Clippers-Warriors moments from morning til midnight (+VIDEO)
Damion serenade, Steph heroics, JP struggles, NBA 75, Chase full-house
Trying something new here: a super-detailed MFMTM (aka recap of my “moments from morning til midnight”) starting with morning shootaround and ending, literally, after midnight. As this whole site is somewhat of a diary of my coverage of the team, I will not include Wednesday’s practice, although I hope to post such things more on a daily basis in the future. We’ll see how that goes.
This admittedly extremely long post ends many swipe-ups below with a paywall demarcation line — thanks again, Substack engineers! Under it, subscribers will find the full videos to the Zoom interviews.
Right before the paywall line are the postgame notes and quotes broken down into topics (or “narratives” or “reactions” or “hot takes” or whatever you want to call them). I’ve been poo-poo’ed by a backstabber in the past for just showing the quotes as “bullet points”, even as said hater’s colleagues tweeted postgame quotes on Twitter — umm, aren’t tweets essentially bullet points?
So now I’ve taken those aforementioned “notes and quotes” (as I’ve called them) and regrouped them into their respective narratives, narratives that likely will get written about by our favorite beatwriters. This regrouping process is a big pain in the butt, but it has the benefit of reinforcing my knowledge of what the Golden State Warriors said about their performances and doing this helps me organize those narratives into bite-sized chunks for our YouTube audience — assuming I get around to producing that content.
Granted, this is an entirely new approach to covering a game in a super-comprehensive way. I can understand if some reporters won’t like what I’m doing here, because it kind of cannibalizes their stories, i.e., maybe some of you will start ditching the traditional side stories for my deeply thorough one. But I feel my job is to transfer the experiences and basketball knowledge that I gained by having access to the team, into your brains as efficiently as possible, and quite frankly, I cannot think of a better way to do this seemingly impossible task.
There is no doubt that reading reporters’ stories and features that emanate from the game will be a far more entertaining experience than what is below. And besides, I don’t actually recap the game itself. That’s why they get paid the big bucks, to weave a story for you about the game or some sideshow of it that leaves you entertained. Again, my focus is on information and you might even think my content is more textbook-like. Sorry to be so robotic, but I have an Electrical Engineering degree from Cal and literally have an engineer’s DNA flowing through my veins. I honestly can’t help it.
Don’t forget the positives of my scientific approaches to basketball. It helped build a massive YouTube audience focused on inside looks at the Warriors’ daily happenings, with a content production process much how Stephen Curry’s routines have been ingrained into his workouts, that churns out as much behind-the-scenes views as are reasonably allowed — that doesn’t step on anyone’s toes while also furthering the GSW and NBA brands, as well as the experience of the greatest game ever invented, which this team executes at the highest level possible on this planet.
Okay, so the spiel is now out of the way and newcomers to this site can refer to the above as an explanation of what I do and why I do it. One cool potential outgrowth of these ridiculously thorough day-in-the-life recaps: sometimes it won’t matter if we won or lost. And I say “we” on purpose. I’m taking you on the journey. Pretty much the same journey as Steph and his mates, although we wouldn’t know what he does during his time in the locker room and at the team hotel. But it’s pretty darn close to the real thing. And like Curry told us last season, you gotta fall in love with the process. That is fully my intention here with LGW. Let’s move on with the day with the Warriors and Clippers…
Draymond Green ended up saying last night in the postgame that Steph didn’t miss in shootaround. While this is not true in the literal sense, my two-minute video slice of Curry and Green during that time seemed to back that up. Maybe it was just coincidence that Dray observed Steph hitting a ton of shots during the same stretch that I captured on video. You can see Steph hit sixteen straight shots, most of them threes, here:
However, in the two-minute clip below Steph only hits at a “paltry” 3-for-9 clip. Maybe Dray wasn’t paying attention at that point, who knows:
I have some thoughts about the side out-of-bounds play he does with Bruce Fraser at the end of the above video, but I think I’ll post that separately so it doesn’t get lost in this write-up.
