OAKLAND – If someone says something ridiculous about the Warriors, Draymond Green will inevitably hear about it and be ready to return fire.
And Green was in fine form Wednesday after a 126-113 win against Houston completed a four-game, regular-season sweep of the Rockets.
Green knew all about the video the Rockets put out on their Instagram account of James Harden in a pregame huddle before Saturday’s game in Houston in which the NBA’s leading scorer told his team, “They beat us already twice. They ain’t that good.”
So here is a transcript of a smiling Green, dripping with sarcasm after the game, in response to the video:
TNT analyst Charles Barkley believes the Warriors are a jump-shooting team that won’t win the championship and recently took it a step further.
Barkley doesn’t even think the team with the NBA’s best record is a top-three team in the Western Conference, picking Memphis, Portland and Dallas.
“I have said the exact same thing for 16 years here,” Barkley said Monday. “I don’t like jump-shooting teams. I don’t think you can win the championship beating good teams shooting jumpers.
“Klay (Thompson) and Steph (Curry) are great players, and they’ve got a great home court, but I’m just saying…in a seven-game series, I don’t think they can make enough jumpers…No disrespect to the Golden State Warriors. I like teams that are built inside-out.”
Former Warriors coach Mark Jackson believes Stephen Curry and Houston’s James Harden are both good choices for midseason MVP.
“It’s awfully tough,” Jackson told Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio on Tuesday. “I think both of those guys, you can’t go wrong either way. Both guys playing at an extremely high level, both guys incredibly talented on the offensive end, and both guys have been the key to success of their teams.
“When you’re talking about Dwight Howard missing quality time, James Harden played incredible basketball throughout the whole first half, and Stephen has been special. So I don’t think you can go wrong either way.”
Told ESPN’s Avery Johnson picked New Orleans’ Anthony Davis for midseason defensive player of the year, Jackson this time went with his former player.
“I would probably lean towards Draymond Green as the defensive player of the year,” Jackson said. “What he does for that Golden State team is absolutely incredible on the defensive end.”
On a day where every Warrior who took the floor had something good to write home about in a 122-79 waxing of Denver, Sean Livingston might have been able to craft the deepest list of laurels.
The Warriors’ backup point guard was on the floor running the show Monday for all but a few seconds of the 22-2 second-quarter run that turned a 7-point lead into a 27-point bulge and made the 16th straight Oracle Arena victory a total laugher by halftime.
Livingston was also on the floor for the entire fourth quarter as the guiding hand for a patchwork lineup of reserves that shot 70.6 percent and outscored the Nuggets 33-19 when things just as easily could have gotten totally out of control.
Livingston’s own stat line for the day was pretty sweet, too – 6 for 6 from the field for 12 points, plus three assists, three steals and zero turnovers in 23 minutes. It was his first double-figure line in the last 14 Warriors games after a mid-December stretch when he played a very high level and it seemed almost criminal he had to come off the bench.
Of all the things he did Monday, Livingston was most proud of being the floor leader during those 12 minutes of fourth quarter garbage time with a lineup that included primarily Leandro Barbosa, Brandon Rush, Justin Holiday and a guy making his NBA debut, James Michael McAdoo. That was a novel lineup even for coach Steve Kerr, who was tried just about every roster permutation over the first 39 games.
The Warriors reached agreement Sunday on a 10-day contract with rookie forward James Michael McAdoo, who chose the team that invited him to training camp over Memphis, according to agent Jim Tanner.
McAdoo, 22, averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds, shooting 57.4 percent from the field in 22 games for the Santa Cruz Warriors, where Golden State allocated him. He had averaged 5.6 points and 3.6 rebounds in five preseason games for the Warriors before being waived.
The 6-foot-9 McAdoo, who went undrafted out of North Carolina, will fill Golden State’s 15th and final roster spot.
HOUSTON – Stephen Curry was asked about Klay Thompson’s All-Star potential, and he raved about his teammate. One question earlier, he said little that merited intrigue in response to his MVP candidacy.
That’s Curry for you, but in a 131-106 win at Houston, he did little to dispel the notion that he won’t end up winning the award assuming his transcendent play continues.
And yes, there was an example for the transcendent play (that appeared on Vine, of course).
OKLAHOMA CITY — The last time the Warriors lost, Draymond Green called out his team for being “too nice.”
This time after the Warriors fell 127-115 at Oklahoma City, he spoke at length about his own struggles of late.
It wasn’t like Green had a poor game with five points, nine rebounds and four steals, but he feels like he should take on the mindset to do more after going 2 for 6 from the field. Two days earlier, he shot 2 for 7 from the field and scored six points.