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Warriors’ Andrew Bogut Determined to be Ready for Season Opener, Even If It Means Missing Some Training Camp

Warriors center Andrew Bogut said his surgically repaired left ankle will be ready for the Oct. 31 season opener at Phoenix. But he acknowledged that may mean sacrificing some of training camp, or even some preseason games.

“It’s about being smart with my ankle,” Bogut said via a conference call with local media. “There’s no point in trying to get ready for October 1st, when another week could significantly help. I’m trying to get ready for camp, but my main goal is for the first game of the season to be 110 percent.”

Bogut said based on the timeline given by the surgeons, he might be a bit ahead of schedule. He has already been shooting and lifting weights. He was recently cleared to start light jogging on the treadmill. Plus Warriors head athletic trainer JoHan Wang spent last in Australia working out Bogut: “He pretty much smashed me in the gym.” Bogut said his ankle has responded well to the increased activity, with little to no swelling or soreness.

While with the Milwaukee Bucks, Bogut fractured his left ankle on Jan. 25 and missed the last 54 games. Still, the Warriors traded for Bogut on March 13, giving up guard Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh. On April 27, Bogut had arthroscopic surgery on April 27 in Van Nuys to clean out loose particles and bone spurs.

Warriors general manager Bob Myers said previously the team is happy with Bogut’s progress. But the veteran center has some time before he can run fully on a court, let alone fully compete in a game setting.

Bogut said he wants to be ready for training camp, which begins Oct. 3, but said it will be close. The two-a-day practices at first might be too much to jump into. So Bogut may be limited even if he is in camp.

“The immediate goal with all of this is to be ready for the first game,” Bogut said, “whether that means only playing in only half the preseason games or whatever.”

 

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Stephen Curry Says He Expects to Head into Season “100 Percent, Free and Clear of Any Kind of Doubts About My Ankle”

Warriors point guard Stephen Curry is back in town. Thursday, in front of Warriors coach Mark Jackson, general manager Bob Myers, and Hall of Famer Chris Mullin, Curry showed off the progress he’s made on his surgically repaired right ankle.

Afterward, he spoke confidently with the media about his chances to be ready for training camp and the regular season. He also talked about making the playoffs, being a first-time father, the new-look Los Angeles Lakers and signing a contract extension. Here’s the transcript:

How does the ankle feel?

“It feels great. Being out since March and having surgery in April, and my last two-and-half to three months of rehab, it’s been a good process. I’m being patient with it. Right now, being able to do a full-court workout and not having any pain or soreness or tightness — it’s very optimistic right now. We still have five weeks for training camp so it can only get better.”

What are you not able to do?

“Just play five-on-five right now. I’m just making sure that when I’m reacting and making cuts, especially on the defensive end, that my ankle’s responding the right way. I know it will, but just right now I’m taking each step: one-on-one to three-on-three to controlled five-on-five and then going full bore. So, that’s’ the plan right now.”

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Dwight Howard Trade Works Against the Warriors

Obviously, the Los Angeles Lakers adding Dwight Howard makes a Division rival immensely superior than the Warriors. But it wasn’t like the Warriors were going to be better than the Lakers anyway.

But the blockbuster, four-team trade hurts the Warriors in another way. In the trade, Denver acquired swingman Andre Iguodala. Not only was he someone on the Warriors’ wishlist. But a team the Warriors are hoping to be in competition for a playoff spot just got better. The Nuggets were one of five or six teams figured to be competing for the last three or four playoff spots. But the addition of Iguodala (and cutting back the excess of wings Denver had on the roster) at the least seems to vault the Nuggets to the top of that pack.

You can question how much better the Nuggets will be. The Team USA reserve is known for being a Swiss Army knife on the court. But his major shortcoming is that he’s not a take-over kind of guy. He can take over a game, but dominating is not his forte. Iguodala is a great glue guy who can contribute in multiple ways. But what Denver really needs is a beast. They’ve got a lot of glue guys. Though they’re upgrading, you can argue they still didn’t fill their biggest hole.

Still, an important Warriors foe got better. That should make the playoff-hopeful Golden State fans a little nervous.

 

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Warriors Release Preseason Schedule

The Warriors announced an eight-game preseason slate on Thursday, including three at Oracle Arena.

Golden State will open the preseason against the Lakers in Fresno on Oct. 7. The next night, the Warriors will host the Utah Jazz at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors also host Maccabi Haifa on Oct. 11 andPhoenixin the preseason finale on Oct. 23. The regular-season opener is Oct. 31 at Phoenix.

Here is the full preseason schedule:

Date            Opponent                       Location                                    Time

Oct. 7        Los AngelesLakers      Save Mart Center, Fresno  7 p.m.

Oct. 8        UtahJazz                          Oracle Arena                           7:30 p.m.

Oct. 11      Maccabi Haifa                Oracle Arena                           7:30 p.m.

Oct. 15      Denver Nuggets             Pepsi Center                           6 p.m.

Oct. 17      Sacramento Kings         Power Balance Pavilion    7 p.m.

Oct. 19      Portland Trail Blazers   Rose Garden                         7 p.m.

Oct. 22      Los Angeles Clippers    Staples Center                      7:30 p.m.

Oct. 23      Phoenix Suns                   Oracle Arena                        7:30 p.m.

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So, Are the Warriors a Playoff Team?

The Warriors’ roster is all but set. They’ve added size. They’ve added defense. They’ve added depth.

But have they added enough?

The Warriors are invested in this squad for the next two seasons. As it stands now, Andrew Bogut, Richard Jefferson, Andris Biedrins and Stephen Curry come off the salary cap after the 2013-14 season. That means this season will be vital in determining which direction Golden State heads in the future (who gets an extension, who becomes a free agent).  So there is no question, the Warriors are gearing up to win now.

Is this team good enough to make the playoffs?

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The Warriors Go Into Luxury Tax Zone to Sign Carl Landry and Brandon Rush; Bob Myers: “The one mandate that has been placed on myself and the group was to win. Clearly.”

The Warriors were looking for four attributes from whoever they signed as the back-up power forward spot. They wanted an asset, something with value (basically, talent at a good price). They wanted a veteran to bring experience to their young team. They wanted someone who would improve the toughness profile. They wanted someone who could defend.

Landry at $8 million over two years is pretty good value. If he plays well, he could be a guy who commands at least the mid-level most years. And the fact that his deal is only two years makes him even more attractive as a trade commodity.

He’s been in the league for five years, playing for three teams. He has 25 playoff games under his belt (15.4 minutes per), twice making the postseason with Houston and once with New Orleans.

Toughness? Well, on March 17, 2009, Landry was shot on in his left calf. Three weeks later, he was back on the court and said he could’ve played sooner if they had let him. Later that year, in December, he had his two front teeth knocked out by a Dirk Nowitzki elbow. Landry missed one game.

“If you want toughness,” Landry said, “I’m the guy you’re looking for.”

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