Golden State Warriors: Looking Ahead To The First Round

Dec 25, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) calls out to his teammates against Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul (3) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

It’s official. The Golden State Warriors, the sixth seed in the Western Conference, and the Los Angeles Clippers, the third seed, will face each other in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.

To start out the preview of this matchup, let’s just say that the Warriors and the Clippers do not like each other, on and off the court. It seems like almost every time they play each other, there’s some type of scuffle and usually several technical fouls given out.

In addition, much of this tension has carried over to their relationships off the court. Most teams attend chapel with their opponent before each game, but the Warriors and Clippers refuse to attend chapel together.

Although their dislike for each other started just a couple seasons ago, there is certainly a rivalry between these two teams. This is why this first round matchup will be so entertaining.

It’s almost like it was meant to be. Both these teams have risen from pretenders to contenders in the past few seasons, and they both believe that they’re better than the other team. They also both play exciting brands of basketball, and whenever they play each other, the games are incredibly competitive, physical, and entertaining.

The Warriors and the Clippers faced each other four times during the regular season. Their first two contests were fairly close, and the next two contests were blowouts. They split the games 2-2.

Let’s take a look at some of the factors that could decide which team wins this playoff series.

One of the key factors to this series is that the Warriors will be without Andrew Bogut, who is out indefinitely with a fractured rib. The Warriors will struggle without Bogut for several reasons.

Mar 2, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Golden State Warriors center Andrew Bogut (12) during their game against the Toronto Raptors at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors beat the Warriors 104-98. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

First of all, Bogut is the Warriors’ defensive anchor and rim protector. He doesn’t just block shots, he changes shots, changes how offenses attack the rim, and he defends the weak side extremely well. He also sets great screens on offense. These simple explanations don’t fully explain how important he is to the Warriors, offensively and defensively, as a whole.

Second, without Bogut, the Warriors will have trouble containing the Clippers’ size. Blake Griffin is a beast and is having an MVP-type of year. DeAndre Jordan isn’t a huge offensive threat, but his athleticism can really hurt the Warriors’ frontcourt.

It will be difficult for the Warriors to win the frontcourt matchup with the Clippers, but they could win the backcourt matchup.

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson make up one of the best backcourts in the NBA. The Clippers will most likely send multiple defenders at Curry to try to force him into turnovers and bad shots.

Chris Paul defends Curry well and forces him to turn the ball over a lot, so this could be a tough matchup for Curry. They have played against each other so much during the NBA season and they work out together in the offseason, but these two often bring out the best in each other.

Curry has been playing at a whole other superstar level recently though, and it seems like no one will be able to stop him.

In terms of defense, the Warriors’ perimeter defense is one of their strengths. Andre Iguodala, Thompson, and even Curry at times, to a lesser extent though, are all great defenders and can lock down or contain whoever they’re guarding.

The Warriors could have difficulty with defense in the frontcourt though. Even if they decide to start Draymond Green at power forward, to guard Griffin, or Jermaine O’Neal at center, to guard Jordan, they will still face some trouble defensively, given the Clippers’ size and athleticism.

In order to limit the Clippers’ frontcourt offensively, the Warriors might want to employ the hack-a-Jordan philosophy. Jordan is shooting 42.8 percent on free throws, and the Clippers, as a team, shoot 73 percent on free throws, which is 26th in the NBA.

Griffin has improved as a free throw shooter, but in the right situation, the Warriors might want to foul him too. They need to be careful though, because Griffin does a lot of “flopping,” and the Warriors, especially Green, can’t afford to get into foul trouble.

Nov 23, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin (32) and Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan (6) stand during a break in play against the Sacramento Kings during the fourth quarter at Staples Center. The Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings 103-102. Mandatory Credit: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors also need to be active on the boards. The Clippers give up 43.7 rebounds per game, which is 25th in the NBA, so the Warriors need to take advantage of that.

On offense though, the Warriors could benefit greatly from going small and playing Green at power forward and Lee at center. Warriors fans are well aware of Lee’s defensive deficiencies, but offensively, he could succeed in a smaller lineup.

As a center, Lee thrives because he’s able to utilize his quickness against slower, bigger centers. Also, as a center, he doesn’t have to fight for space in the paint, which he often has to do with whoever is playing center for the Warriors.

