Warriors

Could Ezeli have more impact than Harrison Barnes?

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Could Ezeli have more impact than Harrison Barnes?

So, the Warriorscome away with Harrison Barnes (No. 7), Festus Ezeli (No. 30), Draymond Green(No. 35) and Ognjen Kuzmic (No. 52), and that haul seemed to very much pleasegeneral manager Bob Myers and owner Joe Lacob.Myers said headinginto the draft hed rather not use all four picks because the Warriors werealready young. Not to mention they have nine players under contract and thatsnot counting Brandon Rush. So where does that leave each of the selections? Lets figure it out:HarrisonBarnes: It was clear after hearing Myers and owner Joe Lacob talklate Thursday night that they very much like Barnes, were hoping hed be on theboard and isnt part of any kind of larger trade scenario.STEINMETZ:Warriors select Harrison Barnes seventh overall in 2012 NBA DraftNo, the Warriorsvery much believe Barnes is the small forward of the future, and dont besurprised if that future starts sooner rather than later.The one thing thatboth Myers and Lacob tried to stress on Thursday is they dont believe Barnesis a finished product. They think hes going to get better, and maybe even alot better.Thats a littledifferent point of view than many others share. Theres sentiment out therethat Barnes, who played two years at North Carolina, is what he is and doesnthave a lot of upside.Most have Barnespegged to be a solid pro, but maybe never an all-star down the road. Hes avery good shooter, but has trouble putting the ball on the floor and finishing-- and making plays for teammates is not a strength.RELATED: Barnes welcomed by Warriors on TwitterBut hes going toplay, make no mistake about it. And the Warriors will likely try to give Barnesmore of a window by trading Dorell Wright, one of a number of small forwardswho are on the roster.Simply put, itdoesnt seem to make a lot of sense to have Wright, Richard Jefferson andBarnes on the same roster. Thats toomuch overlap and too much money being paid out at smallforward.FestusEzeli: In the aftermath of the draft, Lacob called Ezeli a beast,and he more than suggested Ezeli dominated his workout against Tyler Zeller atthe Warriors practice facility on June 11.When Lacob was askedabout whether Ezeli was similar to Ekpe Udoh or in that same kind of role, hesaid Ezeli was a center and that Udoh was more of a power forward.Lacob might be rightabout that, but Warriors coach Mark Jackson had Udoh playing mostly center lastseason before he was traded to Milwaukee. In any event, I think theres ascenario in which Ezeli could help the Warriors more than Barnes.STEINMETZ:Warriors draft C Festus Ezeli with final first-round pickI think theres achance Barnes will come in, do some nice things, have a solid rookie year andmaybe even start a few games for the Warriors. But at this point, hes not allthat dissimilar from Klay Thompson, Brandon Rush and even Stephen Curry in thathes a player whose strength is at the offensive end of the floor.Theres apossibility Barnes could simply be a blend-in player at least for a littlewhile.Ezeli, however,gives the Warriors something they dont have: a frontcourt player who is mostlyabout defense, rebounding and shot-blocking. If you watched the Warriors at alllast year, you saw that Kwame Brown had a positive impact on the team beforehis injury.You also saw thatwhenever the Warriors played their best basketball of the season, Ekpe Udoh wasusually a part of it. The Warriors, of course, traded Udoh last season in theAndrew Bogut deal. But it appears the teams front office realized quickly thatwhen it gave up Udoh, it gave up something tangibly important.The reality withEzeli is this: If hes competent enough to play good help defense, take somefouls at the rim, block a shot or two and rebound, hell be the first big manoff the bench, and hell get more minutes than you think.He may have to there are going to be nights when Bogut picks up fouls early, and the Warriorsbetter have someone capable of replacing him.DraymondGreen: Green had a remarkable career at Michigan State, putting upnumbers that rival some of the numbers put up by the schools all-time greats.Green was Michigan States all-time leading rebounder; he ranked 17thall-time in scoring; second in career blocked shots and second in careersteals.Why then did he fallto the second round? Well, hes considered a classic tweener a little toosmall to play power forward and not quite athletic enough to play smallforward.But thats whatsgoing to be interesting to find out about Green. There are instances whereplayers like Green thrive, and sometimes theres a fine line. What if Greenbecomes the other kind of tweener the kind of small forward that is too bigand strong for small forwards and too quick to be guarded by opposingfours?Its not outside therealm of possibility. The thing about Green is that he has a complete game andcan do a little bit of everything. Yes, he was Michigan States all-timeleading rebounder, but he also shot 39 percent from beyond the arc lastseason.The other thingabout Green is he can pass. He averaged 4.1 assists as a junior and 3.8 assistsas a senior. Thats pretty nice production out of your three-four man.OgnjenKuzmic: You wont be seeing Kuzmic anytime soon in a Warriorsuniform. The Warriors selected him for two reasons; first because they like himand second because theyll be able to keep him overseas for now.

