4

Game 1 Rewind: Warriors Smash on Kobe Bryant-less Lakers

Screen shot 2013-10-31 at 7.06.00 AMAfter all the preseason hype, all the talk of high expectations, many presumed the Warriors to come out and struggled. Especially after the Lakers thumped the much-ballyhooed Clippers on opening night, a let down wouldn’t have been surprising.

But that didn’t come close to happening Wednesday night.

The Warriors, instead, made an emphatic statement, beating the Lakers125-94 at Oracle on Wednesday.  Was the statement that Golden State is for real? Or was it that the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers are really bad?

Perhaps it’s too early to answer that definitively. But it certainly looked different.

These Warriors smelled blood and pounced. They went for the jugular of a vulnerable team — playing without Steve Nash on the second night of a back-to-back — like you’d expect from a legit contender.

Maybe it was the energy of the season opener. Or maybe they fed off the passion in the arena whenever the Lakers come to town. Or maybe this is just who they are.

“We understand we’re going to have to have a lot of energy at home,” Andre Iguodala said. “I’ve been in a situation where I’ve won a lot of home games. (Last year with Denver, we) had the best home record in the NBA. Still, you’ve got to take care of business on the road. Energy gets you wins at home, but its how you go on the road, compete against the top-tier teams.”

The Warriors will have a chance to do that tonight against the host Los Angeles Clippers.

Before then, here’s the season debut of the game rewind …

Continue Reading

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

2

Draymond Green Keeping the Warriors on Their Toes

David Lee broke it down simply. Lee told second-year forward Draymond Green he wasn’t doing his job if Harrison Barnes, Andre Iguodala, Marreese Speights and even Lee himself wasn’t mad at him every few days.

Green’s response? Duh.

“That was already my plan anyway,” Green said, flashing his bright, devious smile. “So I didn’t need him to tell me.”

If Green has something to say about it, the Warriors won’t have a problem with complacency. Whatever success they have won’t soften them, nor will accolades cause them to

Because as soon as they get to practice, they will have to deal with Green. He’s loud. He’s tough. He’s versatile in his skill. Most important, he relishes the role of providing the checks and balances on the court.

“I don’t care who you are or what you do, I’m going to go at you,” he said after Friday’s practice. “I may not be the one guarding you but I’m going to say something. You can always do more. I feel like the sky is the limit for this team so there is always more that can be done. You may have had 30 yesterday. But you come into practice today and I’m getting after you. If it’s D-Lee or whoever it is, I’mma get at you.”

Continue Reading

1

Warriors’ Camp Proving Intense, Competitive

Toney Douglas played college ball in the vaunted ACC and cut his NBA teeth playing home games at Madison Square Garden. And he makes his living on the defensive end of the court. So he knows something about intensity.

His comments about Warriors practices, following Day 3 of training camp on Monday, comes with that context.

“Oh yeah. Every possession,” said Douglas, who signed with the Warriors in July to back-up Stephen Curry. “This is a different level. … We’re so deep. We have like 12 guys who could play. Blue team against white team, and we go at each other We make it fun and we make each other better.”

Coach Mark Jackson said being two deep at every possession, with some capable talent at the end of the bench, has made for some competitive practices.  The drop off in talent on the depth chart is minimal enough to force the best players to go hard, yet the gap is wide enough to make the reserves have to step it up to earn minutes.

You better believe Curry has his hands full in practice, either being hounded by the pesky Douglas or trying to get around the long and athletic Kent Bazemore. Veteran center Jermaine O’Neal described going up against starting center Andrew Bogut as “a wrestling match.”

Forward David Lee and Marreese Speights, former Florida Gators, are buddies with a history of going at each other, and Speights has the skills to make Lee look bad if he doesn’t bring it. Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes are both having to contend with the All-NBA-caliber defense of Andre Iguodala.

And you know whoever second-year work horse Draymond Green gets matched up with is getting the business.

“We were an extremely hard working team in the past, and we’re continuing that,” Jackson said. “The difference right now is probably the battles at every position. … I think that’s what stands out the most. Last year we had young guys facing Bogut or David. … This year, there are big live bodies that are really competing and attacking one another.”

Continue Reading

1

Skinny Warriors looking to pick up the pace

Andrew Bogut has lost about 15 to 18 pounds. Draymond Green shed about 20. David Lee is now looking like he should be standing in front of Abercrombie & Fitch. Jermaine O’Neal is hardly looking like a guy entering his 18th season.

Clearly, the Warriors took advantage of the offseason. The improved conditioning has already impacted training camp. The pace is faster. The energy is high.

“They are in shape,” coach Mark Jackson said, “and now its just a question of developing chemistry and a sense of what we are trying to do on both ends of the court.”