Lee needs space to work in the paint and in post-ups in order to be effective. This is why he plays so well alongside Curry and Thompson. The Splash Brothers space the floor, and the Lee is able to work inside the paint and around the rim.

The Warriors will certainly face some tough matchups in the starting lineup, but the Clippers might also have an edge in terms of their bench and coaching. The Clippers have Jamal Crawford, Darren Collison, Danny Granger, Matt Barnes, Glen Davis, Hedo Turkoglu, and others all coming off the bench. That is an extremely deep bench with lots of different players who could hurt the Warriors.

The Warriors have had a fairly inconsistent bench this season. Steve Blake, Jordan Crawford, Harrison Barnes, and Marreesse Speights will be called upon for significant contributions off the bench, and they will have to step up big if the Warriors want to pull off the upset.

In terms of coaching, the Clippers might win the coaching category too. Although Mark Jackson led the Warriors to the Western Conference semifinals, Doc Rivers has won a championship. He has more experience, and he’s a defensive mastermind.

Jackson knows how to motivate his team and could out-coach Rivers in that sense, but it’s yet another challenge the Warriors will have to face.

With all this being said, the Warriors have more heart than possibly any team in the NBA. They will not give up, they will give their best, and they will put up a fight. They won’t go down easy, so don’t expect this series to be over quickly.

Prediction: Clippers win in 7

San Francisco Giants: 3 Good Signs/3 Bad Signs From First 10 Days

April 5, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford (35) celebrates the 7-2 victory against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The San Francisco Giants have played great baseball and shown much improvement so far in the 2014 season. The Giants knew that 2013 was disappointing in many different ways and that they would have to go back to fundamentals in Spring Training to have a more successful season in 2014.

Obviously, it’s still very early in the season, but the Giants have improved in several areas that they struggled with last season. There are still some areas that need work, but thankfully for the Giants, they have lots of time to improve in those areas.

Here are three good signs from the first 10 days of the 2014 season for the Giants:

1) Brandon Belt’s hot streak at the plate has carried over from last season. Belt is currently hitting .342 and has a .737 slugging percentage with five home runs and nine RBI. He leads the Giants in home runs, RBI, and runs.

After hitting .350 with five home runs and 13 RBI and having a 1.051 OPS in August of 2013 and hitting .341 with two home runs and 15 RBI and having a .910 OPS in September of 2013, Belt was set to have a breakout year in 2014. Even though it’s early, it seems as if that prediction will come true.

Belt is on pace to have an All-Star caliber year, and he could possibly even hit 25-30 home runs this season.

2) The Giants’ offense so far this season, specifically their power numbers and their hitting with RISP, has been impressive. As of Wednesday, the Giants rank first in MLB with 13 home runs, whereas in 2013, the Giants ranked second to last in MLB with 107 home runs for the whole season. Obviously, it’s early in the season and the Giants played their first four games in the hitter-friendly Chase Field, but the power displayed so far by Belt, Buster Posey, Michael Morse, and others has been impressive.

Apr 6, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9) follows through on a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers defeated the Giants 6-2. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to their power, the Giants lead MLB with a .393 average with runners in scoring position. They also lead MLB with a .462 average with runners in scoring position and with two outs.

These are all impressive, especially given the fact that the Giants struggled so much with runners in scoring position last year. In 2013, the Giants left an average of 3.70 runners in scoring position per game, which ranked 26th in MLB.

The Giants’ offense has looked more powerful than last season, and Angel Pagan deserves a lot of credit. Pagan is hitting .447, which leads the Giants, and has a home run and eight RBI. He also leads the Giants in OBP with .488 and hits with 17. Pagan has also hit safely in all nine of the Giants’ games so far. Pagan is healthy, and the Giants’ offense is benefiting greatly from his presence and his hot hitting.

3) Tim Hudson has become a fan favorite because of his dominant pitching so far. He’s started two games so far, and he’s gone 2-0 and has a 1.15 ERA, 11 strikeouts, no walks, and a 0.64 WHIP in 15.2 innings. He’s allowed opponents to hit just .182 against him, and he’s allowed just 10 hits and two earned runs.

