Summer League Recap
One perk of having such a large Warriors community is that there is someone at every event. John C in the OC doesn’t disappoint this season with his impressions to date of the Warriors summer league team.
In the 4th quarter against Detroit Curry pulled up for a 3 pointer about ten feet beyond the 3 point line. The shot was a little long and there was a foul on the rebound. During the stoppage things got very quiet and a guy yelled out “Don’t worry Steph, you’re in Golden State now”. Keith Smart turned to the crowd and loudly replyed “Not This Year”. HMMM!
Don Nelson is getting quite overweight. I am not trying to be funny. At his age I would be quite concerned, especially with what seems to be a very stressful job.
To the players. I know you are all excited about AR’s 42 points (he would have had more except for that idiot Law) but there is a good reason he was getting those looks. Nash to Stoudamire. Stockton to Malone. Curry is going to be an awesome point guard. Bobby Knight was right. The kid is a great passer. Over and over I would marvel at his ability to see things that most players could never see. Even under great pressure he calmy reacts to the big picture developing on the floor. One play in particular stood out for me. He was deep on the left wing being tightly guarded. He always keeps his dribble alive and he was holding off a bigger defender with his off arm. Three Warriors were on his side of the floor and AR had posted a smaller player on the opposite block. Most guys would not even see the mismatch and if they did would need to make station to station passes to get the ball to the far side. The defense would adjust by then. Off of one dribble he shot a perfect lob pass across the defense to AR’s outstrecthed hand, just out of reach of the defender. No time for the defense to react, and AR was fouled on his move to the basket. I could not believe he could see the mismatch, let alone make the pass. He is great on the pick and roll and handles the attacking big men calmly and patiently. His size could be a problem against 1’s who are big enough to post him up (ala Baron) but he does have one great attribute that will help him. He never gets flustered. EVER! Early in the Chicago game they tried to post up Nelson on him. Curry picked his pocket on both plays. They never tried it again. He has an uncanny ability to get his hands cleanly on balls for steals or tie ups.
If I had to pick one player he reminds me of it is Steve Nash. We all marvel at how such a small player as Nash can see so much, remain so calm amongst the giants, and always know where the ball needs to be. Even when Nash throws a bad pass nobody thinks “what an idiot”. We all can see what he was trying to do. Curry’s mistakes are the same. It is not AR dribbling too much or Jackson taking a stupid three at the wrong time in the game. I can’t think of one dumb play he made in the games I watched. Just good ideas that did not work out quite as planned.
Finally, what a shooter. I really believe he no longer shoots in warm ups just to make a shot. He is trying to make each one while moving the net as little as possible. Unbelievable.
To AR. Not much to say. I am so encouraged to see the obvious results of how hard he has been working. He is stronger , quicker, and is learning how and where on the court he can be successful. He is still thin on the bottom half and gets pushed around pretty easily under the basket, but he is doing better. Last summer he would drive to the basket and try to use his athleticism to avoid defenders to get to the basket. Just like Monta has learned he now seeks out the defender and gets fouled. His added strength is allowing him to still get a shot off once he is hit as well. Did you all see “the dunk”? I am guessing you did. I have never seen Nelson smile at a basketball play in all the years I have been going to these things. He was actually on his feet grinning from ear to ear after that play. (Maybe a Chris Gatling dunk made him smile as well)
Morrow was OK. I actually think he was trying a little too hard. He is the opposite of Curry. When he gets doubled he gets very flustered and loses track of “the big picture”.. His hands are bad to OK and we all know his dribbling needs quite a bit of improvement. Get his feet set though and its money. I have to give him credit for working hard on D. That really seemed to be his focus this summer.
Two scrubs I loved. First Cartier Martin. Hard worker and strong. The guy has the biggest butt I’ve seen since Barkley and knows how to use it. Can use both hands and is a pretty good passer. He moves really well with out the ball and uses his large behind to finish around the basket. Works real hard on defense. As someone mentioned before he sort of duplicates Buke so I don’t know how he would fit in but I think he will end up in the league someday.
2nd scrub. Joe Ingles. Wow! The tough guy you would want with you in a bar fight. Junk yard dog sort of player. Active hands on defense and plays with a cool reckless abandon. He actually has a very good feel for the game. Might be a little slow for the NBA but at his size and his handles there might be a spot for him.
Patrick O’Bryant played for the Raptors. I think I finally figured out why he sucks. He does not like to play basketball.
C.J. was there watching. What is up with him? Is he still a Warrior?
I want to say one more thing about Curry. I cannot find the right word to describe how “in the moment” he is able to stay during the game. The whole Chicago team was pounding on him yet he never lost focus. 6 foot 9 guys drive hard to the basket and suddenly the ball is gone because Steph was there seeing the play and anticipating the moment when the ball would be available to him. Focus, composure, relaxed intensity, basketball IQ. I don’t know. It is something special though!