Steve Kerr not concerned with Steph Curry’s slump, but he ‘can make better decisions’

CLEVELAND — Stephen Curry didn’t play up to MVP standards on Christmas Day against cross-country rival Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Golden State Warriors’ point guard registered 15 points on 4-of-11 shooting to go with three turnovers. His first field goal didn’t come until there was 4 minutes, 14 seconds left in the first half.

But his head coach Steve Kerr said he wasn’t focused on Curry’s shooting woes. His issues were with his floor general’s carelessness with the ball.

“I think he can be a little smarter, I think he can make better decisions, and that’ll help against anybody,” Kerr said after his team had blown a 14-point, fourth-quarter lead to lose 109-108. “But I’m not worried about him missing shots; I’m more worried about just decision-making and making sure that we’re where we need to be as a group.”

As a team, the Warriors coughed the ball up 20 times, resulting in 21 points for the Cavaliers. Curry is known for risk-taking with his off-hand, one-handed passes and he will routinely pull off the behind-the-back jaw-dropping assists.

Sometimes he converts, and other times he doesn’t. He didn’t Sunday night.

“A lot of [the turnovers] early was not even due to the pressure,” Kerr said in general of his team. “It was more just decision-making. Around-the-back passes in the paint, silly plays. We just have to make simple plays, and we talk about that all the time, but we’ve got to make it more of a habit.”

It was clear who Kerr was addressing in that quote. This has been an ongoing issue.

In Game 7 of the 2016 NBA Finals, with his team struggling to make a shot, Curry passed the ball from around his back toward Klay Thompson along the sideline, and it just sailed out of bounds.

That was a crucial turnover.

Golden State plays an up-tempo brand of basketball that automatically garners some risk-taking, but Kerr wants more emphasis placed on being fast and under control.

Carelessness is what led to their seven-game winning streak being snapped in Cleveland.

“We had a chance to put them away, for sure,” Kerr said. “Too many turnovers. But we had control of the game and we did not execute at all in the fourth quarter. It was a great tape to look at. It will be quite valuable for us to look at that tape, because we know we let it slip away.”

Warriors’ Draymond Green out Thursday after birth of son

OAKLAND, Calif. — Draymond Green returned to the Bay Area on Thursday to welcome his new baby boy.

Son Draymond Jamal Green Jr. was born at 3:55 a.m. Thursday, the Warriors said, and his father missed Golden State’s game Thursday at Brooklyn. His status for Friday’s matchup at Detroit and Sunday at Cleveland was still to be determined.

In an Instagram post, Green said: “I’ve never experienced such a feeling like I did when I watched his entry.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the team was thrilled for Draymond and Jalissa and “disappointed in myself that I didn’t insist that Draymond stay home yesterday from the plane.

“I tried to get him to do it, I didn’t fight hard enough and I’m bummed that he didn’t make it back for the actual birth but he’s home now and we’re all so happy for him and his family,” Kerr said. “It’s awesome news.”

“We had a good discussion after the Utah game about whether he should come or not and he was convinced that the baby was not going to arrive for about a week. Typical father, the women are right, the men are wrong in these things. But he was convinced that it wasn’t going to happen for a week and so we kind of relented and said all right, you know, come with us, and then of course we practice last night, then I woke up this morning with a text from him saying he had taken off back to Oakland.”

Green leads Golden State in rebounds (8.8), assists (7.2) and steals (2.3) while averaging 10.6 points.

Kevon Looney started in Green’s place.

Stephen Curry Warriors Jersey

Stephen Curry(Stephen Curry Jersey) has resumed light shooting without movement on his injured right knee, with the hope that he can get into scrimmages by the end of the week, perhaps in time to be ready for Game 3 of the Golden State Warriors’ Western Conference semifinal series against Portland.

In a sideline interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters during Sunday’s Game 1 win over Portland, Curry said the chances of him returning for Game 3 are “pretty good.”

“To me they’re pretty good, so I’ll do anything I can this week to make that happen,” Curry said.

Coach Steve Kerr said Monday that Curry wouldn’t be available for Tuesday night’s Game 2 with the Warriors up 1-0 in the best-of-seven series after a 118-106 victory Sunday in the opener.

Curry only briefly showed his face during the team’s shooting time Monday. Golden State didn’t hold a formal practice but instead watched film and shot around. He didn’t take any shots during the portion the media could watch.

“It just depends how his week goes,” Kerr said Sunday of Curry’s status for Game 3. “We’ll just monitor him and see how it goes and hopefully get him back at some point. It’s nice to have that long break between 2 and 3.”