Every single one of these stats is excellent, but one of the important stats to the Giants is the fact that he’s pitched 15.2 innings in two starts. So far this season, Hudson is the only Giants starting pitcher to complete seven innings, and he’s done this in both of his starts.

Last season, Giants’ starting pitchers threw too many pitches, made too many early exits, and this taxed the bullpen and Posey. Hudson’s efficiency and low pitch counts are already greatly benefiting the Giants.

Here are three bad signs from the first 10 days of the 2014 season for the Giants:

1) Besides Hudson, the starting pitchers haven’t shown some much-needed stability. One of the main reasons why the Giants failed to make the playoffs in 2013 was because their starting pitchers struggled, besides Madison Bumgarner. They need this to change in 2014, and so far, they haven’t proven they can be more reliable as a staff.

Apr 4, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (32) in the third inning of the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

So far, Matt Cain has a 5.73 ERA, Tim Lincecum has a 9.90 ERA, and Ryan Vogelsong has a 9.00 ERA. Bumgarner has a 1.74 ERA, but he hasn’t pitched more than 6.1 innings yet.

Vogelsong’s struggles have been the most concerning, because he has faced serious velocity and mechanical issues since returning from injury last season. Hopefully Vogelsong, and the pitching staff as a whole, can bounce back.

2) Marco Scutaro started the season on the DL, and there haven’t been any updates so far on his status. Alex Pavlovic of the Bay Area News Group reported that Bruce Bochy has no idea when Scutaro will be back with the team.

“I really don’t know,” Bochy said when asked about Marco Scutaro. “I know he’s doing baseball activities. I don’t even have a target date for you and I don’t think Dave Groeschner can even have that for you.”

So far, Scutaro’s absence hasn’t been too troublesome for the Giants because of the emergence of Brandon Hicks, the versatility that Joaquin Arias possesses, and the defensive prowess of Ehire Adrianza. However, it has to be a little concerning that the Giants don’t have a timetable for the return of their 2012 NLCS MVP and 2013 All-Star.

3) The Giants struggled mightily with defense last season, and they’ve shown some inconsistency on defense this season too. During the first game of the season, they committed two errors but it easily could’ve been more than that. They struggled with executing simple rundown plays, handling bunts, etc.

It even prompted Bochy to ask bench coach Ron Wotus if they needed to start spring training again. The Giants made a point during spring training to get back to the fundamentals on defense, and it certainly didn’t show during that first game.

The Giants have played better defense since then, but they need to keep improving.

Golden State Warriors: Is Mark Jackson In Trouble?

March 12, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors head coach Mark Jackson watches game action against the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

In the past couple weeks, much of the discussion about the Golden State Warriors has been about Mark Jackson. Many Warriors fans want Jackson to be fired, because they believe the Warriors haven’t lived up to expectations. They have classified the 2013-14 season as disappointing, despite the Warriors’ 46-29 record.

Does this mean Jackson’s future with the Warriors is in trouble? Not exactly…

On the court, his allocation of minutes, his play-calling, his rotations, and his decision-making have all been criticized this season, some of it warranted and some of it not.

Off the court though, Coach Jackson is one of the best motivators in the NBA, and often, motivating players can be the hardest task of all for a coach.

Coach Jackson isn’t a Gregg Popovich type of coach. Popovich is a master of both play-calling and motivating his players. However, Coach Jackson is still learning and developing as a coach. This is his third year of coaching in the NBA, and even though he could improve in certain areas, he’s not by any means a bad coach.

Tim Kawakami brings up a good point that Coach Jackson could use another top assistant coach, besides Pete Myers. Last season, Michael Malone, now the head coach of the Sacramento Kings, was Jackson’s top assistant, and many fans have discussed how much his absence this season has affected Jackson.

Despite the rumors that Jackson and Malone would go for weeks at a time without speaking to each other, Malone was known as the X’s and O’s coach for the Warriors. He drew up the plays in timeouts and in close-game situations, and many people believe that’s a skill that Jackson lacks.

Malone was also the “defensive coordinator” of the Warriors. However, in Malone’s absence, the Warriors rank fourth in the NBA in opponent field goal percentage at 43.6 this season after ranking fourth last year too. The Warriors haven’t seen a decline in their defense since Malone left, so Jackson has to be given credit for that.

