Warriors whip Kings 95-77 in season opener (Yahoo Sports)

SACRAMENTO, CA - OCTOBER 29: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors shoots a layup against the Sacramento Kings on October 29, 2014 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

The only thing Steve Kerr lost in his coaching debut was his voice. Stephen Curry had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Klay Thompson scored 19 points and the undermanned Golden State Warriors made Kerr a winner in his first game, shaking off a slow start to roll past the Sacramento Kings 95-77 on Wednesday night in the regular-season opener for both teams. ”I got nothing left.” The Warriors overcame the first hurdle of Kerr’s tenure – besides his wavering voice, that is – with a patchwork lineup that did just enough against their rebuilding Northern California rivals. Golden State played without power forward David Lee (strained left hamstring) and reserve Brandon Rush (lower back spasms).


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Warriors’ Lee likely to miss opener at Sacramento (Yahoo Sports)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Power forward David Lee is expected to sit out Golden State’s season opener at Sacramento on Wednesday night with a strained left hamstring.

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Warriors co-owner regrets writing ‘hoodish’ (Yahoo Sports)

Golden State Warriors owner Peter Guber during Game 4 of a Western Conference semifinal NBA basketball playoff series between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, May 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Golden State Warriors co-owner Peter Guber wrote to team employees to say that he regrets if anybody was offended by his unintentional use of ”hoodish” in an email.


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Warriors Injury Updates: Brandon Rush probably for season opener, Shaun Livingston unlikely

The Golden State Warriors enter the 2014-2015 season opener against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday coming off a preseason record of 6-2. Following a 51-win season, the Warriors will most likely start the season without the services of veteran point guard Shaun Livingston, who is still not completely recovered from toe surgery. Should Livingston be unable to play, expect Leandro Barbosa to see additional playing time behind Stephen Curry. Mike Disharoon¬† via Wikimedia CommonsI reported on October 19 that Rush left the previous Friday’s game after scoring four points in nine minutes due to back spasms. There was no word how much time Rush will miss. I also noted that Livingston was recovering nicely from off season toe surgery but would likely not play in any preseason games.¬† Rusty Simmons, who covers the Warriors for the San Francisco Chronicle, tweeted the following update on Rush and Livingston.Brandon Rush and Shaun Livingston both participated in practice, and Rush is now probable for opening

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Denver Nuggets vs. Golden State Warriors 10/24/14: Video Highlights and Recap

Two of the NBA‘s fastest-paced teams squared off on Friday night, when the Denver Nuggets met the Golden State Warriors in a preseason clash. The Warriors had one of the most explosive offenses in the league last season, but faced a tough test from a balanced Nuggets squad.

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Klay Thompson Contract: News Updates and Rumors on Negotiations with Warriors

Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson has been a huge part of the team’s offense, but it appears contract talks have stalled between the two sides.

Marc J. Spears of Yahoo reported the latest on the contract situation for Thompson:

Klay Thompson’s camp is frustrated that the Golden State Warriors haven’t offered a maximum contract in their ongoing extension talks with Friday’s deadline nearing, sources told Yahoo Sports.

Thompson is seeking a maximum deal paying upward of $15 million per season, a source said. The Warriors have improved their offer to get in the vicinity but have not offered a full maximum contract, sources said. 

Entering his fourth year with the Warriors, Thompson posted career highs last season with 18.4 points and 2.2 assists along with 3.1 rebounds. If the two sides don’t come to an agreement by Oct. 31, he will become a restricted free agent, per Spears.

In response to questions about a potential contract, Thompson told reporters on Friday (per Spears), “As far as contract stuff, I try not to worry about it, because then it will affect your game. I’ll just go out there and do what I do, and I know it will take care of itself.”

The other half of the “Splash Brothers” along with Stephen Curry, Thompson has lived up to his words in the preseason. Prior to the start of the regular season, the guard put up 35 points against the Denver Nuggets by way of four three-pointers.

Ethan Strauss of ESPN.com noted the great preseason numbers for Thompson:

All of this talk for Thompson of course comes after an eventful offseason for the young player. In the midst of Kevin Love trade talks, Thompson’s name was thrown around before eventually staying in Golden State.

It’s clear that the Warriors value having Thompson in the backcourt, but how much exactly? Thompson wants a max contract, but if Golden State doesn’t offer the deal prior to Halloween, they might see a bright young star slip away.

Given his value to the team and his potential after another great season, Thompson has a bright career ahead of him. Whether that’s with the Warriors remains to be seen.

 

Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.

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Thompson scores 35 points, Warriors beat Nuggets (Yahoo Sports)

Oakland, CA- OCTOBER 24: Justin Holiday #7 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against the Denver Nuggets at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California on October 24, 2014 . (Photo by Noah Graham /NBAE via Getty Images)

Klay Thompson is ready for the regular season. Thompson scored 35 points in nearly 36 minutes to help the Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets 119-112 on Friday night in the preseason finale for both teams. ”Our offense is going good and tonight is a good indication of what we can do,” Thompson said. ”After eight preseason games we are all ready for the real thing.” Thompson was 13 of 26 from the field.


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Golden State Warriors Force Rookies to Dress Up and Sing for Fans

The Golden State Warriors like to have some fun with the rookies every year, and this season is no different.

During Thursday’s open practice, the rookies were required to sing while wearing ridiculous costumes. Former Ohio State guard Aaron Craft dressed as a bear while singing “Party in the U.S.A.” by Miley Cyrus.

