173 Comments

Gah, eight-game win streak for the Suns. Is there any team in the league that can beat the Suns??? The last time they lost was against the Heat.

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Personally, as long as they lose at least one more game this season, I'm happy for the Suns to keep winning and to be the favorite going into the playoffs. I even hope they're heavy favorites; they should go in with LOTS of people saying that this is their year and asking whether Chris Paul might be the fMVP and the MVP and win his first championship. I want it to seem like if they /don't/ win a championship this year, it will be a huge letdown.

Meanwhile, I want the Ws to be gelling and stewing. I want Steph to hear that fans are questioning whether he's still got it. I want the guys to be hungry and focused. And then I want them to punch Phoenix in the figurative face -- fast, hard, and continuously.

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The Suns are good, but not world-beaters or anything. The Warriors have a better net rating, despite all their recent struggles/injuries, and are 2-1 v them head to head.

I’d probably put them slightly above Memphis and slightly below Milwaukee and the full-strength Nets in terms of who I’d worry about facing in a pitched playoff battle.

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The Warriors. But they won't get another chance till March (I believe on a SEGABA). They we'll have to wait till ~May/June to get a few more chances if the playoffs play out the way they're expected.

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Well the Jazz blew it. No surprise there.

Otherwise pretty much every game today went to the team with the better record. Nets without 2 of their big 3 are pretty squishy, and got squished. But what’s up with the Bucks? Sure the Cavs are decent but they seem to be losing a lot lately. And that game wasn’t close.

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Jazz are *almost* caught up to the Suns but Paul & Booker have them in the midrange torture chamber to stay ahead

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Whiteside got handed some big dunks but just committed a dumbass offensive foul & then an even dumber tech

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Daniel,

Kerrball needs only the right players to make it work and we have them already. The only blip is to get them to execute on the same night. No doubt, we've gone through a bad patch, but these don't happen very often with our team barring injuries. I have no worries that the Dubs will be in the thick of things come playoff time. Whether we can take down Phoenix to win the Conference or remain in 2nd place doesn't change my mind or the odds to contend for the ring. This is a dynamic team even with Curry's shooting at this new low level. We can still dismantle most teams as was evidence last night with Dallas. Bring in Klay at full speed, and then Draymond when he heals, and no one will want to face us anywhere, any time. The sub-stories of the rise of Kuminga and the fate of JW don't really affect the outcome of this team except to add some gravy to the sauce. Staying healthy is my prime concern. Personally, too.

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I'll have to check out these posts when conscious tomorrow. Just finished my 4th 550 mile drive in 2 weeks, life support systems failing, accessing sub-routines, rerouting auxiliary power ....

KLAY-MINGA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Scene to Terminator Red Eyes dimming to black]

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I remember doing those SF-LA drives in the late 70's/80's. One circuit was enough. Two? Exhausting. But, I was a lot younger and was making a good living to make it worthwhile.

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I'm Mad Max on Hwy 5. I just play the soundtrack from movie on a loop when driving! LOL

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That's like going through your first wife to get to your second wife. Phew!

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Portland to San Diego? Holy smokes. I did Oakland to Corvallis a couple of times and that kicked my ass.

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I know about long hauls. I've driven non-stop from Santa Fe to S.F. in a blizzard! I've also driven from Mulege, Baja California to S.F. You're right, I never want to do that again unless the cartels are chasing me.

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I used to have a Berkeley/LA long distance relationship. Currently I have a San Rafael to Brooktrails (up in Mendocino County) and it’s much easier.

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Let's go Spurs declaw Grizz a bit. Papa Joey needs HCA.

No hope of Jazz beating Suns though.

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Jazz is only down within 2 at halftime against the Suns.

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There is always hope!

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Wow - Hornets with 158 pts including 39 from KOJ.

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Nets have lost three games in a row. Their next game will be against us this Saturday.

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Kyrie and Harden are both going to be gunning for Looney or Steph in PnR. They never learn.

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Jan 27, 2022·edited Jan 27, 2022Liked by Daniel Hardee

Haven't read the comments yet, so maybe this is already said, but I think this is the first time I've seen Kuminga beam from ear-to-ear ever. I love it.

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I see you, Kelly Oubre, Jr. o_O

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I guess we really did put him in a box lmao. In all seriousness, I enjoyed Oubre when he was here and was really sad that a cold shooting streak + consistent injuries + an injured shooting hand marred his season with us.

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Too much luxury tax to hold him here.

Not very fittin with Kerrball

Good luck Tsunami Papi

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It was also the numbers against him. $$

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Wowzers. 10-15 from three?

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And Hornets 24-45 from three for the game (53.3%)

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Cavs up 20 on the Bucks in the fourth quarter...