In addition to the drama associated with the Malone situation, Jackson had trouble with another assistant coach, Brian Scalabrine, this season. About a week or so ago, it was reported that Jackson forced a reassignment of Scalabrine to the Warriors’ D-League affiliate, the Santa Cruz Warriors. This isn’t huge news because Scalabrine was the fourth assistant coach, but it does further the drama about Jackson’s “strained” relationship with the front office.

Jackson has one year left on his contract, and there hasn’t seemed to be any talks between Jackson and management about a contract extension.

In fact, there have been other rumors that Jackson might leave the Warriors after this season to coach the New York Knicks. Of course, this is all speculative at this point.

Also fueling the rumors of tension between Jackson and the front office, Joe Lacob hasn’t spoken out in support of Jackson since the Scalabrine reassignment.

However, Bob Myers showed support for Jackson yesterday in an interview with KNBR. Here are some quotes from the interview:

 

 

 

Along with Myers, many of the Warriors players have openly supported Jackson. Stephen Curry has been the most vocal about it. He said he loves playing for Jackson and he supports him 100 percent.

The Warriors’ other captain, David Lee, has also supported Jackson. Sam Amick of USA Today Sports spoke to Lee about this:

“We have one of the best locker rooms, in my opinion, in the whole league,” said Lee, the ninth-year pro who played his first five seasons with the Knicks. “I’ve been on teams that had awful chemistry and the coaching staff is constantly arguing with players and vice versa, and there has been none of that here. The word ‘dysfunction’ (which has been used in the media to describe the Warriors) is one that we’ve been laughing about, almost making a joke out of it, like are you serious?

“We trust Coach Jackson. We trust each other as teammates. There’s not a whole lot else you can worry about. Our chemistry is great. I think that we have a chance to do special things this year, so I’m just not going to let this bother me. We believe in Coach.”

Jermaine O’Neal has also been vocal about the situation, and he told Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Gourp that he might even consider coming back for a 19th year in the NBA just so he can play for Coach Jackson again.

“It’s a couple reasons why I will come back,” O’Neal said Saturday. “This fan base, this organization is first class, and obviously my teammates are great, as well.

“But the No. 1 reason that I will come back and play another year is because of Coach Jackson. I’m absolutely, 100 percent positive about that. He makes it easy to come in this gym every day, and there’s not a lot of coaches that do that.”

O’Neal also said that all the criticism of Jackson and the discussion about firing him is “ridiculous.”

Fans set high, yet somewhat unfair expectations for the Warriors this season. The Warriors are currently 17 games above .500, which is nothing to complain about.

Fans expected the Warriors to contend for a championship this season, but they seem to forget that it takes a few years for young teams, like the Oklahoma City Thunder for example, to grow and develop into title contenders. These unfair expectations have unfortunately fallen on the shoulders of Jackson.

Jackson isn’t the best coach in the NBA. However, for both the Warriors and Jackson, becoming an elite team or an elite coach is a long process. Jackson can improve on some of his rotations and play-calling, but he is a significant reason why the Warriors have the impressive record that they have.

Jackson has been the perfect coach to get the Warriors out of the dirty doldrums of dysfunction, but is he the right coach to get the Warriors a championship? Only time will tell. As of now, Jackson shouldn’t be fired, especially since the Warriors’ best player, and face of the franchise, is a diehard supporter.

LGW: Golden State Warriors Injury List: Add Andrew Bogut Pelvic Contusion After David Lee Hamstring, Hilton Armstrong Returns

(Photo: Kelley L Cox / USA Today)

(Photo: Kelley L Cox / USA Today)

The Golden State Warriors entered their five-day break between games a little banged up. After Friday night’s victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, in which Marc Gasol knee’d Andrew Bogut in the groin, they’re even more banged up.

David Lee suffered a hamstring strain in last Saturday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs, Stephen Curry has been nursing a right quad injury, although he told LetsGoWarriors.com last Tuesday that it was all but gone, Andre Iguodala has been dealing with a right “jumper’s knee” or knee tendinitis, prior to the pelvic contusion Bogut had a tweaked ankle, and Festus Ezeli is still rehabbing from right knee surgery.

This time off helped heal some of the wounds that many Warriors’ players were dealing with, and it also allowed us to get an update on each nagging injury.

Let’s start off with Lee. LetsGoWarriors at practice yesterday and the Warriors informed us of the following:

At Tuesday’s practice, Lee discussed his injury status and the benefits of this break.

“Everybody got to get away from the game for a couple days and get rested up,” Lee said. “As you know, I’m battling a little hamstring thing, so hopefully I’ll be ready for Friday, making progress everyday. But without that, I’d be having to miss games right now.

“Once again, just like the All-Star break, this break has come at a perfect time for our team. We’ve been playing really good basketball and just trying to come out of this and be sharp for Friday. I’m sure Coach will have us doing some stronger practices as we get closer to get our wind back.”

At Wednesday’s practice, Curry discussed his quad injury with us.

“It’s pretty much gone at this point,” Curry said. “The rest from this week helped to get that last little bit of soreness. I still got to do a little bit here and there to get ready for games, but at this point in the season everyone’s got nicks and bruises and bangs.

“It’s not really on my mind much when I’m playing anymore, which is definitely an improvement from weeks past.”

Iguodala discussed the five days off and provided an update on his knee tendinitis at Tuesday’s practice.

“Well I think it’d be helpful for anybody,” Iguodala said about the break. “It’s not common you get a stretch like this where you go and you get four or five days off right in the middle of the schedule. It’s really just important to just to be cautious but also be effective with trying to get back as soon as possible.”

When asked if he would play on Friday against the Grizzlies, he said, “Yeah, that’s the plan. I got a really good workout yesterday with Coach Myers and then got some good reps up today, really just taking care of minor things in the weight room for the last five days, small tedious muscles that you forget about and get those back working and take some stress off the area.”

Read updates on Andrew Bogut and Festus Ezeli’s injuries and the rest of the article at Let’s Go Warriors.

Stephen Curry and Others Show Support for Mark Jackson

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

(Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

When news broke out about the reassignment of former assistant coach Brian Scalabrine, the rumors about Mark Jackson’s future with the Golden State Warriors started swirling.

This has been a hot topic for much of the Warriors’ season, and whether it’s warranted or not, this piece of news added fuel to the fire for people who want Coach Jackson fired.

The face of the franchise, Stephen Curry, has been very vocal about his support for Coach Jackson. Monte Poole of CSN Bay Area with the report:

Curry has consistently expressed unwavering support for Jackson, and has shown no indication of backing off in the face of mounting criticism of the coach.

“We’re two years removed from being a terrible basketball team,” Curry said. “The transformation we’ve had since coach Jackson has been here is obviously evident and it raises the expectations. Yeah, we’ve lost some winnable games and games we shouldn’t have along the way, but that’s part of the growth process. We’re on pace for the best season in 20 years. That’s a sign of good change.

“I support coach 100 percent and understand what he’s done for us. Being in the locker room every single day and just observing from my rookie to year to now what has changed. Most of all of that is a result of him.

“So what people say or criticism he takes, I know he takes it on the chin and keeps moving. It doesn’t waver his confidence at all. That’s what I admire most about him. We’re going to go out and continue to play hard for the rest of this season and into the playoffs, and kind of block that noise out. Because I know everybody in the locker room supports him 100 percent.”

In addition to his support, Curry wants to be consulted on Jackson’s coaching future with the Warriors. Monte Poole again has the report:

If CEO Joe Lacob is considering whether to retain Jackson or perhaps offer him an extension – or consider dismissing him – Stephen Curry would like to be involved in the process.

“I hope they ask, for sure,” Curry says. “And I’d give them my honest opinion. And hopefully that means something.”

“I love coach and everything he’s about. I love playing for him and that’s all that matters to me.

Curry has been the voice of the players, but other people, outside of the organization, have shown appreciation for Jackson’s coaching as well. Klay Thompson’s father, Mychal Thompson, a 13-year NBA veteran, admires Jackson’s coaching and appreciates his praise for Klay’s game.

Diamond Leung of the Bay Area News Group reports:

Told of the high praise, Thompson said he loved hearing it from Jackson. It’s Jackson whom Mychal Thompson credits for instilling the confidence in his son.