So it begs the question: Does morning shootaround or pregame performance suggest how Steph will produce during the game that night? Despite that fact that he would go 5-for-5 from the logo later in his pregame routine, I’m going to actually say no.
I recall that Curry has said this in the past, but I’m not sure I’d be able to dig up the Q&A from our vast library of Steph interviews. I think yesterday was one of those coincidences and I maintain that even though I do recall him not shooting very well in the morning shootaround on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He, of course, infamously went 5-for-21 later that night in the win against the Lakers.
Another funny thing that happened while Curry and Green were on the same court: Andrew Wiggins and Damion Lee ended up in a shooting contest. You can see them discuss certain points in other players’ workout videos on our channel from morning shootaround. If you’re super-diehard, go check those out. I think they’re in the above Steph workout as well as the Draymond one:
You wonder what Wiggins and Lee were talking about, because there seemed to be much debate between them as to where exactly they were shooting from. For example, they’d say something to each other, then point to some imaginary line at their feet. I wish we had access to the locker room because I could show them the video and ask them what finer points they were nitpicking about. I mean, as a casual observer, does it really matter? Just shoot the damn rock from wherever you’re gonna shoot and whomever makes it, makes it, right?
Anyways, Lee ended up winning and had a celebration at the end of this video:
Unsurprisingly, the video that got a lot of hits was the first look at new two-way player Jeff Dowtin, Jr. (I actually didn’t know he was a “junior” until I saw his long name on the back of his practice jersey). It’s sometimes funny the fickleness of DubNation, our audience. It’s like the new guy is always the novelty and novelties will wear off, but I’ve been around long enough to have known that filming Dowtin first would pay dividends:
Juan Toscano-Anderson Q&A
After filming as much as I could from the main court, even with Steph getting intercepted by an unfamiliar reporter on his way to the locker room, then stopping by to have a long chat with NBA.com’s Mark Medina (who then put the finishing touches on this article, which I will comment on in a forthcoming post), I made my way back to the Bill King interview room that sits next to the stairs leading down to the training room.
There, it was The Athletic’s Anthony Slater as, surprisingly, the only one in the room with Juan Toscano-Anderson. All of the “JTA” magazine features have already been written, so you can count on Slater likely peppering in quotes from Toscano-Anderson in future reports, although I could be wrong.
The Q&A flew by while I searched my mind deeply for a relevant question to ask. I was fortunate to remember a burning issue I had revolving the whole debate of not needing a big center, which I discussed in depth many weeks ago under the context of Jonathan Kuminga as a fourth backup at center (he played some 5 at Summer League) and the 15th roster spot.
Alas, I shall save that long thought process for another post as well. My other question to Juan was about Kerr saying at practice the day before that trainer Rick Celebrini, Steph, Dray and Steve had conferred over the off-season to revamp the structure of practices, a topic I find fascinating as a former amateur coach. Anyways, here’s the whole interview with Juan. My questions come at the end:
Now that my unabashedly protracted article has completed the morning shootaround phase, we can move on to the actual pregame and game.
Pregame (Zoom, Interwebs and on-court)
At pregame, Kerr was asked mainly about returning to a full-capacity crowd and the NBA’s ranking of the 75 best-ever players to commemorate its 75th anniversary, of which Green and Klay Thompson were left out. Thompson wasn’t happy about it and posted this on Instagram:
This morning he even followed that up on his Instagram Stories:
Back at the pregame Q&A with Kerr, there was also a funny moment when SF Chronicle reporter Ann Killion told Steve, a lifelong LA Dodgers fan, not to look at the TV in the Bill King room for the score update in the NLCS. His Dodgers ended up routing the Atlanta Braves, though.
Kerr’s pregame topics were also discussed by certain players in the postgame interviews and I’ve regrouped them all below, so I’ll cut that recap short as it’s mixed in with the postgame below.
During the pregame workouts, I noticed that the Clippers took the basket that was in front of the Warriors bench. Most coaches prefer to have their team start in front of their own bench, which allows them to bark instructions to their team on the defensive side in the second half. Gregg Popovich has been notorious for choosing the opposite of that, to kind of throw a wrench in the usual routine of home teams, as Clippers coach Ty Lue opted for tonight.
