Warriors

Four-game road trip great opportunity for W's

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Four-game road trip great opportunity for W's

Hard to imagine the Warriors could have asked for a betterroad trip to try to get their season back in order. Then again, its the typeof road trip that could officially signal that its going to be a long year forGolden State.The Warriors are 3-7, which puts them in a four-way tie forthe worst record in the Western Conference. Friday afternoon the team willboard a plane for a trip that willtake them to Charlotte, Detroit, Cleveland and New Jersey.Three of those teams have 2-9 records; the Cavaliers are5-5.Said power forward David Lee: The fact of the matter is wehave four teams who are below .500 (before Thursdays games). We need to takecare of business. Theres nothing to be said if we come back with a losingrecord on this road trip. It should be a huge disappointment. This is a roadtrip where we need to take care of business and get at least three or fourgames to come back here right at .500. I dont see it any other way at thispoint. Were playing good basketball.
Away from Oracle is where the Warriors have struggled in therecent past. In the pastthree-plus seasons, the Warriors are 26-100 on the road. In other words, ithasnt been the best place to get well. Lets take a look at the trip.At Charlotte: The Bobcats are short ontalent and very inexperienced. Theyre relying on several young players,including: Bismack Biyombo, Kemba Walker, Byron Mullens, Derrick Brown, GeraldHenderson and D.J. Augustin. This game could be a tone-setter.At Detroit: Pistons coach Lawrence Frankwas a candidate for the Warriors coaching job before he pulled out rightbefore Mark Jackson was announced as the teams head coach. Pistons center GregMonroe, coming off a 32-point, 16-rebound game, was selected one spot afterEkpe Udoh in the 2010 NBA draft.At Cleveland: The Cavaliers are goingwith a mix of youth and veterans and it has served them well so far. Rookiepoint guard Kyrie Irving is coming off a 26-point, six-assist game in only 28minutes against Phoenix. And old friend Antawn Jamison is providing plenty ofscoring, which is what he does.At New Jersey: The Nets traded for DeronWilliams with the hope that he would lure another big-name free agent. Instead,it looks like Williams might be headed out of town at seasons end. With BrookLopez hurt, the Nets interior of Johan Petro, Kris Humphries is among theworst in the league.

Gameday: Klay aims for sole possession of longest active 3-point streak

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Gameday: Klay aims for sole possession of longest active 3-point streak

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.

BETTING LINE

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.

INJURY REPORT

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.

QUOTABLE

“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.

Kerr: Nick Young vs Pat McCaw 'hasn't crystalized at all for me'

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Kerr: Nick Young vs Pat McCaw 'hasn't crystalized at all for me'

Programming note: Warriors-Mavs coverage starts today at 4:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

In the Warriors' win over the Pelicans on Friday night, Pat McCaw did not get any playing time.

Nick Young was on the floor for 11 minutes.

"The way I look at Nick and Patrick -- I don't think either one has won the job, backup two," Kerr said after the game. "So I may play Pat tomorrow, I don't know. We'll figure it out.

"They're both gonna play, and there are gonna be nights where one of 'em may not get in."

On Saturday night against the Grizzlies, Young was -3 in five minutes and missed both of his 3-point attempts.

McCaw recorded two assists and a steal but he was -9 in 12 minutes.

Following shootaround on Monday in Dallas, Kerr said the following:

Sounds like this is going to be a point of discussion for the foreseeable future...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller