Basketball Wiretap

Stephen Curry Believes Warriors Improved In Offseason

Aug 8, 2017 10:05 AM

The Golden State Warriors were able to keep their core together while also adding three potential rotation players.

“We have a great potential and opportunity to do amazing things and win more championships,” Stephen Curry said. “When you have that chemistry, you don’t want it to end. You don’t want to start over. You want to take advantage of the camaraderie, chemistry and vibe we’ve created.

“So for the front office to get it done and sign all the guys they needed to sign — and add two great players in Omri Casspi and Nick Young, and draft Jordan Bell — I think we got better.”

Curry also acknowledges the Western Conference had several teams improve.

“You look around the Western Conference, and the amount of talent up and down the board is going to be crazy,” Curry said. “… Everybody is trying to make moves to become championship contenders. Before our first Finals appearance, we were doing the same thing — trying to load up and put together the right combination of guys to take our team to the next level.

“It’s great for the league that there’s that much movement and shuffling of the deck, and teams taking chances to try to get better.”

Ron Kroichick/San Francisco Chronicle

Tags: Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Masai Ujiri: Our Job Is To Beat LeBron James

Jul 27, 2017 11:34 AM

The Toronto Raptors kept part of their core together this offseason in re-signing Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka, though they lost DeMarre Carroll, Cory Joseph, Patrick Patterson and P.J. Tucker. Toronto acquired C.J. Miles in the Joseph trade.

Masai Ujiri's moves were with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in mind.

“Our job is to beat him,” Ujiri recently told The Vertical. “You have to figure it out. If not, then go play in some other league or something. Go play in Greece. Our jobs, and the jobs of the players, [are] to figure out how to beat those guys. If not, you might as well give them the championship before it starts. I understand how good he is and I understand how good those teams are, but those things end. At some point, somewhere, somehow, we as leaders of our group, we have to figure out a way and motivate our players and give them the confidence to go out there and compete.”

Toronto was swept by the Cavaliers in the second round of the playoffs. 

“I don’t think we took a step back. I don’t like making excuses, but many things didn’t line up well. That was not a good feel,” Ujiri told The Vertical. “There’s no excuses for us. Cleveland was better than us at the time, so we have to regroup, come back and try to get a training camp out of it and grow from there. … There were times when our team was a little funky and we couldn’t get it together. You have to dig in-depth and find out what went wrong, and some of it, I think, it was complacency sometimes. Sometimes, it was chemistry. And sometimes, it was our style of play. Sometimes, it was us, individually. When we go back to the drawing board and address those issues with everybody, and everybody figures out, ‘This is what I didn’t do so well,’ and, ‘This is what we didn’t do so well.'”

Michael Lee/The Vertical

Tags: Toronto Raptors, NBA, NBA B-Ball IQ

Anthony Davis: Pelicans Have The Tools Right Now To Be Successful

Jul 25, 2017 10:11 PM

Anthony Davis is "tired of losing" and believes the New Orleans Pelicans finally have a roster to turn things around.

"We can't wait for the season to come and try to make some noise here in the loaded West," Davis said.

"We're doing everything, whether it's signing players, trading players ... whatever it is to just try to make sure that we try to be a winning organization," he added. "We have the tools right now to be successful. ... Right now, I think we look good on paper. So we've just got to figure it out."

The Pelicans made the playoffs in 2015 as the No. 8 seed and have missed it each of the past two seasons.

In the past six months, the Pelicans have traded for DeMarcus Cousins, re-signed Jrue Holiday and signed Rajon Rondo.

"When I first heard about Rondo, I thought it was a good situation for us," Davis said. "He knows when to get guys involved, when to make that pass."

Davis said he's supposed to meet with new assistant coach Chris Finch soon to start discussing the offensive scheme he envisions when New Orleans' top two frontcourt stars are playing together. Finch worked with Nikola Jokic and Jusuf Nurkic with the Nuggets.

Davis said the Pelicans want to emulate "how they ran their offensive package with those two bigs who are very skilled."


Tags: Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, NBA, NBA Misc Rumor, NBA B-Ball IQ