Metta World Peace back to the Lakers

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February 8, 2016 | 1:37 pm EST Update
“It’s just focusing on playing defense as a group instead of individually. It’s not easy playing defense with five people especially with two or three. Focus and effort. Once we fix that I think we will start rolling,” Cauley-Stein said. Boy, was he accurate. He was in foul trouble early because of the lack of containing dribble penetration. In other words, lack of focus and effort. How can you fix that? “You’re not going to force anybody to do something they are not trying to do or not willing to do,” Cauley-Stein said. “You just have to be willing to and have that sacrifice for one another. If you do, then it works out in everybody’s favor and it’s a lot more fun to play like that but if you don’t, than you’re going to have the same results.”
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KK: I feel like I don’t think I’m trying to put anything back together any more. I think that’s the biggest thing for me. After the surgeries it really took a lot longer for the dots to connect for me than I thought it would. You don’t ever want to be a mechanical basketball player, but as far as technique and things, I like to have certain check points in my shot, certain things that I can count on and think about. It kind of helps me to be consistent. For a good part of the season, the dots weren’t connecting. It was super frustrating. It hasn’t been a great shooting season, the first part of the season especially, it’s been a struggle. But I feel like the last little bit here, things are coming together, and it’s got me excited about the last part of the year.
Me: Your shooting numbers were much better last month (38.7 percent on threes in January, after shooting 29 percent in December). Does the combo of the elbow feeling good and seeing the ball go in the basket more make you feel like you can get back to where you were last year? KK: Yeah. My body feels healthy again. I feel like things have healed, and I’m back and whole. There was, I felt like I missed so many shots for a while, and I think mentally, that does throw you a little bit. The last month, having a few better games has been good for me. I mean, at the end of the day, shooting is about confidence and the right mindset. At the end of the day, you have to make a few shots to feel right. I feel like I’m heading in the right direction, so I’m excited.
The Warriors’ rush chairman remains the amiable and accessible Curry, who was sporting a scratch on his forehead all week, after getting cut by the long nails of the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony in New York. “Light-skinned problems,” Curry said; such is his cache that he can even joke about his complexion — the difference in supposed favor between light-skinned and dark-skinned African-Americans has historically been a third rail issue among many black folk — and everybody laughs.
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