But I noticed that a crew was tending to the stanchion in front of the Clippers’ bench, so I’m not sure if the Clippers players who came out early to do their workouts merely did so because it was the only basket available.
As such, a whole slew of young Warriors did not get to do their pregame routines on the main court, although I’m sure they did so downstairs in the Oracle Performance Center practice facility — talk about home best-arena-in-the-world advantage! Ergo, no main court routines for Poole and Moses Moody and any of the young guys. The first player to take the main court, after the crew finished doing whatever they were doing to fix the stanchion, was Wiggins. Curry would follow up later, with the court a tad bit more crowded than usual, I noticed. It seemed like the Warriors were trying to jam in an extra workout in the time remaining. For example, Steph showed up right in the middle of Wiggins and Andre Iguodala’s. Curry usually starts right at the end of theirs.
Was the lack of a main court workout detrimental for Poole’s game? Come to think of it, I don’t recall Kevon Looney having a pregame workout and his game performance was also subpar. Who knows, and they’d probably never admit it. As a baller, you’re supposed to not let a hiccup in your pregame routine affect your overall performance. You’d be the last to admit that as a reason, as well. Too much pride and no room for excuses.
As I mentioned before, Steph went 5-for-5 from the logo in the pregame workout:
He missed the full-court heave, which only happens when the visiting team does the uncommon thing and takes the opposite court. Sadly, Curry does not have a tunnel shot anymore. I know during the pandemic he shot from the balcony, but it’s a lot of trouble to do make that little trek upstairs and he made his first and only try from there, way back when (maybe around October 2019?). True to Steph superstitions, he seems to have left that venture on a high note. For what it’s worth, Curry made the ending soccer ball routine with Leandro Barbosa on the first try:
Our YouTube livestream commentary
Our very own Rebecca Licht held up the fort (Jeffry Chen did the Laker game) during the actual Clippers-Warriors game. A couple select topics of interest among the many, many discussed during the commentary as the game was happening were Poole’s struggles and Iguodala’s hops. We’ll try to do more “hot takes” with future games:
Poole obviously sometimes tries to force the ball rather than make the easy pass, although knowing that will improve in time and he just needs to improve by the end of the season.
On Iguodala, the praise went something like, “Old man, get up!”
You can catch more of the topics discussed in the Live Chat by checking out the video:
Buzzer and postgame tunnel
After the win thanks to the heroics of one Wardell Stephen Curry, Draymond went on TNT on the Warriors’ baseline and Steph on the radio at the scorer’s table. It was also Lee’s birthday, so Ayesha Curry, Steph’s mom Sonya Curry, and Lee’s wife Sydel Curry-Lee, who were all in the first row just above the tunnel, sang “Happy Birthday” to Damion. At the end of the serenade, Damion leapt up for a kiss with Sydel:
Postgame YouTube Q&A livestream
If I may go out of chronological order for a moment, I went live from inside Chase Center for a Q&A on YouTube for over an hour, actually going past midnight.
At one point the discussion devolved into if Ben Simmons might wind up on the Warriors. Folks, he won’t. Philadelphia 76ers general manager Daryl Morey is simply not going to deal with GSW and put him at any potential risk, no matter how minimal, of being on the losing end of a deal with Bob Myers. Especially after two straight years of publicly proclaiming his Houston Rockets were designed to bring down the Warriors, a human being in his position as vociferous as Morey would not be able to handle the embarrassment of trading Simmons for, presumably, Wiggins.
The only other trade that matches the salaries involved would have to include Draymond and, again as I’ve said before, any true Warriors fan would never want to trade Draymond with not only his history with the team but also his Hall-of-Fame skill on both ends of the court. A Warriors fan who “bleeds blue and gold” would and should be heartbroken if Green were ever to be traded. Alas, maybe this is an easy test to see if a GSW fan is really a GSW fan. Keep that in your back pocket.
So of course, social media is not reality, and we once again had a commenter saying Ben Simmons is better than Draymond and a deal should be made.
