Balls: Lack of trust undermines Warriors’ chances 

From Oscar Robertson to Michael Jordan, it happens to most great NBA backcourt players at some point in their careers.

And now it has happened to Stephen Curry, too.

Curry has lost confidence in his Warriors teammates in the Western Conference semifinals, so much so that the Most Valuable Player believes he practically has to beat the Memphis Grizzlies by himself. He accounted for 26 percent of his team’s field-goal attempts in the first three games, a drastic increase from 19 percent in the regular season.

Can you blame him? Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala have a combined 32.7 field-goal percentage, and other than Harrison Barnes and Klay Thompson, no one wants the ball in his hands.

“Yeah, Steph has a big burden on his shoulders,” coach Steve Kerr said after a film session in Memphis on Sunday. “He’s the MVP of the league, and their defensive focus is on him. We’ve got to do a better job of helping free him up and he’s got to do a better job of trusting his teammates. As a group, we have to just play and trust the process. We’ve done that all year, but this is a tougher circumstance, and we’re faced with some adversity here. So I’m anxious to see how we respond.”

Curry has shot only 40 percent from the field, partly the result of too many forced attempts. Now somebody has to give him a reason to distribute the ball more often.

“The guy is fearless,” Kerr said. “He has about as much confidence as anybody. It’s something where other people might shy away from shots. Steph’s inclination is probably to take more. I don’t think this is not a confidence issue at all. It’s more ‘Let’s figure this out. Let’s get better shots. Let’s be more patient. Lets use our fundamentals.’ That’s the part he has to sort through. But it’s never a confidence issue with him.”

REMEMBER HIM? With Marreese Speights (strained right calf) likely out for the series, forgotten man David Lee figures to get some time in Game 4 tonight.

Lee has had some success against the Grizzlies in his career. As a starter last season, he averaged 18.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and converted half his field-goal tries in three games against them.

How crazy would it be if Lee helped turn around the series before his contract is dumped this summer?

TOMMY BOY: Someone may want to check the footballs before mentioning 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the words “new and improved” in the same sentence.

Kaepernick joined the list of Tom Brady apologists when he tweeted, “No football in the world is going to help you win by 38! Let it go and let Tom be great! On to the 2015 season#7tormsComing.”

Balls wonders, is this how Bleacher Report got started?

WELL LOOK WHO’S HERE: Someone who claimed to be Sharks owner Hasso Plattner stopped by the SAP Center over the weekend, although it was difficult to tell because almost nobody had seen him before.

Plattner announced the team had no plans for a new arena, would remain in San Jose through at least through 2025 and might even win its first Stanley Cup by then. Which is pretty much what you would expect the CEO of the San Jose Hockey Country Club to say.

The German billionaire also claimed to spend about one-third of his time in Northern California. Or the percentage of games that the SJHCC played like a real NHL team.

JUST SAYIN’: If your team just had a total waste of a season, Hasso probably isn’t the name you want right now.

YOUR TURN: “99-89. Chew on those ribs! Hope u r enjoying great weather here and our fair city.” -- Steve Cohen, Memphis, Tenn.

(Have fun at Game 4, win or probably lose. Plenty of tickets still available.)

WHERE HAVE YOU GONE ...: Shaun Livingston?

Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? (A compliment?!?) Send them to pladewski@sfexaminer.com and you may get your name in the paper one day.

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