Marc J. Spears

  • What Warriors can take away from opening-round sweep of Pelicans

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 1 hr ago

    NEW ORLEANS – The 1975 NBA champion Golden State Warriors were a hunted team in 1976 – one that failed to repeat as they were upset by the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference finals.

    No one on the Warriors' current roster was even close to being born then.

    But now, 39 years later, today's Warriors are fighting in new territory as the NBA's most hunted team after winning a league-best 67 games. While Golden State passed its first test by completing a sweep of the New Orleans Pelicans in the first round on Saturday, they believe the tougher-than-it-looked first-round series offered some lessons that will help them to deal with the unfamiliar bull's-eye.

    "We learned about just feeling the pressure both at home and on the road," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "We had the best record. This team has playoff experiences the past two years as an underdog. I think it's easier as an underdog because you just come out and play loose. The favorite is a little different feeling."

    Kerr believes the Warriors gained valuable experience about the pressure of playing at Oracle Arena in the postseason after being so dominant in the regular-season.

  • Stephen Curry gives father, brother a New Orleans show for the ages

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    NEW ORLEANS – Not long after Stephen Curry’s remarkable performance in Game 3of the Golden State Warriors’ first-round playoff series against the New Orleans Pelicans, the star guard laughed out loud in the Smoothie King Center while watching a video on his cell phone with his somewhat embarrassed father and brother.

    No one could blame him for enjoying the moment after the postgame news conference as he looked at some congratulatory messages and videos sent to his phone.

    “That was unbelievable. I thought he got fouled,” Dell Curry told Yahoo Sports, chuckling about his son’s timely shot. “Is that being greedy?”

    It almost seems greedy that the Curry men have had so much success in the game of basketball.

    As the playoff series shifted to New Orleans, the plan was for Stephen to travel without his family so he could focus on the Pelicans. Dell, however, had been champing at the bit since the Warriors’ Game 1 win in Oakland, Calif., and wanted to follow his son. And with dad wanting to visit the Crescent City, of course Seth wanted to roll, too.

  • Even Stephen Curry was amazed by his miracle shot and the Warriors' stunning comeback

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    NEW ORLEANS – Stephen Curry replayed the shot in his mind over and over, silently shaking his head several times in the locker room late Thursday. Eventually, the triumphant Golden State Warriors guard showered, dressed and walked into a hallway of onlookers before finally uttering a simple word that summed up his memorable night.


    Curry completed a jaw-dropping Warriors comeback from 20 points down in the fourth quarter – the third-largest in NBA playoff history – with a stunning corner 3-pointer with 2.8 seconds left to send Game 3 against the New Orleans Pelicans into overtime. From there, the MVP candidate finished with a game-high 40 points en route to a 123-119 victory that left Golden State a win away from moving on to the second round. Curry's smooth shot silenced the boisterous Pelicans crowd, and was still the rage long after the game ended.

    The Warriors were admittedly awful during the first three quarters as the Pelicans took an 89-69 lead. New Orleans even had a 19-0 run at one point in the game.

  • Draymond Green learned to talk trash from his mom

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 4 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. – Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green searched through his contacts on his cell phone long after a 97-87 Game 2 win against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night until he found "Mama." On Twitter, Mary Babers-Green is known as @babers_mary, and she has a growing number of basketball fans and journalists who follow her and can't wait to hear what she has to say next.

    Green is a Defensive Player of the Year candidate and perhaps the best trash-talker in the league. Judging by reading the tweets of @babers_mary, it isn't hard to tell where he got his skills from.

    "I only have to be mindful and respectful of my son and not be belligerent," Babers-Green told Yahoo Sports in a phone interview early Tuesday morning in Saginaw, Mich. "But I am staying in the guideline of the rules. His rules.

    "I myself have no rules. I myself will [say something]. But I have to respect him."

    When asked if Lloyd deserved that response from his mom, Green said: "Yeah. He was hating."

  • Blake Griffin, Matt Barnes bully Spurs as Clippers win playoff opener

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    LOS ANGELES – Two posterizing Blake Griffin dunks and a tussle for the ball with Matt Barnes made a spectacle of San Antonio Spurs backup center Aron Baynes on Sunday night. Turns out, that was all the spark the Los Angeles Clippers needed as they rolled to a 107-92 victory in the opener of the best-of-seven, first-round NBA playoff series.

    Griffin "dunks on anybody," Barnes said. "But when you dunk on their center twice, it's pretty impressive."

    Entering this season, many projected the Clippers and Spurs to meet in the Western Conference finals. A brutally tough race in the West, however, left the reigning NBA champions and Clippers facing each other in the opening round.

    The expectation is a long series filled with several subplots along the way. The Clippers' rag-dolling of Baynes highlighted the first act.

    Said Barnes: "After that, we got the crowd into it and we started rolling."

    Said Griffin: "I did not want to settle for any jump shots."