I’ve also already done an “Erudite Warrior” piece that says it doesn’t make sense to trade for Simmons (or Jaylen Brown for that matter) when he will be a free agent in 2025 and can be simply added to the Warriors assuming there’s a dramatic rise in the salary cap.
I ended the livestream after the questions in the Live Chat were exhausted. I don’t mean to toot my own horn (okay, I do), but the questions we get — despite the one Draymond hater we stumbled upon — are far, far better than the ones writers get when they go on Twitter to cast their net. This is not a knock on the writers. It is, again, a knock on that Godforsaken app.
Postgame (and pregame) interviews
The order of the topics below comes in the order reporters’ questions were asked to Kerr in the postgame, followed by the next player interviewed and any new topics asked about, and so on and so forth, all for the sake of efficiency in my massive copy-and-paste process from my notes and quotes typed in real-time on our Discord server, which is grouped by player (or coach).
A pleasant surprise was Draymond bringing his son DJ, which is short for Draymond, Jr., to the interviewee’s table. He was extremely well-behaved, which was a stark contrast to the extremely cute antsy-ness of Riley Curry we all remember from years past. Most of the diehard fans of DubNation already know about DJ’s calm demeanor, but it was nice for the greater public to see it. I immediately went on Instagram Live and waited patiently for a possible moment with DJ but it never came, and my livestream reached a record seven minutes (I usually don’t go more than two because there’s no monetization infrastructure in IG). On my other phone, I quickly sent the IG Live link to Mary Babers-Green, aka “Draymom” and DJ’s grandmother, of course, and she sent back a quick thank-you.
Reminder: the full Zoom interview videos are located below the paywall demarcation line at the end of the below topic categories:
Kerr - LAC physicality: “…Their physicality bothered us and led to many of the turnovers…nobody like him (Steph)…our fans had a big part…energy was incredible…”
Kerr - Held Clips scoreless for 6 mins: “…they’re a physical team…fourth quarter stretch for us was the key to the game. I thought Draymond was instrumental…Iguodala just an amazing basketball player…he and Wiggs (vs PG)…suck it up and pull one out.”
Dray - LAC physicality: “…some of them you gotta give them a lot of credit…good test…so early in the season…they were in the WCF for a reason…that starts with me.”
Wiggs - Physicality: “they were in the WCF for a reason…” [An answer like this that is a direct repeat of another’s makes me think it was specifically discussed postgame in the locker room.]
Iguodala and him closing the game
Kerr - Andre closing: “we saw it the last couple years. He was a big part of Miami getting to the Finals…weird that there’s been two Finals in the last 12 and a half months…pacing him and sit him at times…understand the game like he does and that gift in terms of the athleticism and the health of his body…”
Dray - Andre: “it’s incredible to have him back…playing with Bam he was talking about how easy he made the game…”
Steph - Knowing Iguodala is with you: “definitely a comfort level there…forced PG into two tough threes in the beginning of the fourth quarter…that familiarity is huge…making a huge impact…hopefully there’s more of that.”
Steph - Iguodala dunking: “an athlete is always an athlete…he’s not just here just to be honorary Warrior on the bench…turning a stop into a transition dunk. He had a couple in training camp…”
Wiggs - Andre: “they’ve been great whether it’s off the court or on the court…even Andre off the court with investments…life after basketball.”
Kerr - Steph pulling those last two shots: “no, I never say no no no. I want him to shoot every time. Jama came up to me after the game…this is our first time with the Steph Curry Experience. They were just blown away…there’s never been anybody like him…just the competitiveness and the guts…”
Kerr - Pulled any of those? “Neither. I would’ve thrown it to Michael Jordan.”
Dray - Steph: “…didn’t miss during shootaround…he’s fucking incredible.”
Dray - Steph deep 3s: “…why in the hell did he just shoot that shot…tough shot taker…”
Steph - Late deep threes: “a little flare action, back cut didn’t work…you don’t really think about where you are…there was no indecision. That’s why it went in…really hard to defend (the throw-ahead pass)…DLee made a good look at the basket, everybody kinda shifted down and I was able to come into the wake…whether it creates an open three or not it’s just good basketball.”
