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Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, David Lee, Klay Thompson make initial USA national team roster

Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, David Lee and Klay Thompson were the Warriors named Thursday to the initial 2014-16 USA Men’s National Team roster, giving USA Basketball the opportunity to select them to compete at major international competitions.

The Warriors’ four players were the most representing an NBA team in the fluid pool of 28 players from which rosters for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain this summer and 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will be chosen. No other NBA team had more than two players on the initial roster.

USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski previously coached Curry on the 2010 USA World Championship team that finished first in Turkey. Curry at age 22 averaged 4.6 points to help the Americans win gold, and Krzyzewski indicated the player’s game works well on an international stage.

“He’s one of the great players in the league,” said Krzyzewski, who coached Curry’s brother, Seth, at Duke. “One of the unique players in the fact that he can play both guard positions because he’s such a terrific scorer. But he’s an easy guy to play with. Guys love him. He’s definitely not afraid. He’s having a sensational year.”

Iguodala was one of 11 players returning from the 2012 U.S. Olympic gold medal team, including two-time Olympic gold medalists Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Chris Paul and Deron Williams. He was Curry’s teammate on the 2010 USA World Championship team.

Lee was previously named a member of the 2010-12 national team roster, but suffered a mallet finger injury during training camp in 2010 and was unable to continue his participation.

Thompson previously attended the 2013 USA Basketball Men’s National Team mini-camp in July and was a part of the 2012 USA Select Team that trained against the eventual Olympic gold medal team. He won a gold medal of his own playing for the 2009 USA U19 World Championship team.

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Warriors’ David Lee Injures Hip; Await MRI Results

It was clear immediately something was really wrong as Warriors forward David Lee squirmed on the court, grunting and grabbing the top of his right thigh.

“Ahhhh, I felt a pop,” Lee could be heard saying on the video of the injury.

He was knocked out of his first career playoff game early in the fourth quarter. The preliminary diagnosis is a strained right hip flexor.

The injury happened at the 11:34 mark of the fourth quarter. He drove down the right side of the key for a layup and was fouled in mid-air by Nuggets center JaVale McGee, knocking Lee off balance.

He came down on his right foot, which appeared to jam into the hardwood and causing an awkward contortion.

X-rays taken Saturday night were negative. Lee is scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday, which will determine the severity of his injury.

“You’re always worried about your teammate,” point guard Stephen Curry said. “You saw the look on his face when he went down. For him not to be able to finish the game, you knew it was something.”

According to WebMD, the hip flexors are a group of muscles — connecting the spine, the pelvis and the thigh bone — that move the hip forward when running and walking. A hip flexor strain is the stretching or tearing of one of those muscles, causing pain when the knee is raised.

There are three levels of hip flexor strains: Grade 1 (stretching), Grade 2 (partial tear) and Grade 3 (complete tear). The MRI will tell Warriors’ doctors if the hip flexor strain diagnosis is correct and which grade Lee sustained.

“It is unfortunate,” coach Mark Jackson said. “He is certainly a highlighted guy for us, somebody we count on.”

*******

According to some quick research online (none of this is official, just wanted to get some ballparks because I know you  you can get an unofficial diagnosis of which grade by the following parameters:

First Degree Strain
If you can move your leg to your chest without much discomfort, you most likely have a first degree strain. It can take anywhere from 48 hours to a week.

Second Degree Strain

If you had a lot of trouble moving your leg to your chest and had to stop part way through, you probably have a second degree pull. A second degree … needs to be taken care of extremely cautiously in order not to fully tear the injured area. This grade sidelines you for 3 to 4 weeks.

Third Degree Strain

If you can barely move your leg at all, you have a full tear of your muscle and requires a much longer time to heal. This takes a while.

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After Missing On J.J. Hickson, the Warriors Settle on Mickell Gladness

A day after their attempt to sign big man J.J. Hickson was squashed, the Warriors signed free agent center Mickell Gladness to a 10-day contract.

A 6-foot-11, 220 pounder out of Alabama A&M, Gladness will be in uniform for tonight’s game against the host Houston Rockets.

Gladness appeared in eight games this season for the Miami Heat, totaling two points, 11 rebounds and a block in 28 minutes. He signed his second 10-day contract withMiamion Feb. 28. The Heat opted not to sign him for the remainder of the season.

