After arthroscopic surgery on his left foot in April, Warriors center Andrew Bogut was supposed to be all but a lock for the start of training camp. Then camp came, and Golden State all but assured he would be ready for the season opener.
“I hope it’s realistic,” coach Mark Jackson said.
The Warriors head coach, prior to taking on Sacramento, was talking about Bogut’s chances of playing in one of the last three preseason games. Jackson didn’t sound too optimistic.
The latest goal was to get him into a couple of preseason games as tune-up for the regular season opener on Oct. 31. That hasn’t changed officially, but Jackson said Bogut is “still a ways away.” If he can’t get into a preseason game, it’s a fair guess that the season opener is questionable. One can at least assume even if he does play, he’d be limited – especially a guy who hasn’t played an NBA game since January.
“I think it’s the best thing for him and for us,” Jackson said regarding whether Bogut will play in one of the Warriors’ remaining three preseason games. “But at the same time, the most important plan is to make sure he’s healthy, so we’re not going to do anything to set him back. So we’ll see how it goes.”
Working in the Warriors’ favor is seven straight off days between the last preseason game, Oct. 23 against visiting Phoenix, and the opener.
The Warriors’ annual open practice on Saturday at Oracle Arena featured typical fun-loving spirit. The players were all too happy to entertain the guesstimated 5,000 fans in attendance while getting in a little exercise. Many fans even got to participate. And of course, to cap it off, was the tradition of Rookies at the Apollo.
But hidden in all the fanfare and crowd pleasing was some signs that Jeremy Tyler has stepped his game up. He hasn’t played much in the preseason. But his limited stints, and some of the moves he showed Saturday, suggest a player who is growing into his potential.
Is it enough to keep him out of Santa Cruz? Probably not. But the talented second-year forward may be doing enough to buy even more patience from the Warriors.
“He is developing,” Jackson said of Tyler. “He’s a much better basketball player now than when we first got him. I think this summer has been big for him as far as working with our young guys, being in the summer league. Battling against Festus Ezeli every day, it makes you better. He’s got a more professional attitude and he’s improving. He’s stronger and he has a better understanding of the game.”
Here are some notes from the highlights of the open practice.
The No. 7 overall pick, in a heated battle for the Warriors’ starting small forward spot, will get his turn with the first team.
“I don’t want to guess how he’d be in the starting unit,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said after practice. “I want to see it.”
Jackson said Barnes will be in the starting lineup when Golden State hosts Maccabi Haifa on Thursday. Barnes came off the bench the first two games, averaging 22 minutes, as Brandon Rush got the nod. Rush has played well and is the better defender of the two, and the Warriors need a defensive presence at that position.
But Barnes’ effort on that end has impressed the Warriors, and his size and scoring ability has really stood out so far. This is Barnes’ best chance to place his bid for the starting job. Good timing, too, because it sounded as if coming off the bench was a blow.
The Warriors dominated the Los Angeles Lakers 110-83.
Ok, they didn’t dominate against the Lakers starters. Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace were all on the bench for the Warriors’ second half surge — courtesy of a 35-0 run. But still, the Warriors, who trailed by seven at the half, found a lot positive to hang their hats on Sunday.
Here are some news and notes from Fresno.
Join Marcus Thompson for a Warriors live chat during their preseason opener against the Lakers in Fresno Sunday night at 7.
The Warriors have a lot of youngsters. Three rookies, led by lottery pick Harrison Barnes. Three second-year players, including starting guard Klay Thompson.
And David Lee.
Yes, the 29-year-old power forward is in his eighth year in the league. But he is rejuvenated.
“He’s excited, talking a lot in practice,” point guard Stephen Curry said. He’s always going to be the jokester in the locker room, but he has a more animated personality right now and I think that shows his excitement for what’s going on. He’s hungry, ready to go.”
Warriors coach Mark Jackson said he’s considering sitting out point guard Stephen Curry for one of the first two preseason games.
Golden State opens the exhibition schedule with a back-to-back set, Sunday vs. the Lakers in Fresno and Monday vs. Utah in Oakland. Jackson is concerned about working Curry’s oft-injured right ankle too hard too soon.
“I’m going to think about it, talk to Steph about it,” Jackson said, “and make the right decision as far as that’s concerned. I really don’t want to work him on back-to-back nights.”