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Bucks bench only has 9 points, while the Cavs bench has 53 thanks to Osman (23 points) and Love (25 points).

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Eric, I also wanted to ask how you get the replays for Explain One Play. I wanted to go over a couple of games and chart a few different things (Steph on-ball vs Steph off-ball, efficiency on split cuts etc) but don't know where I can find full game footage (if that is even possible).

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nbareplay dot net

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author

I use replays on Fubo TV mainly and subscribe to NBA LP which is crap and useless due to blackouts. I also sometimes use the NBA.com box scores which has number you can click on to see video clips of plays. That is surprisingly helpful if it’s a stat that’s officially tracked like “all of Klay’s assists in the 1/25 game”. You’ll have to watch a lot of film to identify all the split cut plays…

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

Apparently Fubo TV costs $65 per month on its starter package, so I'm guessing that's that. Thanks for the answer though.

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 27, 2022

Full game footage (minus ads) online for every game in the league free on nba fullhd. But you could buy him a cup of coffee in appreciation.

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Do they have a family option like youtube tv? If so dividing $65 by 3 or 4 ‘family’ members can make a big difference. I am in a family with 4 people in my town I have never met.

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I wish I had never met some members of my family...

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What would you guys think about getting Lou Dort? He's on an incredible contract (any one on our roster like JTA would be enough of a salary match) and is still super young and we all know OKC would do it for draft compensation.

Something like JTA + this year's FRP (which is going to be somewhere between 25-30 in all probability) + a future 2nd for Dort? OKC probably need another FRP considering this year's FRP is basically equivalent to a 2nd round pick.

JTA + this year's FRP + 2026 FRP (top 18 protected) for Dort? Too much?

Anyway, he's one of the few interesting guys who makes a vet min equivalent salary and would be incredibly useful in the playoffs.

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They'd never let him go. Would you?

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Jan 27, 2022·edited Jan 27, 2022

Depends on the offer but yes, I'd certainly be willing to. He's a role-player on a good team, and the Thunder are so far away from being a good team that keeping him around doesn't make a ton of sense.

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Wouldn't Dort take minutes from GP2, not JTA? He's a guard, not a wing or a big.

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He can guard bigger positions. He's one of the strongest non-C players in the league. I think he can easily guard 1-3, probably also 1-4 in a lot of matchups. With Klay coming back and gravitating towards guarding 3s/4s, that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

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Weirdly, he appears to be a 6'3 wing

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And no lightening in his legs... can't find him under the basket... sure you don't want to get stuck in the Dorture chamber, but you can dribble around him at your own risk.

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Lou is probably a better player than JTA, but by how much and who's minutes is he taking? I don't think giving Dort any of Klay, Poole, Wiggins, Lee, Otto, GP2, JTA, Lee, or Iguodala's minutes is a strong net positive, and we already have a "defensive guard stopper" on the team in GP2, so he wouldn't add a distinctive skill either.

Giving up a FRP, even #30, is probably not worth it.

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He's better than JTA and he's probably better than old Iggy (at least he's more reliable to be available).

He doesn't add a distinctive skill set, but he's a guy we can play in most playoff series. How many players can we say that about on our roster? Steph, Dray, Klay, Poole (out of necessity in the non-Steph minutes), Wiggins, Loon (probably?), GP2, Otto and maybe DLee?

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I know Dort is known for defense (though I didn't really notice it standout against us) but he's listed as a 6'3" SG/SF... is that accurate?

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Yeah, I definitely doubt Dort can guard the 4 and sometimes 5 like JTA can.

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

His DRtg is far worse than JTA's but I am sure that has a lot to do with who they are playing with. That would be *a lot* of height to give up. Frankly, I don't really see much upside at all to this idea.

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DRTG is a team stat. JTA plays for the best defense in the league. Obviously, he has a better DRTG.

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Yea DRtg is probably his team... but his On-Off took a big dip this year too. OKC is 6.4 points worse with him on the court... probably due to him playing much less PG/SG this season and having most of his minutes as a SF/PF. Giddy probably took his minutes at PG and now he's trying to play SF/PF and not doing as well at 6'3"...

So if we're trading somebody like JTA for him...

https://www.basketball-reference.com/players/d/dortlu01.html#all_pbp-playoffs_pbp

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JTA's upside as a local dude and Dray sub is pretty damn valuable. Also, I don't personally know that OKC would lose a valuable young dude for draft compensation. Those are typically the guys you keep when you're in their position. Also also, JTA better on defense than Lu? I don't know but that's an important factor.

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OKC is never going to achieve their dream of owning every first round pick in a draft if they don't make some of these sacrifices.

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agree, I’m really hoping he pulls out of this tailspin, Kerr seems to have little trust in his play

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> JTA's upside as a local dude and Dray sub is pretty damn valuable.

They barely played him outside of garbage time last night even with Draymond out.

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

Rotation minutes for non-core players are in giant flux right now. JTA barely playing may reflect the organization's current opinion of him or it might not.

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And if last night is what you used to ascertain his value, you would certainly come away with a different impression than what I expressed.

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Well you said it yourself below that he's a third stringer, no?

His minutes have been pretty marginalized even with Draymond out, he got some extended garbage time in the Bulls and Bucks games and played in the Pacer game with OPJ inactive (and some other minutes due to Iguodala being inactive) but right now he's probably the least useful active player other than Moody, who is in a different circumstance.

I like JTA's story and like him as a player, I just don't think it's accurate to say he's valuable to the Warriors right now. I hope they can find a way to win a championship without getting rid of him because I love his story and his passion for the game, but realistically if Giannis Antetokounmpo became available tomorrow, I expect you'd agree that JTA would be the first or second guy they would cut to make room.

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If Giannis became available, I'm sure you'd agree that there is no way in hell the Warriors would pay the price to get him, considering they are a contender already with both short term and long term successes in the pipeline.

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Jan 27, 2022·edited Jan 27, 2022

Giannis was a random name, irrelevant to the larger point. Put Marc Gasol's name in his place and it's the same point that JTA is one of the guys they'd consider removing to add him.

Also, if Giannis became available and the Warriors said "no we're good, we have Wiseman", I'd cry.

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Local dude ain't winning you games though. As for Dray sub, the only thing he seemingly replicates these days is the sky-high turnover rate.

As for OKC's motivation, Presti always wants more picks and Dort's value will probably never be higher (he's going to get paid on his next contract, and next year he'd be an expiring).

Defensively, I think JTA's better off-ball, but Dort is significantly better on-ball. Additionally, I think he can actually stay on the floor by being a significantly better offensive player (and not being a TO machine).

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I'm not gonna react too wildly to the fluctuating stats of a third stringer like JTA. Knowing the system well is arguably pretty valuable in Kerrball when for whatever reason he has to play more. I'm also not worried about offense on our B and C squads to the extent that I feel we need to add more. I am worried about how the Dubs are going to afford everyone they have in the future, so trading a bench player for a more expensive bench player doesn't make sense to me.

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JTA and Dort both make 1.7 million this year. JTA is an RFA while Dort is cost-controlled for another year after that too (at 1.9 million).

And maybe we should be worried about offense on our B and C squads. Again, we have the 2nd best offense in the league in Steph minutes and the 27th best offense in the league in non-Steph minutes. Even during this ludicrous Steph slump, we go from a top 8-10 offense with Steph to the worst (by an absolute country mile, seriously we have something like a 95-100 ORTG without Steph during this slump) offense in the league in non-Steph minutes.

Knowing the system isn't exactly helping JTA be playable this year. He's not getting minutes when Draymond, Wiseman, Iguodala (most games it seems like) are out and Klay and Otto are minutes limited due to health. I doubt he's going to get minutes later when we're more healthy.

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spotted this elsewhere:

How about Mitch, Burks and Rose to GS for Kuminga, Wiseman and a few bad contacts?

Followed immediately by a Wiggs is the only bad GSW contract post...

So which of those posts is "wronger"?

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Both are right.

Poster #1 because the Knicks look like they're back in rebuilding mode, should be looking for projects, and should be hoping a team like the Warriors are looking for "mortgage the future to win NOW, like TODAY" improvements (and yes, Mitchell Robinson, Alec Burks, and Derrick Rose will impact winning more than Kuminga and Wiseman right now, mostly because Wiseman is currently injured and depleting our C depth). You know, the Warriors have been struggling, and Steph is totally aging out of the league as we speak, so they really need to not waste Curry's prime.

Poster #2 because the Warriors have no other bad contracts, and Wiggins is overpaid, not "Worst contract in the league" overpaid like he was in Minnesota, but still slightly overpaid.

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Jan 27, 2022·edited Jan 27, 2022

>Poster #2 because the Warriors have no other bad contracts, and Wiggins is overpaid, not "Worst contract in the league" overpaid like he was in Minnesota, but still slightly overpaid.

We have this guy who made 68 million dollars for not playing a single game the last two seasons and is currently shooting .388/.333/1.000 splits on 14 attempts per game.

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"Irrationally optimistic" is how I would describe that

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Ha! Humans are silly.

