West Notes: Warriors, Klay Thompson, Kings, Trail Blazers


It doesn’t appear the Warriors’ plan of integrating younger players with seasoned stars such as Steph Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson is working, wrote Marcus Thompson II of The Athletic.

That was on display during a loss to the Kings on Sunday, when the defending champions fell to 0-7 on the road.

“We’re not a team right now where we can afford to let guys make mistakes,” coach Steve Kerr said, via Thompson. “We’re not good enough to withstand a lot of mistakes.”

As Thompson pointed out, the Warriors have not received consistent contributions from the likes of Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, or even Jordan Poole, who signed a four-year contract extension in October. And former No. 2 pick James Wiseman has fallen almost completely out of the rotation.

Along with that, free agent pickups Donte DiVincenzo and JaMychal Green haven’t offered a great deal of help, either.

  • Klay Thompson has been struggling with his shot, though did hit a biggie in a win over the Cavaliers in the fourth quarter last week. He said on Instagram that it should continue to improve. “My belief is stronger than your doubt. I PROMISE you it’s coming,” he wrote. “And when it does, the floodgates will open.”


  • Things seem better this season under first-year Kings coach Mike Brown, and rookie forward Keegan Murray said there’s a reason for that. “We’re all bought in,” Murray told reporters. “We know we can compete with any team in the league.”
  • The Kings last made the playoffs in 2006, prior to the invention of the iPhone. Though they seemingly are ready to make a run at the play-in tournament, at least, this year.
  • Sacramento is still having issues from the free-throw line, however. Entering Sunday, they were hitting just 77 percent of their foul shots (and were 12-of-19 on Sunday).

Trail Blazers

Along with the Jazz, the Trail Blazers have been a pleasant surprise in the West, as evidenced by a recent six-game trip in which they won four.

“I thought overall, it was a great trip to go 4-2 against all these really good teams on the road,” coach Chauncey Billups said, via Conor Bergen of SB Nation. “It was awesome. I thought we built a lot of character on this trip and I’m proud of our guys.”

Added star guard Damian Lillard: “Obviously if you told us we was gonna go 4-2 when we left Portland, we would’ve said, ‘we’ll take it.'”

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