Warriors Get Stephen Curry Some Relief


VIDEO: Curry helps Warriors knock off Kings

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The world changed a little more Wednesday night, when the Lakers of all people officially became a team to circle and peck at, just as L.A. picked off so many other teams’ players in seasons past to gear up for its playoff runs.

That it was the Warriors capitalizing on L.A.’s status was not a surprise. The Lakers wanted to dump salary to get away from the luxury tax, Golden State had exceptions that allowed it to make deals without sending equal salary in return, and the Warriors were going to be aggressive leading to the trade deadline on Thursday. It’s what they do, period, but more than that, this time it’s what they know they had to do coming out of the All-Star break at 31-22 and unexpectedly at the back of the Western Conference playoff pack.

This was a precision strike that would have made the old Lakers proud. The Warriors, not merely making a second deal in a little more than a month to bolster the bench, added an experienced reserve who would benefit a starter most of all.

As if Stephen Curry – expert shooter, improving ball handler leading the league in assists, All-Star, probably the Northern California guy who won the $400-million Powerball drawing Wednesday – doesn’t have enough going for him.

The Warriors acquiring Steve Blake from the Lakers for Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks in a Los Angeles salary dump is another projected boost for the bench. It also allows Curry to stay fresh now, which is especially bad news for the rest of the league.

For more than a month, Curry had been alluding to the effects of playing more point guard than before, meaning more ball screen duties, extra running and the increased attention from defenses following Jarrett Jack‘s offseason move to Cleveland via free agency. He was feeling it at 37.7 minutes per game, tied fifth in the league, as the drain began to evolve into an issue that could threaten the Warriors in the playoffs. And still Curry was at 24.6 points and 9.0 assists per game while shooting 46.3 percent overall and 41.5 behind the arc.

The first proposed answer, Toney Douglas in the summer as a free agent, was ineffective and eventually traded as part of a three-team deal that delivered the next proposed answer, Jordan Crawford. Crawford provided 16.8 minutes off the bench, but was mostly a shooting guard stretching to play the point off the bench, just as the Celtics had used him, mostly as a starter, earlier in the season to patchwork the hole until Rajon Rondo came back from a knee injury.

Blake, though, is more a point guard who can play off the ball as well and an experienced, playoff-tested backup. A much better fit behind Curry, in other words, while also being able to play with Curry in a backcourt that would allow Klay Thompson to rest.

“In a specific way, you’re adding a tough, kind of experienced player any team would do, no matter what the position,” general manager Bob Myers said at halftime of what became a 101-92 win over the Kings at Sleep Train Arena, not long after the trade became official in the second quarter. “But certainly Curry’s played a lot of minutes, Klay’s played a lot of minutes. We made a deal for Jordan Crawford. He’s been very good in the time that we’ve had him. We think this just bolsters the bench. It gives us so more options, so more weapons, in a player that you know when you give him the ball you can trust him. We just think it was a chance to improve our roster. That was the justification.”

Right on cue, Curry played 36 minutes Wednesday, making just five of 14 shots but contributing eight assists without a turnover.

“It depends on how coach wants to play the lineups,” Curry said of the new options. “I assume that he’ll (Blake) have that responsibility and we’ll be able to play together in some spots and be able to provide an extra ball handler. Definitely there’s a reason they made that trade, so we’ll see how it works out.”

Additionally, the Warriors are not necessarily done doing business before Thursday’s trade deadline. They were known Wednesday night to still be pursuing options, albeit with the sense that nothing was imminent.

22 Comments

  1. Phil DeBrady says:

    Hey everyone, I really think if the Pacers get Rondo they could win the championship. I think if the Rockets get Love they have a good chance to win a championship. What do you think?

  2. codyfunk764 says:

    this certainly helps the warriors, but my concern (as a warriors fan) is we have 3 injured centers.

    • Jimmy Jazz says:

      This is why the team hasn’t taken the next step this season. If the Warriors can get all 3 back for the last 20 games you’ll se a different team.

  3. A.J. says:

    Turned out I was 100% right about this writer’s preposterous fawning Antawn Jamison column earlier in the year.