Steph - Know Damion would give it back: “read and react situation but I was a little thirsty…glad he saw it too.”
Wiggs - Seeing Steph: “anytime the ball leaves his hand I think it’s good…guy that can take us out of that situation…big threes and some big free throws…”
Strength in Numbers
Kerr (pre) - “I’ve already talked to the players about the whole concept of Strength in Numbers…Shaun Livingston and Leandro Barbosa did not play a ton if at all…but I also know that the season has a way of ironing things out…injuries, knock on wood…if everyone just commits and sticks together then the whole group can be happy.”
Kerr - Flexibility: “…you have to be able to withstand a flurry…took the wind out of our sails…demoralized at halftime, locker room was quiet…couldn’t be more pleased with the way they responded…”
Kerr - “Early in the season we’ve gotta figure out certain combinations, what we’re gonna run…they changed their scheme in the second half and started switching…great to have his game on tape.”
Damion - Small ball: “high IQ guys…guys talking on the backline…four guys that have been in the system long enough to know what everyone’s strength is…pass dribble shoot we’re always looking for the best shot.”
Damion - Team is different? “…having a lot of space and guys sorta filling in their roles…Strength in Numbers. Not knowing whose night it’s gonna be…if you look at the roster we got a lot of guys looking to prove themselves or on the back end of their careers…doesn’t matter who gets the praise.”
Damion - Kerr said he told the team Shaun and LB didn’t play all the time: “as long as we get a check in the left column…pretty sure those sentiments echo…”
Damion - 12-14 guys, Strength in Numbers: “and that’s the beauty of it…for playing time, guys get better…fit that puzzle piece…guys are making sure that they stay in shape if their opportunity’s called.”
Kerr (pre) - Steph saying he played like trash: “he just holds himself to a really high standard. It drives him everyday…barely had a scholarship coming out of high school…earned confidence, earned swagger but deeply rooted humility…wonderful combination of someone who’s a star on the floor and seems like one of the guys on the team…best player (has) humility…not many stories like his…senior in HS being 140 lbs…now being one of the great players of all time…love the person that has been forged out of that journey.”
Kerr - Saw this from Steph: “Yeah…always coming back strong.”
Dray - Steph: “for me I’m always impressed…but I’m not surprised…you gotta know he’s coming out firing (after LAL)…”
Damion - You know Steph was gonna get it back: “just a feel for the game…Stephen Curry…when he gets it going, trying to find him…read and react…Draymond was out there as well…find the next shot.”
Steph - Coming in: “absolutely nothing, just moving on from last game, law of averages…idk if I’ve had a perfect start like that before…good flow from the jump and have fun out there.”
Steph - Called it trash: “I made a mistake…I should’ve just said I shot the ball like trash…”
Steph - Carry over, course-correct: “there’s always that vibe…isn’t the first time I’ve played terrible — I did it again — I’ve shot terrible…”
Steph - Confidence doesn’t waver: “earned confidence of the work you’ve put in…what Staples does to me…who cares, just play basketball…ability to turn the page really quickly.”
Turnovers and fouls
Kerr - What else besides physicality? “The turnovers were a killer…weren’t getting the ball out cleanly…something we have to look at…other teams will watch that and mimic what the Clippers did…tough night for Jordan (7 turnovers)…I told him what a great learning experience…people are gonna come after him…”
Dray - How pulled this out? “Down the stretch we got stops…18 points off turnovers, that’s tough…we fouled a lot and we were playing against a set defense…they weren’t costly fouls…but that’s two things we can cleanup.”
Damion - What changed with offensive halt: “turnovers…giving them opportunities to get more shots. Yeah, they had 12 more shots than us…12 turnovers at the half…give them credit. PG, Bledsoe, T-Mann, them dudes played great…”
Kerr - What are the counters for JP? “Well, poise to start…forced us to bring Steph back earlier…frustration fouls…when you’re the focal point for the defense the game gets a lot harder so this is just the next step in his development.”
