What to Watch For – Game 9

According to ESPN’s Briand Windhorst, Miami guard Dwyane Wade is going to try to play tonight against the Warriors.
After missing three games and Monday’s practice, Wade took part in Tuesday’s shootaround. Wade said after shootaround he would get some treatment on his aching left foot and see how it feels before tip-off. He said he was hoping to come back tonight.

WADE: “If it’s not bad they say they’ll let me play.”

Obviously, watch for how Wade looks. If he’s limited, he might work to the Warriors’ advantage – settling for jumpers and slacking on defense. If he’s feeling good, uh oh.
Here are some other things to watch for tonight.

Sounds Like Dwyane Wade May Be Out vs. Warriors

Dwyane Wade, Battling a left foot injury,  did not practice Monday at USF. He is officially listed as a game-time decision, but he didn’t sound too optimistic.

WADE: “It’s serious enough to where the training staff feel that I should continue to stay off of it. I’m not surprised. I’ve been around the block a few times. I’ve had a couple injuries in my nine years. I think I’m as smart as it gets when it comes to players who know when and when not to play with something.”

Wade has missed Miami’s last three games with what is officially listed as a left foot contusion. He said it could be bruised or it could be plantar fasciitis – an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick tissue at the bottom of the foot.

WADE: “Wade I don’t know, man. It’s just hurting. It could be three different things. Plantar fasciitis is one of them. A bruise is one of them. Maybe it’s a combination. I don’t know. I just know it’s in the area of plantar fascia. I know its bruised as well. So, whatever it is, it’s just taking its course, taking it’s time.”

Wade said if it were up to him, he would have played Saturday at New Jersey. By tomorrow, Wade will have had seven full days of rest.

Still, Miami has the luxury of not rushing Wade back. They can dump more on LeBron James, or promote Chris Bosh to the No. 2 option. Sharp-shooter James Jones, who’s been starting in Wade’s place, has totaled 27 points in the three games Wade has missed, recouping some of the points Miami loses with Wade out.

What’s more, Miami has an ESPN game Wednesday against Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers. That might make for a more dramatic return by Wade.

JAMES: “We’d rather get him back when he’s healthy. When D-Wade’s ready to play and when he’s healthy, he’ll be in a Heat uniform. But we don’t want him out there until he’s 100 percent, until he feel he’s ready.” 


What to Watch For – Game 7

At the end of practice Thursday, Warriors guard Nate Robinson entertained his new teammates by having a dunk off with rookie forward Chris Wright (whose hops are ridiculous, BTW). What was more impressive than any dunk he pulled off was the fact that he had the energy to attempt several dunks after his first NBA practice of the season.

MARK JACKSON: “Obviously, there’s no substitute for real live action, but he’s a heck of an athlete. And he’s in shape.”

That’s good news for the Warriors, because Nate Robinson will be needed. Jackson said he could see Robinson playing significant minutes. Rookie second-round pick Charles Jenkins will start, but expect Robinson – not Ish Smith, who seems to have fallen out of favor with Jackson – to be the back-up. It may be just a matter of time before Robinson is starting, especially if Stephen Curry is out for an elongated period.

Robinson said he looks forward to the challenge – especially proving people wrong about him. Since being waived by Oklahoma City, Robinson had gotten little bite from other NBA teams, concerned about his effect on team chemistry.

ROBINSON: “I don’t care what they say. Coach already said he’s not worried about the naysayers and my past. He’s talking about now and the future. We’re moving forward and that’s something I love about Coach. He sees me as a player. I have another start, a second chance and this is a great opportunity. God blessed me with the ability to go through these struggles in my life and overcome them. That’s something I’m trying to do again. Just trying to prove to the Warriors and the fans and to my friends and family and to God that I can do it.”

( Note: This Q&A with Nate Robinson by Matt Steinmetz is a must-read.)

Golden State will immediately need Robinson’s scoring. They will need his energy. They will need his ability to take over a game. That may be a lot to ask from Robinson. It’s doubtful he can provide all that. He hasn’t been a high-caliber player for a little over a year now.

But the Warriors need him. If he can’t take advantage of this opportunity – where he’s going to get minutes, the coach is vouching for him – redemption for Robinson may not be possible.

Here are some other things to watch for tonight.

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Stephen Curry out indefinitely with ankle injury

From Marcus Thompson’s story, which was just posted online:

Warriors pont guard Stephen Curry ruled himself out of Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers because his sprained right ankle “didn’t respond as well as I wanted.”

He said he doesn’t know yet how long he will be out. Curry said he will confer with all the doctors involved on Thursday — including Bob Anderson of OrthoCarolina, the foot and ankle specialist who did Curry’s surgery in May — to determine the next course of action.

He said he will “see if there is some kind of measurable level I need to be at before I return to play. It could be sooner than later. … Making sure there’s some kind of goal we need to get to.”


Should Curry Sit Out a While or Tough it Out?

Stephen Curry sounded so depressed.

His head was covered with a towel, his chin resting in his palm, his foot stuffed into a bowl of ice. He started by saying he didn’t have much to say. But when he did talk, his pain was obvious.

Curry: “Just another re-aggravation of the same thing that’s been happening. … Just another frustrating incident I’ve got to deal with. … Just déjà vu all over again for me.”

In Wednesday’s loss at San Antonio, Curry sprained his ankle for the third time this season.

With 3:10 left in the third quarter, he scooped up a loose ball off an Ekpe Udoh deflection and was set to push it the other way. But when he planted his right foot, his toe jammed into the court and his right ankle rolled over. He immediately tried to get rid of the ball, throwing an errant pass before limping off to the side. After trying to walk it off, he was helped to the bench.

Eventually he went to the locker room for treatment. He said he tried to return, re-taping his ankle and re-lacing his shoes. But his ankle had already stiffened up too much. His night was over.

LEE: “When you come in here after the game, the reality sets in. More than anything, you feel bad for Steph. He works so hard and does all of the right things. He just has a little bit of misfortune. … He needs to get his ankle right, whether that’s coming back for the L.A. game or waiting six weeks.”

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Nate Robinson Officially a Warrior

The Warriors officially announced the signing of guard Nate Robinson before Wednesday’s tipoff atSan Antonio. He is expected to join the team in time for Thursday’s practice in Los Angeles.

Robinson, who took his physical Wednesday inOakland, gets a one-year deal worth about $1 million. He could be available for Friday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, depending on how coach Mark Jackson feels after seeing him in practice.

No doubt, Robinson will need to get in game shape. He’s been training in Seattle waiting to be signed.

Robinson, 27, played for Boston and Oklahoma City last season. With the Celtics, he appeared in 55 games, averaging 7.1 points in 17.9 minutes.  In 11 starts with Boston, he averaged 12.8 points, 3.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists in 33.2 minutes.

Robinson was traded to the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins deal on Feb. 24. He appeared in four regular season games and three postseason games for the Thunder, mostly garbage minutes. He was waived by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Christmas Eve.