PORTLAND — Warriors star Stephen Curry had his nickname playfully besmirched by a fan at Portland, and the Trail Blazers made sure the sign that was held up was for all to see.
Appearing on the video scoreboard late in the game was the fan holding up a sign that read, “Steph is a girl name.”
By that point, Curry was well on his way to a night in which he racked up 33 points and 10 assists as the Warriors would capture their first division championship in 39 years.
PORTLAND – The Warriors haven’t done much public campaigning for Stephen Curry to win the MVP award. They generally feel they shouldn’t have to because of their record. It’s also not Curry’s style.
However, coinciding with Houston’s James Harden putting up huge numbers has been some discussion about why Curry might not win. One reason revolves around his usage, as he averages just under 33 minutes per game. Only previous award winners Bill Walton (33.3) and Steve Nash (34.3) come close to that figure.
Warriors center Andrew Bogut put it another way as far as the minutes being an indicator of why Curry should be MVP rather than something that should be held against the point guard.
“He only needs to play 25, 30 minutes, and we’re winning games by 15, 20 points,” Bogut said Tuesday after Curry scored 33 points and dished out 10 assists in a win at Portland. “If he had to play 45 minutes for us, I’m sure he’d be averaging greater numbers, so in a way, it’s kind of flawed. He’s the MVP in my opinion. We’re the best team in the league. We have the best record in the league. I don’t think it’s close in my opinion.”
Asked if he pays attention to Harden’s recent numbers — 44 points Monday and a 50-point game last week — Curry said he looks at stats around the league nightly.
“To try to put extra pressure on myself to say, ‘Oh, (Harden) did this last night. I’ve gotta go do this tonight to keep my name in the running,’ I’m going to play like I did tonight regardless of what he has done or what anybody else has done in the league because I’ve got to be focused on what’s going on here,” Curry said.
The annual Curry Golf Classic in Davidson, N.C. put on by the family of Warriors star Stephen Curry had been scheduled for June 22, but is now cancelled, it was announced Tuesday.
“Due to Stephen Curry’s schedule and continued success, most likely heading to the NBA playoffs this year, the Currys have advised us they are no longer available for our golf event,” read a statement from the website for the Ada Jenkins Center, which benefits from the golf tournament. “They will continue to support Ada Jenkins in the future.
“Steph and Ayesha have made the West coast their home and are expecting their second child this June. We appreciate their support over the years and look forward to our continued relationship in the future!”
The NBA Finals begin June 4, and the Warriors could be a part of it as they have a 7 1/2-game lead for the top seed in the Western Conference with 12 games left.
OAKLAND – Mychal Thompson, the father of Warriors guard Klay Thompson, is unhappy that the team was able to rest healthy players including his son at Denver on Friday.
“This is a disgrace to the fans,” Mychal told 95.7 The Game as he was in town to broadcast the Los Angeles Lakers game Monday. “It is a disservice to the fans.
“My cousin has nine kids. He bought his tickets. He didn’t ask Klay for his tickets. He bought his tickets to take his kids to the Denver game for the first time for them to get to see Klay play in person. He gets there. No Klay.”
DENVER – Warriors forward David Lee has said all the right things about his decreased role this season on a team that has the best record in the NBA.
Asked if in his mind there was a silent disagreement about playing time, Warriors forward David Lee swatted away that idea.
OAKLAND – Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers repeated his contention that DeAndre Jordan is the Defensive Player of the Year before his team goes up against the Warriors’ Draymond Green.
“I just believe that DJ’s No. 1,” Rivers said Sunday. “I don’t think there’s a No. 2.
“I mean, Draymond Green’s great. I love his energy. He’s phenomenal, but DJ’s the best defensive player.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was more coy in his approach. When asked about Rivers’ thoughts that Jordan was “clearly” the Defensive Player of the Year deadpanned that Green was “clearly” the man who will win the award.
Kerr after Green led the defensive charge in a win at Boston was asked about the game being an advertisement for the Defensive Player of the Year candidacy and said, “Please write that because he deserves some accolades for what he does.”
Kerr said before the Clippers game both Green and Jordan have been phenomenal.
“They do different things, but DeAndre has been fantastic,” Kerr said. “He’s all over the place. He covers so much ground.”
Kerr said Green’s versatility on defense was important now that the league features more 3-point shooting and needs defenders to get out on those shooters.
“To have a guy who can do that and protect the rim and grab rebounds and switch on the pick and roll with point guards and stay in front of them, it’s incredibly unique and important,” Kerr said.
OAKLAND – David Lee, the Warriors’ highest-paid player, did not play in Friday’s win against Dallas.
The former All-Star was healthy, but has seen his already-diminished role shrink even more this month. The 104-89 win marked the fourth straight game in which Lee did not play in the second half for coach Steve Kerr.
“I didn’t make that decision until during the game,” Kerr said of not playing Lee. “I haven’t played Mo (Speights) much at all the last few games. I wanted to play Mo. I liked the matchup. We needed some scoring with the second group. We needed a little shooting, so I went with Mo tonight.
“I was hoping to get David out there, but I wanted to stay smaller at the four and more versatile just with our switching game. And I think our defense was really good, so I stayed with a defensive lineup. Festus (Ezeli) did a nice job when he went out there. I wanted to get him on Tyson Chandler, so once I got Festus and Mo out there, it’s hard to keep going and play 13 guys.
“At the beginning of the fourth quarter, I just decided David hasn’t played to this point. He’s a vet. He’s not a guy you put out there for five minutes and clean up the game at the end. We talked about it in the middle of the fourth and just said, ‘You know what? Tonight’s not your night, and hopefully the next game is.’ But every game’s a little different.”