Warriors

Game preview: Warriors-Wizards

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Game preview: Warriors-Wizards

The Warriors, winners of nine of their last 12 games, have fully crept into believable.

Further proof that the Warriors (12-7) may belong in the mix of the NBA’s better half came on Friday night with a road win against the well-built Brooklyn Nets. The belief will become reality if Golden State can continue its trend of improved play through the remaining three quarters of the season.

While the Washington Wizards (2-14) don’t seem like the most significant threat, today’s game in Washington is part of a building momentum. It's these stretches of schedule that create playoff teams.

Here are some other things to watch for during Saturday’s game between the Warriors and Wizards:

Feeding on the weak

The Warriors will need to beat the bad teams. They didn’t do it at home against Orlando (7-12) earlier this week but they did start this current road trip with a win at Detroit (6-15). Wins during the early part of the trip are important, including Saturday’s game in Washington (2-14) and Monday’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats (7-11).

Tougher road contests against the Miami Heat (12-5) and the Atlanta Hawks (11-5) sit on the back end of the season-long, seven-game road trip.

Saturday cannot be a letdown. The importance of a win against the Wizards is telling of what type of team the Warriors could be.

The tale of two rookies

Lottery picks are emblematic of hope for most downtrodden franchises. When a franchise feels hopeless, and the top pick appears equally as lost, the outlook becomes frigid.

Wizards rookie Bradley Beal offers a frosty breath in the cold, losing climate of Washington. The third overall pick in last summer’s draft is struggling in the early season, shooting 34.9 percent. The unreasonable pressures placed on young players are only exasperated in losing environments, and with John Wall out, Bradley is in a tough spot. He did have one of his best games Friday night in Atlanta when he scored 18 points, but he’s been inconsistent and a target of frustration for the two-win Wizards.

Then, there’s Harrison Barnes, who is feeling plenty of warmth. The Warriors' top pick, and seventh overall, may begin to find himself in Rookie of the Year conversations as an impact player with the now-relevant Warriors. The athletic forward placed himself within the league's spotlight when he posterized Minnesota Timberwolves' Nikola Pekovic in November.

But he’s been more than just a highlight. The North Carolina product finds himself in the right situation with the winning Warriors, starting in all 19 games and finding a role as a well-rounded wing who has contributed to Golden State’s success. He averages 10.8 points and 5.9 rebounds when the Warriors win.

Curry keeps it going

It’s not about Stephen Curry being an All-Star by name. Expectations are what they are for the young guard who carries all of Golden State’s expectations on disloyal ankles. But the focus for Curry needs to remain playing within the Warriors' current winning system.

This includes maintaining his play as the team’s long-wished-for point guard. Curry scored 28 points on Friday night and now has six consecutive games with 20 or more points. In the team’s last six games, the 24-year-old is averaging 22.5 points and 8.8 assists per game.

 It's Curry's current 6.5 assists per game, the highest average of his career, that is benefiting the Warriors most. His numbers are consistant, in both wins and losses, and it will be important for the team’s success that Curry continues to be a constant. If he can lead the team in taking care of the ball and limiting turnovers Saturday, the team should be successful against Washington.

There’s the guy

The real David Lee has emerged. The star forward the Warriors have been waiting for has arrived, and on Friday night he recorded his first 30-point, 15-rebound game with the franchise.

Lee is averaging a double-double, scoring 18.2 points and collecting 10.9 rebounds per game. Keep the bottle of Korbel on ice for after the game just in case; Lee's fourth rebound tonight will be the No. 5,000 in his career.


Kerr dreams of world with quiet Trump and LaVar Ball: 'Wouldn't that be great?'

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Kerr dreams of world with quiet Trump and LaVar Ball: 'Wouldn't that be great?'

In the real world, the President of the United States Donald Trump started a Twitter feud with LaVar Ball on Sunday. 

Trump believes he should have left three college athletes, including Ball's son LiAngelo, in a Chinese jail for shoplifting. In return, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr wants the two to simply stop talking.

"It would be nice for all of us if both of them would just be quiet," Kerr said to reporters at the Barclays Center. "Wouldn't that be great?"

Coach Kerr on LaVar/Trump beef: “It would be nice for all of us if both of them would just be quiet.”

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"Modern life. Two people seeking attention and are both getting it, so I'm sure both guys are really happy," Kerr initially said when first asked about the two. 

Unprompted, Kerr then asked reporters for a request to help us all. 

"You know what would help, if all of you stopped covering both of them," Kerr pleaded. "Is that possible? You can probably stop covering LaVar. I don't think you can stop covering the President. I don't think that'll work." 

Ex-Warriors All-Star David Lee announces his retirement from the NBA

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Ex-Warriors All-Star David Lee announces his retirement from the NBA

In the span of about 16 days, David Lee has made a lot of changes to his life.

On Nov. 3, he announced that he got engaged to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki.

On Sunday, the former Warriors All-Star forward announced his retirement from the NBA with a post on Instagram.

"An epic night celebrating my retirement with my friends and family! Thank you to my amazing fiancée @carowozniacki for planning the surprise!" Lee wrote as the caption for a photo of him with all his friends.

Former teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were among those that "Liked" the posted. Curry even left a comment.

"They'll still always have trouble with the pitch and follow man Man! Congrats," Curry wrote.

Acquired in July of 2009 from the Knicks, Lee played five seasons with the Warriors. During his time in Oakland, he averaged 16.7 points and 9.6 rebounds.

Lee was named to the Western Conference All-Star team during the 2012-13 season. He averaged 18.5 points and 11.2 rebounds per game that season.

The 34-year-old capped off his tenure with the Warriors by winning an NBA championship in 2015. After the playoff run, the Warriors traded Lee to Boston. He spent last season with the Spurs and appeared in 79 games.