Gameday: All eyes in the backcourt as Warriors welcome Wizards

Gameday: All eyes in the backcourt as Warriors welcome Wizards

OAKLAND -- Still in search of a complete game, the Warriors will chase it once more Friday night when they face the Washington Wizards at Oracle Arena.

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

The Warriors (3-2) will be without backup point guard Shaun Livingston, who is out of town on a personal matter.

Though they lead the league field-goal percentage (51.1), the Warriors have not defended at the level they are accustomed to and have fallen behind or blown double-digit leads in every game this season.

The Wizards (3-1) opened the season with three consecutive wins before losing to the Lakers on Wednesday night Los Angeles.


Warriors by 12


Stephen Curry vs. John Wall. This is always, always a captivating duel, the most memorable being the shootout in DC on Feb. 3, 2016, when Curry went for 51 and Wall for 41 in a 134-121 Warriors win. Curry declined to comment Thursday when asked about former All-Star Paul Pierce ranking him behind Wall on the list of current point guards. Expect the two-time MVP bring all the edge he needs.


Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (personal) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with G-League Santa Cruz.

Wizards: C Ian Mahinmi (L ankle sprain) is listed as questionable. G/F Sheldon Mac (L Achilles surgery) and F Markieff Morris (sports hernia surgery) are listed as out.


The teams split the two-game series last season. The Warriors have won 11 of the last 13 meetings and 15 of the last 20.


SMOKING SCOREBOARD: The Warriors have yet to rediscover the defensive mindset that served them so well last season; they rank 18th in field-goal percentage defense. The Wizards simply are short of terrific defensive players, which explains why they’re 25th in the same category. Unless habits change, 250 points is conceivable.

HOT KLAY: Klay Thompson is off to perhaps the best start of his career: 21.2 points (51.9-percent shooting, 46.5 percent from deep). He’ll compete against Bradley Beal, arguably the top shooting guard in East. Thompson has the longest active streak of games with at least one 3-pointer (59) and will continue donating $1,000 per point toward North Bay fire relief efforts. He needs 40 points to reach the 9,000-point mark for his career.

THE CHARITY STRIPE: The Wizards lead the league in made free throws and rank third in free throw attempts. Their propensity for drawing fouls could help them, as the Warriors have had difficulty avoiding needless fouls. The issue has been addressed, but expect their discipline to be challenged.

Warriors GM Bob Myers has zero tolerance for two things


Warriors GM Bob Myers has zero tolerance for two things

Warriors general manager Bob Myers traveled to the East Coast for the team's current road trip.

With Golden State playing in Brooklyn on Sunday, Myers joined "The Woj Pod" for a conversation with ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

One question from Woj: "What do you have no tolerance for? Is there something that you've just said, 'I will not allow that.'" 

Myers' response: "There's a couple things I don't like. I don't like arrogance and I don't like selfish -- people that think they're more than the whole team. One thing I've heard about San Antonio -- that I think is true -- they tell their players, or anybody that works there, that you have to get over yourself. And I think that's great. It's not about one person. And when it ever does become about one person, I think that everyone suffers.

"The team is the most important thing. You're a part of that -- whatever part you play in our team is to serve the team and the goals and to win. And when that happens, you'll get your own individual accolades, or whatever you're hoping to obtain. But when I see someone that tries to step outside of that a little bit and says, 'What about me?' Whether it's deflecting blame or having credit, I just don't like that.

"I just don't subscribe to one person doing anything by themselves. It's not true."

The Warriors' general manager must be referring to arrogance off the court, because Steve Kerr has repeatedly said that Steph Curry is "incredibly arrogant on the floor and humble off the court."

We deserve some clarification Mr. Myers... (kidding, of course).

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

In his own way, David Lee was a launching pad for the new age Warriors


In his own way, David Lee was a launching pad for the new age Warriors

So we say Goodbye, once and for all, to David Lee, who was nothing less than the visible lightning rod for all that was good and bad about the Warriors during their advancement from a hut on the outskirts of the NBA to the league’s penthouse suite.

Lee was, in his own way, every bit as much of a launching pad for the New Age Warriors as was Stephen Curry.

Lee, who disclosed his retirement Sunday in a very 2017 America way -- with an Instagram post -- came to the Warriors from the New York Knicks in a July 2010 sign-and-trade deal. He was the one-man brass band providing accompaniment to the announcement of the team being purchased by Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.

An expensive band, too, as the Warriors handed Lee a six-year contract worth $80 million.

Fairly popular in New York, having been the team’s only All-Star in the nine-season span from 2001-02 to 2010-11, Lee became a fast favorite among many Warriors fans because he produced impressive individual numbers for a struggling team with a richly earned inferiority complex.

In 2012-13, Lee’s third season as a Warrior, he became the team’s first All-Star since Latrell Sprewell 16 years earlier. Lee led the NBA in double-doubles, his favorite statistical category. That season, not coincidently, also marked the team’s return to the playoffs after a five-year absence.

Lee by then was partnering with Curry as the leaders of a team -- no, a franchise -- determined to became a player in the NBA. With Guber’s theatrical flair and Lacob’s naked ambition, the Warriors were not going to be stopped.

It became apparent the following season, even as the team was making its second consecutive playoff appearance, that Lee had a ceiling. He could score and rebound well enough to rack up double-doubles, but he was giving away points on the other end. Lee was an awful defender, constantly picked on by opponents.

The Warriors could win a lot of games with Lee as their starting power forward, but they weren’t going to win any championships.

That door didn’t crack open for the Warriors until late in the 2014 season, and it opened wide during the playoffs against the Clippers. Three games into the series, with LA’s Blake Griffin having his way with Lee, Warriors coach Mark Jackson realized he had an answer to his Griffin problem.

Jackson turned to Draymond Green, who played well over the final weeks of the season as Lee recovered from an injury. Green immediately got under Griffin’s skin and stayed there for the rest of the series. More than three years later, Green still terrifies Griffin, which is why the Warriors own the Clippers.

The Clippers won the series in seven games, but the Warriors were enlightened.

Jackson was fired after that series, and Steve Kerr was hired as the new coach. Kerr says he came in believing Lee would be his starting power forward. Lee had the misfortune of straining a hamstring in the final preseason game, pressing Green into the starting lineup. He has been there ever since.

As their 2014-15 season marched on, the Warriors coaching staff began carefully rationing Lee’s reserve minutes to obscure his defensive limitations. In two years, he had gone from a numbers beast and Curry’s chief sidekick to being marginalized on a team bound for a championship.

A member of the 2015 championship team, Lee also was the most glaring casualty of the Warriors amazing ride to the top of the NBA.

His arrival had given them a modicum of credibility, something utterly lacking at the time. That helped the franchise. His departure, traded to the Celtics in July 2015 -- five years to the day after he came to the Bay -- gave the Warriors some immediate cap relief. That also helped the franchise.

After two years bouncing around the league, from the Celtics to the Mavericks to the Spurs last season, Lee is hanging up his sneakers. He’s diving into life with his new fiancée, the tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. Life was good and it should stay good.

Lee has much about which to be proud. He did his job well enough for the Warriors, but not as well as they needed it to be done to reach the very top. No shame in that, none at all.