Dray - JP: “…just need to slow down a little bit…they want you to speed up…”
Steph - JP, what do you say to him? “You just have to go through the reps of not riding that emotional roller coaster…stayed aggressive and over the course of 82…getting loose a little bit a lot more often. A night like tonight, you can’t just go home and dwell on it…good things will continue to happen for you. It’s the process…”
Kerr - Draymond? “Right wrist. But he responded…”
Dray - Wrist: “…that wasn’t why I was missing those fucking free throws…”
Dearth of Otto/Beli threes
Kerr - Otto and Beli few 3PA: “in the second quarter we didn’t space the floor well. Didn’t get the same kind of breakdowns…got a domino to fall (in LA)…”
Kerr - Assists/FGM: “business as usual for us. We’ve been at the top of the league…especially with Steph and Dray…pick and roll game…the ball moves quite a bit…we can get a lot better…14 extra possessions based on turnovers…suddenly become a rebounding team…beat the Lakers the other night…”
Steph - 10 rebounds again: “8200 rebounds coming back at you.” [Oops that’s pretty bad podium math for Steph, isn’t it?]
Steph - Playing 82 games: “book that too”
Kerr (pre) - NBA Top 75, Klay and Dray disagree: “Just looking at the list and then thinking about the history of the NBA, how do you differentiate…50 or 60 guys who are kind of automatic, then just pick one…definitely think both guys are Top 75 just based on winning and two-way basketball, everything that matters…more than statistics…if you’re winning championships then that’s what counts…”
Dray - Top 75: “I’m more frustrated for Klay than I am for myself…with his resume…keep building my resume…Top 100…hopefully that leads to the HOF…make the top 100 in 25 years”
Steph - NBA 75: “amazing honor…top 50 list and those interesting jackets they had…to be on that list is amazing especially while you’re still playing…what I have left…those two guys (Klay and Dray) deserve to be on that list. Their resumes stack up against anybody…I know it’s a vote…I played with two guys that deserve to be on that list…Klay said due to the fire. I like that too.”
Steph - Dray Top 100 and HOF: “both of those…Klay too.”
Damion Lee’s ups and downs
Damion - Struggles: “stay aggressive, stay confident…I wouldn’t say I was timid but…”
Back in a full-house at Chase Center
Kerr (pre) - “I was in Tokyo for the Olympics and hardly any fans, mostly just media, officials and no fans, so it was very empty. Then obviously last year, other than the last couple games where we had, maybe, 5,000 fans, whatever it was -- it's been a long time. I went to a Padres game in September, and it was sold out and it was almost like sensory overload. It had been so long since I felt that energy and it was incredible. Now that I felt it a few times with the Giants game and then our first game in L.A. at Staples and the first exhibition game in Portland was packed and loud -- you can't replace that energy. It's so important and so great. There's a connection between our players and the fans, so I can't wait for tonight and the whole season just knowing that we're gonna have some semblance of normalcy.”
Kerr (pre) - Killion tells Kerr not to look at the Dodgers score, they laugh. Pandemic et al reboot, real start of Chase? “Two years ago was such a bizarre (time)…injuries…it’s good that we have all our bearings now…it does feel like a fresh start…”
Kerr (pre) - Feeling of home opener: says Ray told Kerr he didn’t have big nights “then laughed at his own joke (audience laughs)…tonight’s gonna feel great…”
Steph - Play-in games vs novelty of crowd: “it was amazing. I remember coming back from my broken hand…last time I remembered a full packed stadium…going from no fans to 1500 to 7500…cool…but tonight was different…kind of blah in the 2nd and 3rd and in the 4th it was kind of a playoff atmosphere…continue to build culture and a true home court advantage here…”
Wiggins finding his rhythm
Wiggs - Found rhythm: “I wasn’t too worried about preseason…”
Wiggs - Feel different? “Natural progression…more games you play the better rhythm you’re gonna be in.”
Wiggins defense on Paul George
Wiggs - PG six points second half: “he’s a tough guard…tried to stay into him, be physical…first half he kinda got in a good rhythm…second half I just got into him…made it hard.”
Full interviews on video
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