Young Warriors fan brought to tears after getting surprised with tickets

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Twitter

Young Warriors fan brought to tears after getting surprised with tickets

Christmas came early for one young Warriors fan. 

Posting a video to Twitter, Charles Hinkle Jr. surprised his nephew with Warriors tickets on Friday. Hinkle's Twitter location shows the family is from Hollywood, Fla.

The reaction says it all. 

And the smile confirms it: best Black Friday ever.

The Warriors play the Heat in Miami on December 3 at 4 p.m. PT. The Warriors played the Heat twice last season. They won their first contest in Oakland and then later fell in Miami.

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As if this young fan's day was already perfect, Steph Curry will be a part of his Warriors experience in Miami.

Gameday: Two Warriors All-Stars out for Friday's game vs Bulls

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USATSI

Gameday: Two Warriors All-Stars out for Friday's game vs Bulls

The Warriors will be without their starting forwards Friday night when they return to Oracle Arena not only to face the struggling Chicago Bulls but also in search of good habits.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30, with tipoff scheduled for 7:35.

Kevin Durant is out with a sprained ankle and Draymond Green will be resting.

The Warriors (13-5) are coming off a 2-2 road trip during which they blew a 17-point third-quarter lead in one of the losses and had to overcome a 24-point third-quarter deficit to earn one of the victories.

The rebuilding Bulls (3-13) are concluding a four-game swing through the Western Conference, having lost the first three games by an average of 15.7 points.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 15.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Omri Casspi & Co. vs. Lauri Markkanen: Markkanen has been one of the few bright spots for the Bulls this season. The 7-foot rookie from Arizona shares the team lead in scoring at 14.6 points per game, while leading in rebounds at 8.3 per game. The only Chicago rookies to score more points in their first 16 games are Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose and Elton Brand. With Green and Durant out, the task of defending Markkanen falls to Casspi, who will start at one forward, with rookie Jordan Bell also taking a few turns.

INJURY LIST

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L ankle sprain) and F Draymond Green (rest) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Bulls: G Zach LaVine (L ACL rehab), F Nikola Mirotic (facial fractures), G David Nwaba (R ankle sprain) and G Cameron Payne (R foot surgery) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Bulls: 2-8.

GAME OFFICIALS

Bennie Adams (lead), Mark Ayotte and JT Orr.

SERIES HISTORY

The teams split the two-game series last season, each winning on its home court. The Warriors have won five of the last eight overall and 14 of the last 18 in Oakland.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE INTENSITY METER: The Warriors believe, justifiably, that their biggest worry is about themselves. When they’re properly focused, they are the best team in the NBA. When they are not, they are susceptible to most any quality team. Insofar as Chicago doesn’t appear pose an explicit challenge, the Warriors must not only manufacture intensity but also maintain it.

KEEP ‘EM OFF THE LINE: The Bulls are dead last in the NBA in offensive rating (94.4), field-goal percentage (41.0), field goals made per game (35.7). The one thing they do well is shoot free throws, which they shoot at a league-leading 92.9 percent. The Warriors can be prone to fouls (only eight teams commit more), so they’ll have to play it smart against this opponent.

THE BENCH BUNCH: With Durant and Green out, along with this being the second game of a four-games-in-six-nights stretch, the Warriors will have to lean on their bench, which has been quite good. Its 54-percent shooting leads the league, as is its 4.2 blocks per game. The net rating 10.2 is second in the NBA.