Curry sprained his right MCL when he slipped on a wet spot just before halftime of a win at Houston in Game 4 of the first round. He said Friday that he hoped to do some shooting within a day or two. That happened Saturday. Curry will have to test the knee by putting pressure on it and planting on it when he shoots and then in some five-on-five scrimmages.

The Warriors are scheduled to take Wednesday off from practice, which means Curry could get into running on the court by Thursday or Friday. After Curry’s MRI exam on Monday, general manager Bob Myers estimated that the point guard would be sidelined for two weeks, based on other players with similar injuries.

“I’m doing a lot more rehab-wise, trying to test my body out a little bit,” Curry told Salters. “I’m looking forward to getting back on the court, maybe a practice setting and see how it feels.

“I’ve gotten pretty much my full range of motion back. It’s still painful but for the most part I can get on my feet and try to do basketball activities that will get me back into the playoff atmosphere.”

Portland’s job in the best-of-seven series against the defending champions doesn’t get much easier without Curry.

“They’re a great team without Steph. They’re a historically great team with him,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said before Sunday’s game. “They have a style of play. They have an identity. Everybody understands their roles. They do what they do well. They’re an exceptional team with Steph and what he can bring to the table, but I think the last six quarters showed how good they are without him as well.”

Curry, of course, wants to shorten his time on the bench. He said Friday that he knows he won’t be 100 percent when he returns.

“It’s all speculation,” Kerr said. “As Bob said from the beginning, the two-week timetable was just kind of a random guess more than anything, based on past history of these MCL injuries. So we don’t really know, but that’s the hope — that by the middle of next week, we’ll get him back in more basketball-type movements.”

For now, Curry, with a league-best 30.1 points per game, is enjoying watching his teammates succeed.

“I had the utmost faith and confidence in the 14 other guys on this team to go out and show who they are and what they’re capable of, and they’ve obviously done that,” Curry said. “I only played 38 minutes in the first round, and we finished it in five. They’re a very capable group without me. Obviously I’d like to be out there with them, and I feel like we’re a better team when I’m out there, but the way that they play and the way they have that confidence and swagger about them, it’s fun to watch. We’re going to need that, the same energy, focus and confidence, going forward to start this next round.”

Stephen Curry Womens Jersey

OAKLAND, Calif. — Toddler Riley Curry snuggled up under the right arm of her father’s wax figure and grinned in delight.

Even if a little confused by it all.

“How is it, Riley, is it weird?” Stephen Curry(Stephen Curry Jersey) asked. “There’s two of us up here. That’s probably weird to see two of us up here looking right back at her.”

When Riley’s baby sister, Ryan, later sat down next to her, in a matching dress and sweater, they glanced up and admired their superstar dad’s dribbling pose.

“I don’t know how you could actually dream about something like this,” Curry said about seeing his likeness in wax. “You look at the detail and all that goes into a wax figure, so pretty special.”

Madame Tussauds unveiled his wax figure Thursday, and it will be on display at the Fisherman’s Wharf museum by the end of next week. A team of artists and sculptors spent nearly four months on Curry’s figure, taking 250 measurements of the NBA MVP and including details down to the tattoos on his wrists.

“That is crazy,” Curry said upon his first view of the finished product, valued at $350,000. “I grew a little bit more facial hair before. During the season I have to shave to kind of match what it was last year. That is pretty cool. It’s pretty incredible, obviously very accurate. The whole process from posing for like four, three hours at that position, I got a lot of quad work while they did all the measurements.”

Curry shot a selfie with his figure and posed for family photographs with his wife, two daughters and his mother. Perhaps the only thing missing: his mouth guard, which he flung in frustration for a rare technical Wednesday night in a 114-98 victory over the rival Los Angeles Clippers.

Curry, 28, shared a story of how one of his first dates with wife Ayesha was to a wax museum.

“For me and my wife, it’s kind of a funny story. One of our first dates in L.A., we went to the museum on Hollywood Boulevard,” Curry said. “So that was one of our first experiences together, walking through and taking pictures with all the wax figures in that museum, and now to have one of my own is pretty special.”

It’s spot on, down to his own handwriting on the bright blue Under Armour sneakers. Curry said he was amazed each hair was placed in the wax head by hand.

The Warriors held their team photo day, and Curry joked with teammates that his wax figure could stand in for him in the photo.

“He finally hit it big, he finally made it. It’s official,” coach Steve Kerr said. “I can’t wait to see it. I think it will be cool.”

The folks at Madame Tussauds invited Curry to come see his wax figure in the museum.

“The schedule’s a little tight right now,” Curry said, smiling. “It was a great experience all the way through. It’s something I’ll remember for a while, and we’ll get to go see it with all the other distinguished people in the museum.”