DENVER, CO – JANUARY 13: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts in the final seconds of the game against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on January 13, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Warriors 112-110. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Get the latest score and analysis during the Warriors’ game against the Pistons in Detroit on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Follow Bay Area News Group beat writer Diamond Leung and others here for live updates and commentary.
NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 6: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after scoring against the Brooklyn Nets during the fourth quarter in an NBA basketball game at the Barclays Center on December 6, 2015 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Warriors defeated the Nets 114-98. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Draymond Green is thrilled to be playing in his home state on the night that Ben Wallace, a player he watched and got to know personally, will have his number retired by the Detroit Pistons.
And Green went the extra mile to honor Wallace himself, writing a heartfelt letter to the 2004 NBA champion that was published in the Detroit Free Press.
“What do you do, send a text? He gets a million of those,” Green said Saturday. “What do you do, walk up to him and say, ‘Ben, congrats?’ A million people are going to say that. But I think with the platform that we have, to take advantage of that and show my gratitude because it goes further than just another guy playing in the NBA. It’s a little deeper than that for me.”
Wallace was a fellow so-called undersized forward at 6-foot-9, but played 16 NBA seasons and inspired Green with his toughness.
“Guys who were a force and unstoppable big man at that time, he just dominated,” Green recalled. “Six-foot-nine on a good day, and he made guys look like little boys. And that was spectacular because not often do you see that – somebody dominate the game on the defensive end of the floor.”
Bay Area News Group Warriors beat writer Diamond Leung was in Michigan Thursday night to watch the Warriors play the Lakers on TV with Draymond Green’s mom, Mary Babers-Green. Here’s a snippet of what it was like:
Get the latest score and analysis during the Warriors’ game against the Lakers at Oracle on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. as Kobe Bryant makes his final appearance as a player in Oakland. Follow Bay Area News Group beat writer Diamond Leung and others here for live updates and commentary.
Here are five things we learned from the Warriors’ 112-110 loss to the Denver Nuggets:
1. Draymond Green was missed. Stephen Curry sat next to him after the game and heaped praise on the forward who’s All-Star caliber impact on the team became even more clear. Curry noted Green’s ability to guard four positions and be vocal on defense. “He has a very impactful skill set,” Curry said.
2. Harrison Barnes looked like his old self for the most part. He was disappointed some open shots in the second half didn’t fall, but he made a difference early on when the Warriors were going through a lull. He had an offensive rebound and dunk. He hit a 3-pointer that tied the game in the second quarter. Still, it wasn’t enough as Barnes experienced a loss for the first time this season.
3. The Warriors never say die, though that’s not much of a surprise. They never think they’re out of a game. Down by seven points with under a minute left, Curry went to work. The Warriors simply missed their opportunities. “Any time you got an MVP of the league on your team, you can go down there and hit some crazy shots, you’ll always have a chance to win the game,” Barnes said.
4. The Warriors needed to play smarter (see: Danilo Gallinari). Gallinari scored 17 of his 28 points on a night when he was 5-for-14 from the field. Luke Walton and multiple players noted that they simply didn’t have to foul him so often. Had Green not been rested, he would have had an impact there.
5. The Warriors were fine with that final look. Curry was the first option, but Walton said he would of course live with Thompson taking the shot, too. Thompson said he didn’t get his legs in it, and the shot fell short.
To go along with the story I wrote about the Warriors taking Todd Fuller over Kobe Bryant. which you can read here, I did a side-by-side breakdown of their respective careers through Sunday’s games. Enjoy:
x Fuller Bryant
NBA Seasons 5 20
NBA games played 225 1,311
Minutes 2,500 47,717
Points Scored 835 33,029
Scoring Average 3.7 25.2
Best scoring average year 4.1 35.4
Most points in an NBA game 18 81
Three-point baskets 0 1,722
Rebounds 674 6,929
Assists 46 6,229
Steals 34 1,911
Blocked shots 60 633
Shooting percentage .422 .449
Free throw percentage .668 .836
College games played 115 0
All-NBA first team selections 0 11
NBA MVP Awards 0 1
First-team all-defensive selections 0 9
All-Star Game selections* 0 18
All-Star MVP Awards 0 4
Playoff appearances 1 15
Career playoff games 10 220
NBA Finals MVP Awards 0 2
Career playoff scoring average 2.6 25.6
NBA championships 0 5
*–Counting this season, in which he is the leading vote-getter for the 2016 game
To go with it, here’s a list of players who were still available after the Warriors took Fuller with the 11th pick in 1996 (all played at least 10 years in the league):