  • Stephen Curry's theatrics carry Warriors past Pelicans in gritty Game 1

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. – Stephen Curry raced to the basket with fellow NBA Most Valuable Player candidate Anthony Davis on his heels. The Golden State Warriors guard gave up seven inches and a mammoth wingspan to Davis, but despite being mauled on the shot attempt, Curry somehow made a reverse layup high off the glass.

    With the yellow-clad crowd raining down "M-V-P" chants, Curry flexed and basked in one of several needed moments from him during the Warriors' 106-99 Game 1 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday.

    “I couldn't believe the ball went in,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “It didn't look like from my angle it was going to go in. I thought Steph was trying to put it off the glass, so the ball just seemed to drop out of the sky right through the hoop. One of those plays that very few people can make, but Steph seems to do it pretty often."

    “Whenever you're on the floor, just try to make an impact,” Curry said.

    With Curry out in the fourth quarter, the Pelicans chopped a deficit as big as 25 down to 11 points with 9:48 remaining.

  • Stephen Curry says Warriors' season will be failure if they don't win title

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 9 days ago

    OAKLAND, Calif. – When the Golden State Warriors walk into their practice gym they are greeted by a large, old banner that reads, "1974-75 NBA World Champions." Warriors All-Star Stephen Curry believes his team's record season will be a bust if a new title banner isn't finally added to the practice gym this year.

    "For the players, it is," Curry told Yahoo Sports. "No one will be happy for anything less. If we don't win our last game this season it's going to be a disappointing feeling, one where we felt like we fell short."

    The Warriors enter the postseason with a league-high and franchise-record 67 wins, as well as home-court advantage throughout the playoffs. Golden State is led by Curry, the 3-point champion and a Most Valuable Player candidate. None of the Warriors was born when Rick Barry, Jamaal Wilkes and coach Al Attles led the franchise to the last title.

    Now with high expectations, Curry and the Warriors are in unfamiliar territory. This postseason they're being hunted.

    "If we get that opportunity I think we will be ready. We won't shy away from it. But until someone knocks them off, they are the champs."

  • Ivan Rabb hopes to follow Damian Lillard's path from Oakland to the NBA

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 11 days ago

    Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard recalls as a teen noticing a taller-than-normal kid playing sports across the street from his home in Oakland, Calif. That kid was Ivan Rabb, who kept growing, is now one of the nation's top high school players and is projected to eventually join his old neighbor from 106th Ave. in East Oakland in the NBA.

    "It just goes to show you that you never know who's around you and what they might be capable of in the future," Rabb told Yahoo Sports. "I know everything [Lillard] has, he has from hard work.

    "I'm just happy for him. He's doing great things. One day I plan on being on his level."

    Oakland, which has a population of more than 400,000, has a long and storied basketball history that few major American cities can match.

    "Most of us from that area come with a lot of dog," Rabb said. "We play hard. We just love a challenge. For the most part, anyone that came out of Oakland plays with an attitude."

    "He chose the home team," Lillard said. "He's trying to start something. That's pretty cool."

    More NBA coverage:

  • NBA Power Rankings: The race for the worst record

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 12 days ago

    1. Golden State Warriors (Record: 65-15; last week: 1): Talk about home, sweet home: The Warriors will have been at home for two weeks before going on the road for the first time for the playoffs.

    2. San Antonio Spurs (Record: 55-26; last week: 4): No one is playing better basketball heading into the postseason than the defending NBA champions, who have won 11 straight.

    3. Cleveland Cavaliers (Record: 51-29; last week: 2): LeBron James will enter the playoffs with perhaps the most talented Cavs team ever and a legitimate chance of winning the title.

    4. Los Angeles Clippers (Record: 54-26; last week: 5): The Clippers are rounding into shape, having won five straight and nine of 10.

    5. Memphis Grizzlies (Record: 54-26; last week: 6) It could be tough for Memphis to return to the West’s second seed with the unclear statuses of Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and Tony Allen.

    6. Houston Rockets (Record: 54-26; last week: 3): James Harden has had an MVP-worthy season, but his award bid could take a hit if the Rockets don’t land a top-four playoff seed.

    More NBA coverage from Yahoo Sports:

  • Top 10 prospects NBA has its eyes on from Class of 2015

    Marc J. Spears at Yahoo Sports 13 days ago

    PORTLAND, Ore. – With LSU-bound Ben Simmons leading the way on the court, the 125 credentialed NBA personnel had good reason to be excited about future prospects while watching the 18th annual Hoop Summit game and practices last week.

    "There were two to three NBA starters, then there is a drop-off that will be determined by development," an NBA scout told Yahoo Sports. "A lot of the wings were good players, but don't have the prototypical size now. There are a few sleepers, too."

    The following is Yahoo Sports' top 10 high school players the NBA has its eyes on in the Class of 2015:

    1. Ben Simmons, Australia, 6-9, forward, LSU Scout's comment: "He can play multiple positions. He can guard multiple positions. Super passer. His jump shot is a little shaky, but it will get better. He is going to be a special player."