NEWS OF THE MORNING
No. 1: Warriors GM Myers expects ‘turbulence’ in 2016-17 — As the defending NBA champions, the Golden State Warriors were the team everyone wanted to beat last season. But, the Warriors followed up their title-winning season by racking up an NBA-record 73 wins. Golden State, of course, made the biggest move of the offseason in adding Kevin Durant and will once again be a top target for a win on just about every team’s list. In an interview with KNBR’s Murph & Mac on Wednesday, GM Bob Myers expects his squad to face plenty of challenges in 2016-17:
“I think a lot of people think we signed Durant and everything is great, which in reality, that is a really good thing. But we have a lot of new parts. This is not a team like last year’s team, where we could just hit training camp in stride. As much as we like our roster, it’s gonna take some time to evolve with guys like Durant, David West, [Zaza] Pachulia. We lost six guys. So even though we’re happy with the offseason, I do think we’re gonna have some turbulence. Because the other thing is, I think the scrutiny on the team is gonna be so high that any loss, anything that happens in a negative way, is gonna be exaggerated, right? It’s just gonna be, ‘I can’t believe they lost a home game,’ or ‘I can’t believe they lost two in a row, they never did that last year.’ I mean, last year I think we started out 24-0 or something crazy. So if we start out, whatever we start out, it’s not gonna be that, I imagine. So people might write or say, ‘Oh, they’re not as good as last year. […]
“It takes time to develop chemistry. And that doesn’t happen in one day or one week or one month. It’s exciting. I think it’s gonna be a great process to watch unfold. But I do think because of the expectation level, probably the highest expectation you can ever put certainly on a Warriors team — even though I think a lot of people thought we would win the championship last year, I think people now are even having higher expectations. When you have that level of expectation, that’s where you want to be as an organization, but it also magnifies any adversity or any stretch of losing. So it’s good, it’s fine, but you have to be aware of it, and not be shocked when it comes.”
No. 2: Report: Pacers to add Seraphin — The Indiana Pacers have a new point guard (Jeff Teague), new faces in the frontcourt (Al Jefferson and Thaddeus Young) to go along with a core that features All-Star Paul George, scoring guard Monta Ellis and young big man Myles Turner. The Pacers have apparently added another name to that mix in former Knicks big man Kevin Seraphin, who agreed to a deal with Indiana last night. Shams Charania of The Vertical has more:
Free agent Kevin Seraphin has agreed to a two-year, $3.6 million deal with the Indiana Pacers, league sources told The Vertical.
Seraphin visited the Pacers for workouts on Monday and Tuesday, and his agent, Bouna Ndiaye, finalized the agreement on Thursday night. Seraphin is expected to formally sign next week and the deal will include a team option in the second season, sources said.
Seraphin, a skilled 6-foot-10 center/forward, gives the Pacers depth in the frontcourt. The Pacers sought a big man before training camp and are expecting Seraphin to provide scoring and energy behind second-year center Myles Turner and free-agent acquisition Al Jefferson.
No. 3: Blazers meet up again for informal workouts — The Portland Trail Blazers were a close-knit group last season, following the leadership of star guard Damian Lillard to the playoffs and, eventually, a spot in the Western Conference semifinals. Teammates spoke several times of how Lillard’s efforts to organize workouts in San Diego helped with team bonding that was a strength for the team all season long. Mike Richman of The Oregonian has more on how the Blazers will once again meet in San Diego to get ready for a big 2016-17:
Three weeks before training camp opens in Portland, the Trail Blazers are taking a second annual team bonding trip to San Diego.
A year ago, the entire team met in sunny Southern California to workout and get to know each other. It was a trip that many players referenced throughout the last season as a key jumping off point in building a lasting chemistry both on and off the court.
“I feel like that was the first step to building something good,” Allen Crabbe said on last year’s trip to San Diego at a press conference in July.
So instead of messing with a good thing, the Blazers decided for a repeat excursion. Nearly the entire roster met up in San Diego this week, except for Noah Vonleh who had aprocedure on his thigh on Wednesday.
The Blazers have gone through basketball workouts and weight lifting sessions at San Diego State University while also enjoying downtime together off the court.
After the trip, most of the team will return to Portland to work out at the team’s practice facility for three weeks before training camp starts in late September. Perhaps the San Diego trips are tangibly important, building chemistry that translates to wins on the court. Or perhaps, they’re a nice getaway to one of America’s best weather cities. Getting away for a couple days as a team can’t hurt and if the players believe it’s a key that’s probably argument enough to return again in 2017.
SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Charles Barkley paid a visit to Craig Sager in the hospital and came away inspired by it … Meet the barber in Draymond Green‘s recent Foot Locker commercial … Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins says he wants his team to be more like the San Antonio Spurs … Cleveland Cavaliers expect Mo Williams to retire before 2016-17 gets rolling …