Warriors to win the Pacific Division. That was the second-highest. The Clippers were the runaway winners (89.7%)
* For the “Which players forces opposing coaches to make the most adjustments?” question, Stephen Curry was listed in the “also receiving votes” section. The top 3 were LeBron James (66.7), Kevin Durant (13.3) and Chris Paul (10).
* Klay Thompson also received some votes for votes for the “Which player is most likely to have a breakout season in 2013-14?” question. New Orleans’ Anthony Davis topped that category with 27.6 percent.
* The best shooting guard category went like this:
The Andrew Bogut we rarely got to see last year was on full display today. Candid. Entertaining. Real. I usually leave the transcripts to the machine, but this one was pretty good and Tim Kawakami wasn’t there so I can let him do all the work for me.
Bogut talked about his injury, contract negotiations, Warriors’ expectations and, of course, #NBARank.
Update us on your injury
“It wasn’t anything bad. It was just precautionary. I just had a little pinch in my hip and my glutes. It wasn’t really a back spasm. The three-hour bus trip to the Great Wall and the three-hour bus trip back. After landing the night before. And going to a clinic the same afternoon. And having a dinner the same afternoon. And the next day having practice and going to another clinic. (All that) was probably a major reason. I think the off-the-court stuff kicked my (butt) more than on-the-court stuff. I just didn’t want to push through it just in case I did something else. Forty-eight hours later, I got my treatment and I feel good.
Did you think it was bad when it first happened?
It’s easy to nail down the top six teams in the West. Really the top seven. The difficult part is the order.
As always, there are a lot of variables. The biggest, as Warriors fans know too well, is health. Since I’m not into predicting injuries, for these rankings we are assuming health (except in cases where players are currently out). But the rest – player movement, coaching changes, old age, inexperience, a little gut, some guessing, a little Rock, Paper, Scissors – it’s all factored in.
Here is how I think the West standings (top 8) will look when the season ends. Prepare to disagree.
Seth Curry is in a difficult situation. He knows he needs to play point guard to make it in the NBA, a new position for him. He knows he needs minutes to develop that ability. But he also knows those are scarcely available on this Golden State roster.
“It’s something I’m still working on,” he said. “It’s going to take time. I’m not getting as many reps as I’d like. But I’m just trying to get out of my comfort zone of just being a scorer.”
Patience doesn’t seem to be a problem for the younger brother of the team’s star point guard. Seth Curry has had to exhibit it since April. He’s had to watch the draft process pass him by while he recovered from surgery on his right shin. He had to sit out summer league and bide his time until a training camp invitation came.
So now, though he’s getting limited reps in practice, and limited minutes in exhibition games, he is taking it in stride.
Andre Iguodala said he was so into the game, he didn’t even notice starting center Andrew Bogut was injured. He didn’t see him wincing and holding his back, or check out of the game and limp to the locker room.
“I knew at halftime when he had his flip flops on,” Iguodala said.
Fortunately for Iguodala, he was spared the fright many Warriors’ fans endured when Bogut was knocked out of Friday’s preseason game with lower back spasms. But there is no reason to panic. Not about Bogut or forward Harrison Barnes, who is still out with an inflamed foot/toe.
That was the prevailing message after Golden State’s practice on Monday, their first since returning from China.
Bogut practiced and his back spasms were just a minor setback. That’s how the Warriors are describing it. Coach Mark Jackson said he’s not concerned.
OAKLAND – The athleticism of Andre Iguodala is obvious. He’s got the best combination of speed, strength, size and leaping ability on the Warriors roster. He jumps passing lanes, catches lobs and smothers ball-handlers like Golden State fans haven’t seen probably since Latrell Sprewell.
But perhaps Iguodala’s best attribute, as it relates to his impact on the Warriors, is his ability to facilitate. With his ball-handling, court vision, size, basketball IQ, unselfishness, Iguodala has already established himself as one of the Warriors’ best playmakers.
He had just four points but was the most dominant player in Golden State’s 115-89 win over the Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, China. Iguodala had 14 assists to go with seven rebounds and five steals – all in just shy of 29 minutes.
Iguodala had five assists during a 24-5 third quarter Warriors run that took control of the game. Twice he set-up open 3-point looks for Klay Thompson, who nailed them both for six of his game-high 25 points. Minutes later, Iguodala found Stephen Curry open in transition to cap the spurt with a 3-pointer.
Andrew Bogut got the ball on the left low block, with Pau Gasol on his back. He took a couple dribbles towards the middle then spun back to his left, dropping in the left hand hook. This was at the 9:26 mark of the first quarter.
Running back down court, Bogut began to grimace and hold his lower back. Moments later, he was taken out of the game. He limped straight to the locker room. Not exactly a sight Warriors fans wanted to see.
Bogut was done for the night, knocked out of the second and final preseason game with lower back spasms. No word on the severity of the spasms, but safe to say the 12 hours of flying back to the United States will be uncomfortable.
Bogut played just 32 games last season. And though he was pivotal to the Warriors’ playoff success, he was laboring all 12 games in the postseason. But he said he was fully healthy after recuperating in the offseason. He’d lost nearly 20 pounds and clearly chiseled up. He said he was in the best shape he’d been in the last two years.
He has made it clear to point out his injury history, which has caused him to miss 104 regular season games the last two seasons, was the result of “freak” injuries. But this was hardly that.
This isn’t Bogut’s first back issues. He missed time last season thanks to a protruding disc in his back. He missed 43 games in 2008-09 with a lower back injury.
Bogut, who is currently negotiating a contract extension with Warriors’ management, was clearly frustrated at this latest brush with injury. It appeared he was expecting to stay in the game. He was attuned on the ensuing defensive possession, defending Gasol. Then as play stopped, he looked to be trying to stretch out his back by lifting his knees. He never asked to come out.
Coach Mark Jackson summoned Marreese Speights to check in seconds after he saw Bogut favoring his back. But when Speights checked into the game, Bogut appeared to wave him off at first before eventually jogging off straight to the locker room.