Diamond Leung from the San Jose Mercury News tweeted that Draymond Green bought Craft’s costume:


James Michael McAdoo was forced to dress as Pikachu while singing The Fresh Prince of Bel -Air theme song :

[Vine, Instagram, Twitter]

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Warriors’ Starting Small Forward Decision More Complicated Than It Seems

When your starting five registers a net rating of plus-15.4 over 819 regular-season minutes—as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, David Lee and Andrew Bogut did for the Golden State Warriors a season ago*—you think it’d be best to leave well enough alone. 

The Dubs’ golden unit is good enough to single-handedly put them in the playoffs. Given the right breaks, it could be what carries them to an NBA championship.

But when it comes to who mans the starting small forward slot, the truth—as in any seemingly sublime relationship—is a bit more complicated.

This is no knock on Andre Iguodala. As the team’s best defender and foremost emotional leader, the 10-year veteran is the definition of “indispensable.” For the Warriors to reach their full potential, however, head coach Steve Kerr must not merely choose rotational convention over better depth.

The crux of the issue is as follows: By bringing Iguodala off the bench, Golden State would have a proven leader and playmaker to bolster what has been one of the league’s most woeful second units.

Meanwhile, starting Harrison Barnes—whose struggles last season were well-documented—could give the third-year forward a much-needed jolt of confidence. That in turn would help bolster Barnes’ value for any potential trade, something that’s been often discussed in the Warriors’ front office.

There’s certainly something to be said about tethering Barnes to Golden State’s stars as often as possible. Per NBA.com (subscription required), the three five-man units in which Barnes was included and that registered a positive net rating over a minimum of 50 minutes all included at least three regular Warriors starters.

It’s the definition of a “risk-reward” scenario. On the one hand, you know what you’re getting with Iguodala in the starting lineup. On the other, how can you know what you might have in Barnes unless you give him more minutes?

The idea of Iguodala as bench ballast was given an early boost during a recent preseason blowout win over the Los Angeles Lakers. Afterward, Kerr told the San Jose Mercury News’ Diamond Leung that he wouldn’t rule out the 2012 Olympic gold-medal winner as a possible sixth-man extraordinaire.

“I thought Andre was brilliant, and I don’t know that (coming off the bench is) the route we’re going to go, but he solidified that unit,” Kerr said. “And our lead went up when we subbed in, which was encouraging.

For his part, Iguodala was a bit more circumspect when asked about the possibility, telling Leung:

It’s just playing ball, you know? You try not to make a big deal out of it. I think we know the depth we have and how many guys we can put out there on the floor, which should help us stay fresh throughout the year. It could be anyone’s night. Coaches continue to reiterate that fact that it could be anyone’s night at any given time, so be patient if that night’s not your night and just go with the flow.

During the 2013-14 season, it wasn’t uncommon see Iguodala serve as a primary ball-handler behind Stephen Curry; that’s how shallow Golden State’s backcourt was (Steve Blake being the only other true point guard in the regular rotation).

The addition of Shaun Livingston—signed to a full mid-level exception of a little over $5 million back in July—certainly changes that equation for the better. Still, beyond Curry and Livingston, Kerr’s only real ball-handler is rookie Aaron Craft, a hard-nosed but physically limited player coming off a woeful stint in the Orlando and Las Vegas Summer Leagues.

That’s not to say Iguodala’s only role would be running the reserves show, of course; the installation of Kerr’s triangle offense arguably makes the team’s positional makeup even more moot. Besides, there’s still the matter of that age-old basketball adage: It’s not who starts but who finishes that truly counts.

At the same time, As SB Nation’s Drew Garrison recently underscored, swapping Iguodala and Barnes isn’t a risk-free proposition:

This does represent a long-term trade-off for Golden State, though. Iguodala is one of the NBA’s best perimeter defenders and the Warriors will need their defensive stopper as a starter during the postseason. If the Warriors rely on Iguodala leading the bench unit through the regular season, this could cause rotation issues if they shift him back into the starting lineup for the playoffs. He also fits nicely alongside the starting unit, complementing Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry on the wings and providing the kind of defensive support on the perimeter that David Lee and Andrew Bogut need in front of them.

Will Kerr stick with this newfound role for Iguodala? Time will tell, but giving it a chance and seeing how his Warriors respond to the lineup shift is a worthwhile preseason exercise if nothing else.

The idea of leveraging more minutes in order to massage Barnes’ trade value wasn’t conceived in a vacuum. With the team’s salaries already maxed out and both Klay Thompson and Draymond Green—a bench revelation in his own right—due extensions over the next 12 months, it’s incumbent upon Golden State to cleave open as much cap space as possible.

Green adds yet another wrinkle to the Warriors’ small forward logjam, what with the third-year forward already being talked about as a possible replacement for the defensively limited David Lee as the team’s starting power forward.

Still, despite logging only 14 percent of his team’s minutes at the 3, Green’s impact—the Warriors registered a plus-8.2 with him as the small forward according to 82games.com—is enough to at least make Kerr consider what a Green-Lee, Green-Iguodala or Green-Barnes forward duo might look like.

Whatever Kerr’s ultimate decision is, it should be neither pressing nor permanent, which is a luxury one can afford when wielding one of the league’s deeper teams.

Sensational as Golden State’s starting unit was a season ago, it’s impossible not to see the end result—a disappointing first-round loss to the Los Angeles Clippers—as reason enough for a bit of tweaking and tinkering.

Even if the five that finish—Iggy included—are as much a certainty as Sunday Mass at the Vatican.

 

*Stat courtesy of NBA.com (subscription required).

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Season Predictions and Analysis for the 2014-15 Golden State Warriors

The Golden State Warriors will look to make some waves in the Western Conference this season under new coach Steve Kerr. Can Kerr and the Splash Brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, lead the Dubs on a deep run?

Howard Beck and Ric Bucher join Adam Lefkoe to give their take in the video above.

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