A player is allowed to sign a maximum of two 10-day contracts with one team. After that, the team must sign him for the remainder of the season or waive him.

Prior to joining the Heat for their 2011-12 training camp, Gladness appeared in four games for the Dakota Wizards, the Warriors’ NBA Development League team. He averaged 7.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 20.8 minutes per contest.

Overall, Gladness – who went undrafted in 2009 – has appeared in 81 D-League games over three seasons, averaging 4.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks.

It will be interesting to see how much time Gladness gets. Golden State needs some help on the front line (since right now David Lee is the back-up center). With that said, it stands to reason rookie big Jeremy Tyler should be getting most of the minutes at center. He certainly should get more than Gladness.

But in his first career start, Tyler totaled just 15 minutes. Warriors coach Mark Jackson hasn’t hid the fact that winning is his priority. He can stamp that is Gladness gets 25 minutes tonight and Tyler gets 15. Of course, he should be prepared for the backlash. Because Warriors fans know more than anyone else that this is the time of year to see what the youngsters can do.

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Despite 48 from Monta Ellis and a Triple-Double from David Lee, Warriors lose to Kevin Durant and Oklahoma City 119-116

Game story for tomorrow’s paper

Tuesday’s 119-116 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder was a microcosm for the Warriors’ season thus far, as they failed to capitalize on a grand opportunity.

The Warriors got a career-high 48 points from guard Monta Ellis. Forward David Lee recorded his second-career triple-double (23 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists). And the Warriors put a scare into the arguably the best team in the Western Conference.

But when it came down to the end, the Warriors did what it took to lose. Even at home.

Golden State turned it over six times in the fourth quarter. After shooting 59.7 percent through three quarters, they got jumper happy and went 7 for 18 in the fourth, including five missed 3-pointers and just six points in the paint. Ellis, down one with nine seconds left, wound up taking a contested 3-pointer.

“Our effort was there,” Ellis said. “We played them hard the whole game. It came down to one shot. … It was a great shot. Nothing you can do about it. It didn’t go down. It is what it is.”

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David Lee Assumes Star’s Role in Warriors Win at Cleveland

CLEVELAND — He scored a game-high 29 points. He put up 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a shot clock-beating, nail-in-the-coffin 18-footer with 44.8 seconds left.

But the scoring star of the Warriors’ 105-95 victory here Tuesday night wasn’t who you might expect.

“It wasn’t my night,” guard Monta Ellis said. “It was David Lee’s.”

Ellis had one of his worst offensive performances of the season. He made just 2 of 12 from the field and finished with 10 points.

He left the game with 35.2 seconds left after taking an elbow to the nose from Cavaliers big man Anderson Varejao. With the game was already decided, Ellis didn’t return. X-rays were negative as he suffered just a cut.

With Ellis having an off night, and point guard Stephen Curry (sprained right ankle) in street clothes for the seventh consecutive game, the Warriors (5-8) still managed enough offense to outscore the Cavaliers.

You can thank Lee, who also had nine rebounds as Golden State won back-to-back games road games for the first time since November 2010.

Tuesday night continued a torrid stretch for Lee. Over his last five games, Lee is averaging 24.6 points on 64.3 percent shooting. He’s also averaging 11.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

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NBA Sunday: Miami is Indeed Better

New to the blog will be a twice-monthly look at the NBA.  We’ll delve into injuries, news, the business side, fantasy hoops and other NBA entertainment. This Sunday, we debut with our first-ever rankings.
Yes, Miami is No. 1.

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David Lee Out for Today’s Game; Dominic McGuire to Start

For the third straight game, Golden State will be missing a starter. Warriors forward David Lee will not only miss today’s game, he’s not even in attendance.

Lee is pretty ill. So ill, he was at a local hospital instead of warming up. They aren’t sure yet whether it’s food poisoning, the flu or some kind of virus.

Dominic McGuire will start in David Lee’s place. He has the responsibility of staying glued to Channing Frye, the Suns’ 3-point shooting big man. That might help the Warriors on the defensive end as McGuire may be better able to contest Frye.

Without Lee, Golden State will be without their leading rebounder (8.0) and second-leading scorer (18.8)