4

Harrison Barnes Gets First Crack as Mark Jackson Experiments with Starting Lineups

ONTARIO, Calif. — Mark Jackson said he’s not into playing mind games. If he knew who his starters were for the season, he would just say it. He doesn’t, he assured. He’s still trying to figure out which lineup gives his Warriors the best chance to win.

It is with that context he revealed guard Klay Thompson, who has started 122 consecutive games with Golden State (including playoffs), will come off the bench for tonight’s preseason opener.

Stephen Curry and Andre Iguodala will start in the backcourt, with Harrison Barnes, David Lee and center Andrew Bogut will start against the Los Angeles Lakers at Citizens Business Bank Arena.

Is this insight into Jackson’s first choice, or is this his I’m-not-going-to-show-my-cards-early lineup? Is he anointing Barnes or motivating Thompson? Has Iguodala an automatic starter?

“Truthfully,” Jackson said, “there is zero to read into it.”

The Warriors, who have all five starters from last season, found themselves with a good problem to have by acquiring Iguodala — giving them six players capable of starting.

Curry, Lee and Bogut are etched in stone as long as they’re healthy, per Jackson. That leaves three wing players and two starting spots available. Jackson said he will use the preseason to experiment, figure out which five is the best fit. The odd man out will serve as the sixth man.

He said Thompson will get a chance to start this preseason. He also suggested you may see Iguodala come off the bench at some point in the exhibition.

“Don’t read anything into it,” Jackson reiterated. “It’s just the way we’re starting tonight. You could go either way. Klay and Iguodala (starting) or Klay and Barnes. … All those guys are going to play a lot. This is just the way I’m starting tonight.”

Here is a break down of each scenario:

Continue Reading

12

Warriors Survive and Advance, Finish off Nuggets 4-2

By Marcus Thompson II

mthomps2@bayareanewsgroup.com

OAKLAND — It might’ve taken all the defibrillators in the Bay Area to revive the nearly 20,000 fans at Oracle Arena whose hearts stopped Thursday.

Golden State nearly squandered an 18-point lead, and another star-like performance from point guard Stephen Curry — who changed the tide of the game with another big third quarter before his home crowd. But in the end, after a compilation of turnovers, guard Jarrett Jack made a pair of free throws in the final seconds to seal the 92-88 win over the Denver Nuggets, clinching the riveting first-round upset, 4-2.

The sixth-seeded Warriors advance to the second round against the No. 2 San Antonio Spurs. Game 1 is Monday in Texas.

“When we were down in the first half,” coach Mark Jackson said. “I pulled him aside and said, ‘There’s going to be a point in this game where you’re going to take over because you’re the best player on the floor. And what will happen is everybody else will follow you. And sure enough …”

Continue Reading

5

Game 1 Rewind: Warriors Narrowly Miss Upset

Golden State did exactly what it wanted to do: slow down the NBA’s best transition team. Only problem with that was that put it put Andre Miller in play.

Golden State was on the verge of stealing Game 1, despite a subpar performance from Stephen Curry and an injury to David Lee. But Miller broke their hearts with a driving layup with 1.2 seconds left, handing the Warriors a 97-95 defeat, souring an otherwise gutsy performance.

JARRETT JACK: “We’re not into moral victories. In a simple phrase, we played good enough to lose.”

The Warriors’ defense contained speedy Denver point guard Ty Lawson and silenced forward Andre Iguodala, holding the Nuggets 11 points below their average. But Golden State couldn’t come up with an answer for Miller. He scored 18 of Denver’s 26 fourth-quarter points and finished with a game-high 28, taking advantage of the one-on-one defense he faced.

It was a dramatic end and a riveting start to a series most expect to be highly entertaining. The Warriors, even with the loss, head into Game 2 on Tuesday with plenty reasons to be confident.

“I thought we did some things very well,” coach Mark Jackson said. “What I told my team was that nobody came in here thinking that we were going to sweep the Denver Nuggets. You have tow in four games to advance and you can’t act like it’s over. So take the blow and be ready to make adjustments and respond.”

More on the Game 1 loss …

Continue Reading

2

A Breakdown of the Matchups: Warriors v. Nuggets

Game 1 of the Warriors-Nuggets playoff series tips off Saturday afternoon. It figures to be the epitome of Western Conference basketball. Both teams have skill and depth, which will make for an interesting chess match between Denver coach George Karl and Golden State’s Mark Jackson.

Neither team has the A-list star to carry them to the next round. That puts added emphasis on the plethora of interesting match-ups featured in this series. Throw in some injury issues, experience gaps and crazy home courts, and you’ve got the makings of something riveting.

Here’s a look at the key match-ups in the series and who has the advantage.

Continue Reading

19

Jarrett Jack Fined $25K by NBA

The NBA announced Warriors guard Jarrett Jack has been fined $25,000 for verbal abuse of a game official.

The incident occurred at the conclusion of the Warriors’ 118-116 loss against the host Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. Jack was visibly upset at the officiating and let the refs hear it after the horn sounded.

Several calls went against the Warriors down the stretch. Stephen Curry was called for a foul fighting through a screen, leading to free throws for Steve Blake. Jack was knocked to ground while coralling a loose ball but no foul was called. Klay Thompson appeared to have been fouled on a fast-break layup but didn’t get the whistle.

The Warriors were whistled for 33 fouls, leading to 50 free throw attempts by the Lakers. Los Angeles was whistled for 17 fouls, leading to 16 Warriors free throws.

The officials have been scolded for their performance, especially by Lakers fans. So is the fine the NBA’s way of saying they don’t think the officials were bad? It seems like if they reviewed the film and saw the officials were as bad as everyone says, they would let Jack slide. (I guess here I need to pause and make sarcasm clear. Some Warriors fans are still foaming at the mouth over the Lakers game. Too soon? Clearly, the NBA isn’t going to let a fine slide as an acknowledgment of poor officiating.)