“Mark doesn’t pressure his players,” said Mychal, who played 12 seasons in the NBA. “He allows them to grow. He gives them time to grow and become men themselves.”

Jackson has a very close relationship with his players, and Ethan Sherwood Strauss of ESPN believes that’s partially due to his preaching about faith and religion but also his faith in his players.

But Jackson believes in belief and believes in his guys. Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, and Festus Ezeli all saw substantial roles as rookies. Green shot miserably throughout last season. Jackson reiterated his faith in Green’s game, kept feeding him minutes, and Green came through big for Jackson in the playoffs. The second-rounder has emerged as a valuable defensive player in his second year. Jackson promotes confidence, bragging outright about his players and their capabilities (he has compared Green’s defense to that of LeBron James, for example). His strategy is to raise internal expectations through effusive praise, in hopes that the power of positive thinking shifts the paradigm of a historically awful franchise.

There’s anecdotal evidence that Jackson’s religiosity helps the Warriors. The quite religious Jermaine O’Neal signed a reasonable contract with Golden State. Noted Christian Andre Iguodala built a relationship with Jackson before heading west from Denver. In Iguodala’s introductory news conference, he mentioned getting to know Curry (and Kevin Durant) over chapel sessions at the 2010 world championships.

By all indications, the great majority of Warriors players like how faith intermingles with work.

It appears as if the team, especially Curry, want Coach Jackson to remain as their head coach. Will management listen to their star player and stick with Jackson?

Marcus Thompson of the Bay Area News Group comments on this:

Once again, Warriors management has decided not to publicly support Jackson. That trend isn’t lost on a few players who staunchly supports their coach. A few players expressed the dismay at the lack of favor Jackson has despite the success he’s enjoyed the last two seasons. They see that Jackson simply had the final of his year picked up and was not given his extension. They took note when co-owner Joe Lacob told Tim Kawakami he was disappointed and had some concerns about Jackson. And while Jackson has been constantly under attack, they’ve noticed no one has come out to Jackson’s defense.

Now that the Bay is abuzz about this Scalabrine news, and questioning Jackson, management has chosen to stay quiet.

Multiple players have told me they get the sense Jackson could end up leaving – whether it is by Jackson’s choice or management’s.

San Francisco Giants: 2014 Preview

Mar 12, 2014; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum (55) is taken out of the game by manager Bruce Bochy (15) against the Chicago White Sox at Scottsdale Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

This article was originally published on Golden Gate Sports.

The San Francisco Giants have one mission for the 2014 season. The Giants hope to prove that the 2013 season was a fluke and that they’re ready to contend for not just a playoff spot but also another World Series title.

Here’s a preview of the Giants’ 2014 season:

LGW: Stephen Curry Interview With Dan Patrick: #DubBracket, NCAA Tournament, And Playoff Goatees

(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)

Stephen Curry is a superstar on and off the court. He has the confidence but also the humility of a true star.

On Monday, Curry displayed this confidence on the Dan Patrick Show when he discussed his chances in the #DubBracket Challenge, the three-point shooting bracket challenge that Golden State Warriors’ players and coaches — although only head coach Mark Jackson remains alive after one round — are participating in, his defense, and more.

Curry came out and declared that he will win the Warriors’ #DubBracket Challenge.

“Guarantee it,” Curry said. “Klay Thompson will not be happy about that.”

Patrick questioned this statement, because he pointed out how Mark Jackson was able to beat him in a three-point shootout earlier in the season. Curry explained that he lost to Jackson because he was icing his shoulders right before they started shooting.

Curry also displayed confidence when discussing his defense, which has been highly criticized over the course of his career.

Patrick asked Curry, “Can you guard anybody?”

Curry answered without hesitation, “Of course.”

Curry credits his defense to his quick hands and his peskiness. He also claims that he tries to make his opponent uncomfortable on defense. These are all reasons why Curry believes that he could shut down Coach Jackson if he were to guard him.

“Shooting threes, he got the best of me one day, but I don’t think he can score on me,” Curry said about Coach Jackson.

Read more about Curry’s thoughts on the NCAA Tournament, Jabari Parker, Andrew Wiggins, and the Warriors’ plans for playoff goatees at Let’s Go Warriors.