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Twitter avatar for @DangeRussWilsonRussell Wilson @DangeRussWilson

Steph Curry the MVP. @StephenCurry30

<div class="tweet" data-attrs="{"url":"https://twitter.com/BleacherReport/status/1384322560096092164","full_text":"Another record for @StephenCurry30 🙌 “,”username”:”BleacherReport”,”name”:”Bleacher Report”,”date”:”Tue Apr 20 01:46:32 +0000 2021″,”photos”:[{“img_url”:”https://pbs.substack.com/media/EzYZ8ckXsAEn0Fa.jpg”,”link_url”:”https://t.co/WvmKP7L815″,”alt_text”:null}],”quoted_tweet”:{},”retweet_count”:1719,”like_count”:12155,”expanded_url”:{}}”>

Twitter avatar for @BleacherReportBleacher Report @BleacherReport

Another record for @StephenCurry30 🙌 Image

Curry’s offensive impact is off the charts right now. Just ask George Hill who was making his Philly debut. That’s the guy who “Unanimous” put the final dagger in last night. I haven’t thought about this man since he missed the potential game winning free throw against us in Game 1 of the 2018 Finals.

But there he was trying to lock up Curry in crunchtime, getting cooked by the Chef.

Twitter avatar for @NBCSWarriorsWarriors on NBCS @NBCSWarriors

Steph was PUMPED after his last three 🔥 Image

Twitter avatar for @bobbyflaibenone syllable kobe @bobbyflaiben


Jackson Frank @jackfrank_jjf

Doc Rivers on George Hill guarding Steph Curry for stretches: “He wanted the assignment.”

Think about all the anxiety Dub Nation has suffered after Curry’s severe tailbone injury on St. Patrick’s Day. The Dubs stumbled to an 8-9 record since, with two losing streaks of three games or more. But with Curry on the court they’re 7-4 over that same span. His presence vaults this team from bottom feeder to We Believe 2.0 territory.

Twitter avatar for @Herring_NBAChris Herring @Herring_NBA

Remember when Steph missed damn-near the whole season and the Warriors went from being must-see TV to trash, and people collectively scratched their heads about why TV ratings were down so much?

Embiid contained by GSW’s defensive wall

Sixers’ behemoth Joel Embiid has been destroying the league and is in the thick of the MVP race himself. With no James Wiseman or Marquese Chriss available to be a some sort of a shotblocking deterrent, I was quite nervous about Golden State’s ability to keep Embiid from going Hulk Smash on their defense.

But the Warriors proved they had the personnel and the discipline to keep Embiid from bullying his way to a W. The 7-foot, 280 pound giant tallied a fantastic statline of 28 points, 13 rebounds, and 8 assists, but did most of his damage from the free throw line (11-of-14 from the charity stripe). He was shackled to 8-of-21 shooting from the field, thanks to Kevon Looney and Draymond Green forcing him to catch it far away enough from the rim that help could swarm in like the Agent Smith’s in the Matrix.

Look how far away from the basket Embiid catches the rock here:

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Two dribbles later he’s pushed Looney into the paint, but Looney has enough body positioning to keep Embiid from just ripping through him for a quick dunk. Meanwhile Looney’s bought just enough time for Wiggins to sprint down and provide help.

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RUH ROH. Here Embiid tries to power up through the length of these two stellar defenders and even adds a loud scream to bait the ref into calling a foul. No sir, a clean block results from the play and the Warriors were off to the races.

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Wash, rinse, and repeat. Embiid never could get into the rhythm we’ve seen him use to stomp the rest of the NBA. It’s a credit to Green and Looney’s grit and intelligence that despite being undersized they can keep elite bigs from ripping the Warriors apart. Green was a +15 plus/minus in his 31 minutes, tallying 8 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals.

Looney had a career high 15 rebounds in this test, showcasing the veteran savvy and unselfish effort that makes him so valuable to this organization. The next time somebody asks who the Warriors developed after they drafted the Big 3, make sure you mention Looney’s name. He’s a real keeper.

Oubre needs to hit ‘em with his best shot

Judging from the comments here at LGW and on social media, Andrew Wiggins appears to have finally won over Dub Nation with his consistent productivity and tenacious defense. His 16-point, 10-rebound double-double last night was just the most recent piece of evidence that he’s found the perfect role in Golden State. Wiggins Island is BOOMING, baby!

But his teammate and fellow wing Kelly Oubre Jr. is having an up-and-down season that has everyone guessing on the best role for him now as the playoffs loom. His return from injury last night off the bench gave us our first look at what 6th man Oubre looks like, which is important since if he’s retained there’s a good chance he’ll be backing up Wiggins and Thompson next season.

Twitter avatar for @wcgoldbergWes Goldberg @wcgoldberg

Steve Kerr on his decision to start Kent Bazemore at shooting guard even with Kelly Oubre healthy. Image

Defensively, I like the cut of his jib. When he’s on the court the Dubs can really play around with gambling and recovering their rotations. He’s long and athletic, with the quick burst to close out and harass shooters. Last night the 76ers shot 1-for-6 from the field with 2 turnovers when defended by Oubre.

I wonder if his scoring will be enough to keep defenses honest. Last night he was 2-of-6 and missed all three of his shots outside the paint. Now, we know it was his first appearance after a five game absence so I shan’t nitpick. But taking a look at his shot attempts by zone over the season, it’s clear he’s most consistent right at the rim and in the corners. Per NBA.com:

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The “In The Paint (non-Restricted Area)” stat caught my eye, as I’ve noticed Oubre likes to work his way into the lane looking for closeish shots (check the 50 secs mark of this clip).

I nerded out and checked the rest of the Dubs’ “in the paint (non restricted-area)” stats, sorted by percentage with at least 30 attempts.

Curry and Wiggins convert a lot of those shots in between the mid-range and the rim; Oubre isn’t as consistent. Just for kicks I checked some non-RA paint shots for three players from the 2019 “supervillians” team, aka the last time Klay Thompson was healthy.

Nobody’s expecting “Tsunami Papi” to replace a Splash Bro, but he has to find ways to help out an offense that can bog down in non-Curry minutes. Oubre’s development with this team will be a fascinating subplot to watch for down the stretch. If he’s able to find his niche as the games get more pressurized, the Warriors could absolutely knock off team in the first round.

Twitter avatar for @anthonyVslaterAnthony Slater @anthonyVslater

Steve Kerr on Kelly Oubre’s shift to the bench: “It’s not easy for any player to go from starting to the bench…He told me whatever we need to do to win. His attitude has been great…We need him. We need him to perform at a high level, to bring energy.” Image

Moving On

Double standings watch! How far can/should the Dubs climb up in the race for the postseason? And can Curry keep his scoring title lead over Bradley Beal??

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Twitter avatar for @SportsCenterSportsCenter @SportsCenter

Steph Curry (31.4) has passed Bradley Beal (31.1) as this season’s leading scorer. Image

The Warriors and Wizards meet again Wednesday, and I’m sure Golden State is itching for some payback after the last battle between these two clubs.

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