It wasn’t announced until well after piractice, but forward Harrison Barnes was selected to participate in the NBA All-Star Weekend Rising Stars Challenge Feb. 14 in New Orleans, the league announced.
Despite an up-and-down season, Barnes is averaging 10.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 42 games, while shooting 41.7 percent from the field and 40.2 percent from 3-point range.
A first-team all-rookie in 2012-13, Barnes was voted by the fans to start in the Rising Stars Challenge last season, tallying 12 points in 19 minutes. Barnes will be the third Warrior to participate in the Rising Stars Challenge as both a rookie and second-year player, joining Curry (2010 & 2011) and Jason Richardson (2002 & 2003).
On Jan. 5, two days after Chris Paul went down with a separated shoulder, the Warriors and Clippers were tied in the Pacific Division standings at 22-13. Paul is still out, but since Jan. 5, the Clippers are 9-2 (5-2 on a current 8-game road trip that concludes with the Warriors Thursday) while Golden State, playing 6 of 10 at home, are 4-6. Hence, the Warriors need this game desperately against L.A., now trailing the division leaders by 4 1/2 games.
No other place for this amusing note but here, but Mark Jackson got so caught up in his own cliches after practice Wednesday, he actually caught himself. I had asked him after the 10-game winning streak whether it has been frustrating to fall into a one step forward/two steps back pattern of late. His answer:
“It’s a process,” he said. “We’re a confident bunch that refuses to let go of the rope, so at the end of the day … um, I sound like I just hit `bingo’ there.” It prompted a good laugh. Columnist Marcus Thompson noted that one of his own Twitter followers has actually devised a bingo board of Jackson’s pet phrases. Pretty sure that one would have been a winner.