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Even Curry is worried about his slump:

"I'm not worried about the selection as much as figuring out what needs to change in terms of knocking them down and finding the joy of shooting the ball," Curry said. "That's always a part of my game. I got to be better at that."

https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10024988-warriors-steve-kerr-jokes-stephen-curry-is-no-longer-a-3-point-shooter

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You said Curry is worried and offered a quote where Curry says “I’m not worried…” as evidence

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Doesn't seem like he's worried based on another recent quote:

“It’s obviously frustrating, but I don’t get preoccupied with it. I need to make shots to get to the level we want to get, but other than that I’m not worried.”

https://www.sfchronicle.com/sports/warriors/article/Steph-Curry-on-his-deepening-slump-I-ve-got-16798838.php

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> Curry is still shooting 37.3 percent on threes this season [...] a shade above former teammate Kevin Durant (37.2 percent).

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Yup, and for Steph, that's a slump. He's shooting 29.9% in 2022. Saying he's shooting 37.3 as if that's all there was to it is misleading.

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

That's the weird part, he was normal Steph shooting the 3 ball for half the year (he was at 41-42% IIRC). Then he's been in free-fall for the last month or 2.

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Mental

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He had that stretch of making 9 3s in a 4/6 games, which had only been done like 15 times prior in the history of the NBA... he wasn't just "normal" Steph, he was "extra lethal, it's November and he's running away with the MVP" Steph.

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Right? And it's gotten progressively worse. As mentioned above, he's shooting under 30% this year.

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This is pure speculation, but one psychological thing I noticed was after Curry broke the 3pt record he said he could finally call himself "The greatest shooter ever". That's a VERY big shift in mindset. He's ALWAYS been the underdog. Maybe he's just getting used to being the self proclaimed GOAT?

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is he not finding joy anymore in shooting the ball?

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Right? That indicates it's more than just something physical, and might be psychological as well.

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He will probably find more joy now Klay is looking like his old self and the team is sharing the scoring load. Less pressure to execute and he can just start to let it fly

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Absolutely.

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Between the record chase, his parents breaking up, Klay coming back, then not coming back, Wiseman coming back, then not coming back, COVID hitting the team, a 18 game road stretch that lasted a whole month, Dray going out... and it's the "grind" part of the season... yeah, there's a lot of mental/emotional churn. And heck, maybe there's even some sliver of something in the weird "open relationship" rumor that got bandied about by the TMZs of the world. Like maybe they had a big fight they hadn't really been able to resolve with Steph being on the road so long ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Finally someone is looking at the other human (mental, emotional) factors that impact athletes. One additional factor may be signaled by family not appearing at games recently. One bball addition is change in his rotation minutes.

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They’re not coming to games? I hadn’t heard that…

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Jan 27, 2022·edited Jan 27, 2022

Ah, I had forgotten about his parents. Given that the research on the negative effects of divorce on children leads to anxiety, among other things, that could potentially be a big factor in all this, even if Steph isn't a child.

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It can definitely take the joy away...

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I'm pretty convinced that the injuries to his hands are making the motions he's used to a little strained. It should definitely get better, and I'm sure that in the long run, this homestand is great for the healing process.

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

The hand is most likely a factor now, but the slump started way before that injury.

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Well... if he'd already had some other injuries too...

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Jan 26, 2022·edited Jan 26, 2022

Also, if it was simply a matter of an injury, Steph wouldn't be worried about "what needs to change." He'd be talking more in terms of letting things heal.

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I have to admit, it is a bit depressing for me to read this and see D'Antoni. He was one of the most brilliant basketball minds in the last twenty years (imho) and if not for running up against two All Time Great Dynasties/Coaches (Popovich's Spur's and Kerr's Warriors), he might very well have a championship under his belt. Instead, he's relegated to being a coaching advisor for the Pelicans.

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Could we hire him to be a coaching advisor for the Warriors? I imagine that is a more fun job than advising the Pelicans...

Would be fun to see what happens if the team added a bit of D'Antoni flair into the Kerr offense when it stagnates.

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I've always liked D'Antoni as well. He's one of the few truly innovative coaches out there. His Suns teams were certainly fun to watch, and while I don't like Harden D'Antoni was certainly able to get a whole lot out of that Rockets team. (Half the defense, double the offense!)

That said, I also think he's very much a situational coach (which is fine). With the right players around him his system can be amazing. Without the right players he doesn't seem to adjust terribly well. I don't see him as a "build a team from the ground up" coach, but more of a "turn a good team into great" sort of coach (which, to be fair, is exactly what Kerr did).

I'd imagine he'll get another shot as a HC (assuming he wants it), but I'd imagine he's waiting for the right situation to come along. I don't see him as a good fit taking over a bad team which, you know, is most coaching openings. Maybe if Pop retires he can take over the Spurs, or something.

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Re: your last line, was always hoping that would be Becky :(

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Who knows, it might still happen! But yes, the first female NBA HC is likely going to have to wait just a little bit longer.

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Next stop: Warriors ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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