Programming note: Warriors-Mavs coverage starts today at 4:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.
As anxieties swirl about the Warriors in the wake of a 1-2 start, the defending champions will try to quiet outside concerns Monday when they meet the Mavericks at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The sound of soft alarms is a response to this season being the first time since 2009-10 that the Warriors opened by losing two of their first three games.
The Mavericks (0-3) are beyond their glory days -- they missed the playoffs season for only the second time in the past 17 years -- they are not yet in full rebuild, as 39-year-old Dirk Nowitzki remains in the starting lineup.
Warriors by 12
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Kevin Durant/Draymond Green vs. Harrison Barnes: The Mavs signed Barnes to a four-year deal worth $94 million to be one of their building blocks for the future. He led them in scoring (19.2 per game) last season, his first in Dallas. The Barnes departure from the Warriors opened the door to Durant, who became the NBA Finals MVP. Both Durant and Green have chances at Barnes. The Warriors took Barnes and Green in the same 2012 draft, and Green will never forget he was taken 28 picks later. It is safe to presume Barnes will have to work for everything he gets.
Warriors: F Omri Casspi (L ankle sprain) is listed as probable but is expected to be available.
Mavericks: G Devin Harris (personal reasons) and G Dennis Smith (L knee swelling) are listed as questionable. G Seth Curry (L tibial stress fracture) and F Josh McRoberts (R knee soreness) are listed as out.
RECENT SERIES HISTORY
The Warriors swept the three-game series last season, have won the last seven meetings and 13 of the last 14.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
EARLY D: After losing to the Grizzlies in Memphis on Saturday, several Warriors expressed dissatisfaction with their early-game defensive intensity. They’ve faced double-digit deficits in the first half of their last two games, though they were able to come back and win in New Orleans. They probably could get away with it in Dallas, but it’s an unhealthy habit.
SMALL ON SMALL: Though the Warriors utilize small lineups for significant portions of games, the Mavericks go small for most of every game. That’s a product of starting former Nowitzki at center and generally subbing him with young power forwards Nerlens Noel and Dwight Powell. In question is whether Warriors quickness can take control despite the length of the Mavericks.
STREAKING KLAY: A 3-pointer in Monday would give Klay Thompson the 58th consecutive game he has made at least one triple and would give him the longest active streak. He currently is tied with injured Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas, each with 57 games in a row.
“I want to play tonight. I don’t think a suspension is necessary. I’m pretty sure, based on the precedent that was set the last time I threw a mouthpiece, there would be a fine. But I hope to be out there playing tonight.” --Warriors G Stephen Curry on the possibility of NBA-dictated discipline after throwing his mouthpiece in the loss to the Grizzlies.