The player the Warriors wanted (Tyson Chandler) comes to town tonight. And he’ll be matched up against the player the Warriors didn’t really want (Andris Biedrins).
Chandler rejected the Warriors’ overtures for upwards of $13 million per year. Instead, he chose big money in New York, where he is all but guaranteed to be back in the playoffs and perhaps even contending for a championship. Tonight represents the only opportunity for the Warriors to exact any kind of revenge against. And it will be the only opportunity for Andris Biedrins to match up against the guy for whom the Warriors were ready to send Biedrins packing.
In reality, Biedrins may end up defending Amar’e Stoudemire and Chandler will likely be defended by Lee. Still, Biedrins can one-up Chandler by bringing more energy, having an impact on offense and making sure Chandler doesn’t catch any sick lobs.
It is highly likely, however, that Chandler shows exactly why the Warriors wanted him by protecting the basket, dominating the boards and finishing with authority. But if anyone can match Chandler’s energy and hustle, it’s Biedrins. With Kwame Brown and Ekpe Udoh also getting time at C, Biedrins should be able to give such energy.
Jeremy Lin is returning to Oracle Arena on Wednesday, but it will be as a Knick.
Lin was claimed off waivers by New York on Tuesday and confirmed he will be on the visiting sideline for the first time tonight. The Palo Alto native had something of a cult following since signing with the Warriors in October 2010. The second-year guard out of Harvard said his returnto Oracle will be emotional.
LIN: “I’m so thankful for the Warriors fans, I have no way I can even express it.”
A team source has confirmed the SI.com report that the Warriors have agreed to a one-year deal with free agent center Kyrylo Fesenko, who spent the last four seasons with the Utah Jazz.
Fesenko — a 7-foot-1, 288 pound Ukranian — will consume the rest of the Warriors’ salary cap space, which is just over a million. Golden State now has a maximum of 15 players on the roster.
Fesenko is a bruising big man who will add depth to the Warriors’ frontline. Golden State now has five players at least 6-foot-10: Andris Biedrins, Kwame Brown, Jeremy Tyler and Ekpe Udoh. Throw in the size upgrades on the wing (6-foot-9 SF Dominic McGuire, 6-7 swingman Klay Thompson, 6-6 swingman Brandon Rush), and Golden State is a much bigger team across the board.
Fesenko is expected to arrive tonight. His physical is scheduled for Wednesday. He will be with the team for the Knicks game, but don’t expect him to play. His first practice won’t be until Thursday
Warriors point guard Stephen Curry did not practice Tuesday due to his sprained right ankle and is officially listed as day-to-day. According to a team official, Curry has not been ruled out for Wednesday’s home game vs. the New York Knicks, as reported by USA Today.
Curry had an MRI on his surgically repaired right ankle Tuesday afternoon. The x-rays he took Monday night after Golden State’s win over Chicago came back negative, the team announced. Curry re-aggravated his injury midway through the fourth quarter and did not return.
If he sat out Wednesday’s game, he would have four days of rest and treatment since Golden State doesn’t play again until Saturday against visiting Philadelphia.
Sunday’s season-opening loss to the Clippers left lots of questions heading into Game 2 tonight.
Needless to say, this one is vital. Golden State needs to take advantage of having a four-game home stand to start the season. Going 1-3, or even 2-2, heading into a three-game road trip (Suns, Spurs, Lakers) would be really bad.
Finally, NBA basketball is back in the Bay Area. Real basketball.
Golden State kicks off the 2011-12 campaign by hosting the Los Angeles Clippers. Needless to say, a good start is vital for the Warriors. Forward David Lee said the key to a successful season is dominating at home.
LEE: “Every game we play at Oracle I expect to win. We need to get much better as a team on the road this year. But I think that’s gotta be our team’s mindset. If a team’s going to come in and get a victory at Oracle, it’s going to be because they had a great shooting night or they played above what they’re capable of playing or they played a great game. With our fan base and how good we were at home last year, and we’re going to be a much-improved team this year, we need to settle for nothing but victories at home.”
So as we prepare for the opener, here are some things to watch for tonight: