Revisiting Game 15: Warriors Exorcise Their Denver Demon, 106-105

A season is comprised of numerous hurdles a team must overcome. Those seasons within a season that, when you add them up, make the difference between success and failure. Golden State got over one of those with Thursday’s 106-105 win over Denver.

It wasn’t just any old victory. It was a win over a team that had broken their spirit twice already. It was a win over a team many consider a lock to make the playoffs. The Nuggets, in many ways, are a barometer of where the Warriors stack up. And after Thursday, they can say they’re right there.

STEPHEN CURRY: “This is a team that’s had our number the last two games. They’re a playoff team and we have to beat those teams that have been there before. They have experience and talent and besides the last 15 minutes of the game in Denver, we’ve been pretty neck-and-neck.”

The Warriors and Denver likely won’t be a playoff match-up, unless one of these teams becomes a top four seed. But they’ve engaged in a playoff-caliber series. The Nuggets challenge the Warriors in a unique way. Denver is everything Golden State is not — long, athletic, explosive. They challenge the Warriors to be more physical, to play at a higher tempo, to overcome their weaknesses.

Kenneth Faried challenges David Lee. Stephen Curry has to bring it against Ty Lawson. Klay Thompson is the underdog against Andre Iguodala. Carl Landry is undersized against their two centers, Kosta Koufos and JaVale McGee. The Nuggets’ bench — Andre Miller, McGee, Corey Brewer, Jordan Hamilton, is good enough to challenge the Warriors’ claim of being deep.

The Nuggets are a tough match-up for Golden State.

JARRETT JACK: “It seems as if we’re developing a little bit of a rivalry with them. Two out of the three games have kind of been a dog fight game and battling tooth and nail. Even at their place, even though they kind of ran away with that at the end. But prior to that, it was a rough and tough game. Almost like an East Coast basketball game, guys throwing punch after punch after punch and luckily we were able to have the last one tonight.”

More on Thursday’s victory …

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Warriors Send Rookie G Kent Bazemore to D-League; Dominic McGuire’s Return Unlikely

The Warriors announced on Friday that rookie guard Kent Bazemore has been sent to the NBA Development League.

Bazemore, who has appeared in only six games and totaled 10 minutes thus far, will be in the lineup for the Santa Cruz Warriors’ season opener at Reno tonight. It is uncertain yet how long Bazemore will be with the D-League squad (it is fairly certain Jeremy Tyler will join him at some point). Santa Cruz starts its season with seven straight on the road, the first two being in Reno.

For the immediate future, it seems Golden State is hanging on to their summer league find. According to a team source, the team is likely not going after former Warriors swingman Dominic McGuire, who became a fan favorite last season with his defensive style of play.

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Warriors GM Bob Myers Apologizes for Warriors Handling of Andrew Bogut Situation

Warriors general manager Bob Myers, in the wake of the controversy surrounding Andrew Bogut’s left ankle surgery, fell on the sword Thursday.

In about as close you’ll come to a confession, Myers apologized for how the Warriors handled the situation. In an interview on Chronicle Live, Myers said the Warriors never intended to deceive the fans and took blame for how it all went down.

Was it genuine, or another PR stunt? You be the judge.

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Warriors C Andrew Bogut Said He doesn’t Want to “Fool Anybody”

Yes, I’m supposed to be off.

Yes, we’re supposed to be talking about the Warriors’ 8-6 start, leading the Pacific Division this late in the season for the first time since 2005. We should be talking about how Harrison Barnes will eventually be the Mayor of Oakland and how Mark Jackson has the Warriors top 5 in rebounding and playing tough. Instead, we’re talking about Andrew Bogut’s ankle.

The Warriors had better learn quickly that Warriors center Andrew Bogut is not the best at biting his tongue. This all started with a conscious decision to withhold information about his injury. And it has led to a scandal on the verge of forcing the Warriors to hire Olivia Pope. 

This could have been prevented by simply giving the goods up front, especially if the doctor is adamant about how long the recovery will take and not rushing Bogut back. Certainly, it’s on Bogut for doing too much. But it’s hard to believe he received wise council. Even if the Warriors weren’t pressuring him to play, it seems they certainly weren’t advising him on the BEST way to handle the bad news he received on his ankle.

Here is the transcript from their interview today, provided by Carl Steward.

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Andrew Bogut and the Microfracture Mystery

As it turns out, Warriors center Andrew Bogut did have microfracture surgery on his left ankle in April. But, according to team sources, it’s not the same as the alarming procedure we learned about through the likes of Penny Hardaway, Chris Webber and Greg Oden.

Well, it’s the same surgery. Just not the same situation.

“Some people go in for microfracture surgery. This wasn’t that,” one source said pointing out that players who are experiencing chronic and degenerative problems turn to microfracture surgery.

Bogut, on the other hand,  went in to get his left ankle cleaned out of scar tissue and bone fragments. When Dr. Richard Ferkel was inside, he noticed a “minor” cartilage issue and he addressed it with a form of microfracture surgery. The major part of the surgery, the source said, was cleaning out the debris.

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It sounds like it’ll be awhile for Bogut … patience advised

Carl Steward here, filling in for Marcus Thompson today …

Admit it, Warriors fan, you’re starting to get impatient and maybe a little steamed about this Andrew Bogut situation. Did the Warriors get a lemon for Monta Ellis, one they’ll never see squeezed of its once-formidable talent on the court? Bogut played in four of the first games this season after spending the past five months since the Warriors acquired him rehabbing his surgically reconstructed left ankle. Things looked promising. But now he’s missed nine straight games, is assured of missing the next two, and could miss at least a few more after that.

“It’s still sore and it’s just not right yet,” Bogut said Tuesday. “When I try to train for extended periods, it just doesn’t respond well. Until I can get through a week’s worth of full practices, I’m back to where I am now.”

Which is rehabbing on the treadmill and exercise bike, doing some very light running and some touch shooting. None of the aggressive stuff he is known for. He can’t practice yet, let alone play, and if this sounds like a novel going bad, you can’t be blamed for your pessimism.

Bogut says he’ll be out there when it’s right, and the Warriors aren’t pressuring him. But it’s reasonable to wonder: After what the club went through with Stephen Curry last season, will it ever be right enough this year for Bogut to make a significant impact?

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Revisiting Game 14: Warriors Beat Minnesota; 8-6 Start Not Too Bad

With the Warriors’ 96-85 win over Minnesota Timberwolves, they improved to 8-6 for the first time since the 2007-08 season.

Two games over .500 isn’t usually cause for celebration. But the Warriors have played their first eight games on the road, have gone mostly without Andrew Bogut, and lost their Sixth Man to injury. So, 8-6, they’ll take it.

MARK JACKSON: “I’m very pleased. There are going to be tough nights for us. I don’t have to be a prophet to tell you that. But this team has something about it that refuses to let go of the rope. They compete, they get after each other, they hold each other accountable, and it’s fun to coach.”

More on Saturday’s victory …

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