Kent Bazemore is back. That tight, ineffective player you’ve seen is gone. You’ll see tonight, he says.
“I put the most pressure on myself. Thus far this season, I was just being to consumed with perfection,” Bazemore said after Wednesday’s shoot around. “Throughout my career, I have just let it happen. Early on this season is where I started to be somebody I wasnt and it showed on the floor. I’m back to myself. I’m ready to play. I’m ready to go.”
Bazemore could be in line for some meaningful minutes when the Warriors host the Memphis Grizzlies. Golden State will be without starting point guard Stephen Curry, who was ruled out with a mild concussion. Curry’s back-up, Toney Douglas, is still out with a stress reaction in his left tibia.
Remember the Klay Thompson commercial Midnight Shooter? Narrated by Mark Jackson, it featured Thompson working on his shot late at night. The NBA announced today it won the Best Intra-League Spot for the 2013 Sports Media Marketing Awards.
Fittingly, the award was announced the same day the Warriors debut the new TV “We Are Warriors” commercial. It is called The Assist and it features Klay Thompson and Warriors fan Toni Marshall from Hayward. And you get to see it here first.
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry will miss Wednesday’s game vs. Memphis with a mild concussion.
Curry had his head smashed into court when Utah Marvin Williams fell on his head in the fourth quarter of Golden State’s 98-87 road win.
The Warriors initially said Curry just had a headache. But further tests revealed the headache was a symptom of a concussion.
So Golden State is down its starting point guard, it’s backup point guard (Toney Douglas) and two back-up centers (Jermaine O’Neal and Festus Ezeli).
On top of that, Memphis – who has beaten the Warriors in 10 straight — is coming to town.
It was certainly nerve-wracking for Warriors’ fans, watching their teams 28-point lead dwindle and dwindle.
But during the break between the third and fourth quarters, Golden State’s lead down to 13, Mark Jackson didn’t look too worried, or upset, or the least bit irritated.
He then walked over to his huddled team and started talking, his expression not even changing.
Maybe he knew it was just a matter of time before the Warriors’ defense asserted its will. If so, he was right.
Golden State put the clamps down on Utah, leading to a 98-87 win. The Warriors held Utah to 39.5 percent shooting. If not for a garbage-time meltdown by the end of the bench, they would’ve held the Jazz under 80.
They dominated the boards (57-40) and capitalized off nearly every Utah miscue, scoring 19 points off 11 Jazz turnovers. That’s how you win going away despite shooting 40.5 percent – with defense.
“I like what we’re doing. We’re building and we’re starting to get our identity defensively,” center Andrew Bogut said. “We’re only as good as we are defensively. Whenever we (defend) on a consistent basis, we’re tough to stop.”
More on Monday’s win
Rookie center Dewayne Dedmon almost made the Warriors’ opening night roster after a solid training camp showing. So when back-up center Jermaine O’Neal went down with an injury, it was a no-brainer where the Warriors would turn for a stop gap on the frontline.
Golden State signed Dedmon, who was on their NBA Development League roster, to a contract Monday and he will be in uniform tonight as the Utah Jazz host Golden State. The Warriors were down to two centers, Andrew Bogut and little-used rookie Ogjnen Kuzmic, once O’Neal joined center Festus Ezeli on the shelf.
After the Warriors 100-88 semi-easy handling of Utah, it is easy to surmise their days of hiccups against bad teams are over. Not so fast says Stephen Curry.
“It’s too early, it’s only 10 games,” he said after totaling 15 points, 11 assists and zero turnovers. “There’s still a lot of time to keep building our chemistry when it comes to finishing games. We’re a lot more experienced than we were last year, just going through those times where we couldn’t hold the lead. Hopefully we’re better at it, but still not proven yet. We’ve got to continue to stay focused in that area when it comes to finishing games.”
The Warriors didn’t fall for the trap game. Coming off the OKC thriller, they came out of the gates and handled Utah. They had a third-quarter lapse, to be sure, getting their lead cut to eight.
But one good run put away the lowly Jazz. That’s how its supposed to be, right?
The Warriors improved to 5-0 at home this season. They have now held a double-digit lead in all five of their home games, with three wire-to-wire victories, and have trailed for only a combined 15:28 thus far over their home slate.
“It’s something that is very important and I think we’ve handled it well,” David Lee said. “It’s something that we need to do to be a successful team and to reach where we want to reach in this regular season. So far we’ve ‘beaten the teams we’re supposed to beat’ and we’ve won games at home. Now we need to go on the road and do the same thing against a Jazz team that’s going to come back and want a little revenge, so we’ve got a tough task ahead of us in the next couple of days and we’re ready for it.”
More on Saturday’s victory…