He wants the Warriors to play at an even faster pace now that all are healthy and his big men are conditioned to run. Jackson said he isn’t content with just going small to pick up the pace. But he wants to run even with his big men in the game.

Jackson said since his guys – most of whom have been working out in Oakland since early September – came to camp in shape, he doesn’t have to worry about that. He said there’s no need to go “White Shadow” on them and have them running lines.

Instead, Jackson has already begun diving into the playbook.

Continue Reading

31

Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes Invited to 27-player Team USA Minicamp

USA Basketball officially announced the 27 players its inviting to the minicamp in Las Vegas in July, and two Warriors made the list (as previously reported). Oakland native Damian Lillard was also selected.

The invited players will assemble in Las Vegas on July 21, and will conduct daily training sessions July 22-24 (12:00-2:30 p.m. PDT) and close out the mini-camp with the 2013 USA Basketball Showcase, a blue-white intra-squad game on Thursday, July 25, 6 p.m. PDT at the Thomas & Mack Arena on the campus of UNLV.

All USA practices will take place at UNLV’s Mendenhall Center and are closed to the general public. Here is the full roster. Some of these potential match-ups look intriguing.

NAME                                   POS        HGT       WGT        DOB      NBA TEAM / COLLEGE

Ryan Anderson                        F            6-10        240        05/06/88   New Orleans Pelicans / California

Harrison Barnes                     F            6-8          210        05/30/92   Golden State Warriors / North Carolina

Bradley Beal                            G           6-5          207        06/28/93   Washington Wizards / Florida

Mike Conley                            G           6-1          185        10/11/87   Memphis Grizzlies / Ohio State

DeMarcus Cousins                   C            6-11        270        08/13/90   Sacramento Kings / Kentucky

Anthony Davis                        F/C          6-10        220        03/11/93   New Orleans Pelicans / Kentucky

DeMar DeRozan                      G           6-7          216        08/07/89   Toronto Raptors / USC

Andre Drummond                   C            6-10        270        09/10/93   Detroit Pistons / Connecticut

Kenneth Faried                        F            6-8          228        11/19/89   Denver Nuggets / Morehead State

Derrick Favors                         F/C          6-10        248        07/15/91   Utah Jazz / Georgia Tech

Paul George                             F/G         6-8          221        05/02/90   Indiana Pacers / Fresno State

Taj Gibson                               F            6-9          225        06/24/85   Chicago Bulls / USC

Gordon Hayward                     F            6-8          210        03/23/90   Utah Jazz / Butler

Jrue Holiday                            G           6-4          205        06/12/90   Philadelphia 76ers / UCLA

Kyrie Irving                             G           6-3          191        03/23/92   Cleveland Cavaliers / Duke

DeAndre Jordan                      C            6-11        265        07/21/88   Los Angeles Clippers / Texas A&M

Ty Lawson                               G           5-11        195        11/03/87   Denver Nuggets / North Carolina

Kawhi Leonard                        F/G         6-7          225        06/29/91   San Antonio Spurs / San Diego State

Damian Lillard                         G           6-3          195        07/15/90   Portland Trail Blazers / Weber State

Greg Monroe                           C            6-11        250        06/04/90   Detroit Pistons / Georgetown

Chandler Parsons                     F            6-9          227        10/25/88   Houston Rockets / Florida

Larry Sanders                          C            6-11        235        11/21/88   Milwaukee Bucks / VCU

Klay Thompson                      G           6-7          205        02/08/90   Golden State Warriors / Washington State

Dion Waiters                            G           6-4          215        12/10/91   Cleveland Cavaliers / Syracuse

Kemba Walker                          G           6-1          184        05/08/90   Charlotte Bobcats / Connecticut

John Wall                                G           6-4          195        09/06/90   Washington Wizards / Kentucky

Tyler Zeller                              F/C          7-0          250        01/17/90   Cleveland Cavaliers / North Carolina

9

Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes Invited to Team USA Minicamp

Klay Thompson and Harrison Barnes will participate in Team USA’s minicamp in Las Vegas in July, according to sources. And point guard Stephen Curry is back in the national team mix, too.

The camp this summer is for Team USA officials to get a good look at the promising young players in the NBA. Kyrie Irving, DeMarcus Cousins and Paul George will reportedly participate as well.
Thompson was part of the select team that practiced against the national squad in advance of the 2012 games in London. Barnes, named first-team All-Rookie, shined under the bright lights of the NBA playoffs to emerge as one of the league’s bright young talents.
Curry will not participate in the camp next month but he will show up in Las Vegas to meet with Team USA coaches. He is back in the national team’s pool of players and will be invited next summer to try out for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup (formerly the World Championships) in Spain.
Curry was on the 2010 USA squad that won the gold medal at the World Championships in Turkey. However, he wasn’t selected for the pool of players invited to try out for the London Olympics.