  4. Ted Lawrence says:

    Interesting move on both sides. Blake is injured and although he has been trying to play, just because the Lakers were out of players, he wasn’t expected to be a major contributor until next year. However, earlier this year he was playing well enough that Doc Rivers said he would start for any team in the league. So if he finishes off strong, he is a huge pickup for Golden State this year and obviously looks good in the future. Brooks is supposed to be a great talent that has never really played to the level people hoped for from him. So maybe he can get it done in the D’Antoni system like so many other guards and Bazemore is an okay pickup. But the big thing is that this deal moves the Lakers close to being under the luxury tax and they have several more moves they can make to get there before the end of the season. That could be big for them in terms of what they can offer a free agent in the offseason. So we shall see how this trade stacks up, but it’s hidden benefits won’t be seen until next year.

  5. Brendan says:

    best move for lakers would be to fire mike dantoni at end of season sorry mike but I don’t ever see your offensive and defensive schemes becoming champions in modern nba with todays superstars kobe will be aged next year and needs to play inside out and utilize his high post skills not fast paced 3 point offense where he would be a main key and not really giving him time to recover. and hire some else at end of season lionel hollins, or George karl or possibly another coach that gets the axe or leaves on his own choice if rick Adelman leaves at end of season stop the stew Jackson bs la because he said he wants a share of the lakers to coach there again which wont happen. and yes trade pau for anything now if he doesn’t plan on resigning at end of year. and spend all this years resources towards scouting and pray to land some good free agent deals this off season.

  6. Eaham says:

    lol marshon can be as good as kobe ? Did I read that correctly ?

  7. Clint says:

    Good pick up for the Warriors. They sent two cheer leaders and a trade exception to the Lakers for a proven experienced point guard. Brooks is a shooter that three previous teams traded away. So how good can he be? Bazemore is a tough one to swallow. He tears up summer and D-leagues but is a turn over machine with the big boys. He is a very likeable guy and is great for team chemistry. The bench looks a lot better with Blake, Barnes, Crawford, Green, and O’neal. I can still see the Warriors making one more deal to solidify their injury prone 5 position. Other then that they’re set. Depends if Ezili is close to coming back.

  8. realist says:

    Not bad move from the Warriors getting rid of 2 virtually useless players from their lineup, now they actually have a proper backup point guard and Crawford can play shooting guard off bench which seems his more natural position.

  9. P dawg says:

    MarShon is one of 2 players who have now played for the Celtics and Lakers. Wow!

  10. neal says:

    what makes you think getting a player from a losing team like the lakers is going to help ha ha ha

    • well... says:

      Steve Blake is a pesky on-ball defender and he can get hot and make several 3′s in a row. He is a good ball handler and he has playoff experience. Part of the reason the Lakers were so bad is Blake -and just about everyone else- was injured for a long period of time (elbow injury that kept him out for 6 weeks). He can take over the offense when Curry sits, or he can play shooting guard next to Curry and give Klay a break. Curry still has the same paper mache ankles and playing him the 5th most minutes per game was asking for trouble. Blake’s presence gets Curry off the court/ keeps him safe while reducing the drop off from starting to backup pg.

  11. W T F says:

    Trade your most reliable and capable guard for 2 nobodies? Mitch GTH and take dumb toni with you

  12. bob says:

    Hey Scott,

    You repeated the sentence, ” Which is especially bad news for the rest of the league,” at the end of the 5th paragraph.

    -Bob

  13. Dubnation510 says:

    Farewell Bazemore, we hardly knew ye. Blake; I hate the Lakers, make me forget about your tenure here. Welcome to Warrior’s ground

  14. SEOchirp says:

    That first sentence is killing me!

    • Mike D'Antoni says:

      If the Warriors wanted a veteran point guard, why don’t they get Nash? obviously no one wants Nash. Why is he still on the Lakers roster? Nash got no value left and the Lakers are so blind. He came back to play one game every now and then so he can’t be waived for the remainder of his contract. by the way, if every team peck at the Lakers,, can they peck Mike D? no value either?!

      • gg says:

        Nash is still a good player, he’s just seriously crippled by injuries. GSW can’t rely on Nash playing regular minutes with his injuries, it makes more sense to get Blake. Blake is not flashy, but he’s a solid player and cheaper too.

  15. Elijah 41 says:

    I think the Lakers not the Warriors is the winner in this deal….having more players and acquiring a kobe like player in Marshon Brooks…I think this has a potential to be great and be like a kobe bryant type of a player…