Stephen Curry screamed, turned and kicked the nearby wall, disgusted by another missed jumper. It was just practice and most of his other shots went in, so there was little reason for concern.
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But if he keeps misfiring in games and the Golden State Warriors keep losing them, there might be.
With Curry in a rare shooting slump and the Warriors on an even rarer losing streak, the NBA leaders are facing adversity – at least by their standards – as they visit the New York Knicks on Sunday.
Curry is 4 for 31 from 3-point range through three games of the Warriors’ road trip, with most of the last two games coming after Kevin Durant jersey was injured. The Warriors found a way to win the opener in Philadelphia – when Curry missed all 11 attempts behind the arc – but they then dropped games in Washington and Chicago to end their NBA-record streak of regular-season games without consecutive losses at 146.
“We haven’t lost two in row in a long time obviously and we’ve been in a rut on this trip in general,” coach Steve Kerr said after practice Saturday at a court in the Manhattan building where the players’ union is headquartered. “We’re not making shots, but we’re also well aware that this is just a blip on the radar screen. We’ll be fine and I’m not concerned at all. We just have to play better with jerseys cheap.”
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Klay Thompson is also struggling, and the Splash Brothers really dried up Thursday, going a combined 3 for 22 on 3-pointers in a 94-87 loss in Chicago. But the Warriors don’t seem stressed and don’t think defenses are crowding the guards more than normal without having to worry about Durant.
“We’ve had plenty of openings and creating decent shots, just haven’t gone in in the last three games,” Curry said. “But that happens as you go through a long season, you just have to fight through it and not let it affect how you play. Obviously if we make a couple more shots in Chicago the game’s a little different. Philly it was a struggle but we found a way to win, so just got to stay on the mission of letting the offense create good things for us and still have confidence to knock down shots.”
The Warriors were held to their lowest point total of the season Thursday. Curry and Thompson were a combined 15 of 49 from the field. Those are performances Golden State can’t afford without Durant, its leading scorer who is lost for at least four weeks with a knee injury.
“It happens to the best of them, so you just move on,” All-Star Draymond Green said. “You try to make plays, get them the ball and get them open shots, knowing that more often than not they’ll fall. But everybody has shooting struggles. Michael Jordan had shooting struggles and the list goes on.”
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry says reserve guard Jarrett Jack, who only recently made his return to the NBA following reconstructive right knee surgery, now has a torn meniscus in the same knee and is expected to be sidelined four-to-six weeks.
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Jack had played in only two games since signing a 10-day contract last week, averaging three points and 2.5 assists in 15.6 minutes per game. Jack was one of three guards signed as free agents since the All-Star break, when New Orleans traded away three backcourt players in order to acquire All-Star center DeMarcus Cousins.
Meanwhile, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich says starting guard Tony Parker jersey is ready to play in Friday night’s game at New Orleans after missing the Spurs previous game with a quad contusion.
“You hear people talking about 4-point shots, something that’s not about to happen in the NBA, but maybe in an All-Star Game,” Silver said. “Maybe there’s a few spots on the floor where it’s a 4-point shot. Maybe there’s a halfcourt shot in the last minute that’s 10 points. I don’t know about China jerseys. Those are crazy ideas.”
New Orleans’ Anthony Davis scored an All-Star record 52 points in this year’s game, 10 points more than the mark by Wilt Chamberlain that stood for 55 years. The West has flirted with 200 points in each of the last two seasons – 196 in 2016, 192 this year. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 12 dunks by himself, and LeBron James jersey was taking (and once, made) shots from the midcourt area.
“We collectively want to try to make All-Star weekend better for the fans,” Paul told reporters in Milwaukee on Friday. “All the way around. Even in CBA talks and stuff like that, that was one of the things that the players, the owners and everybody was talking about. Trying to fix that, spice it up a little bit to keep it interesting.”
Bucks coach Jason Kidd, a perennial All-Star as a player, is confident the league will find the right fix and wholesale jerseys.
“Adam’s a very smart man,” Kidd said, “and they’ll figure it out.”
For this year’s game, the voting process was changed – fan votes were no longer the sole basis for selecting starters, but instead part of a formula that also took player and media balloting into account. The player-voting element in particular was criticized by some NBA coaches like Golden State’s Steve Kerr jersey, who said it wasn’t taken as seriously as it should have been.
“In an All-Star game like this, guys aren’t trying to get hurt,” Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving said after the All-Star Game. “We all enjoy the company of each other’s presence. But at the same token, us as competitors, when it starts getting close, you can feel it. For me, I would love to play in a competitive game.”