Warriors

Kerr: Jordan Bell fighting to crack rotation, will play vs 'certain matchups'

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AP

Kerr: Jordan Bell fighting to crack rotation, will play vs 'certain matchups'

OAKLAND -- It was about this time last year, maybe a bit earlier, when Warriors coach Steve Kerr said he would absolutely be comfortable putting rookie guard Patrick McCaw, a second-round draft pick, into an NBA game.

Kerr now acknowledges he has, for the second consecutive season, a rookie second-round pick ready to contribute to the Warriors.

That would be forward/center Jordan Bell.

“Yeah, I’ll put him out there for certain matchups,” Kerr said Wednesday after practice.

“I wouldn’t say that he’s going to be in the rotation, because he’s got a lot of guys ahead of him who are very good players. But certain matchups, I’ll put him out there.”

If you’ve seen much of Bell, you can understand why. The Oregon product impressed during the Las Vegas Summer League and has made an impact in the team’s three preseason games.

In 24 minutes this preseason, Bell has totaled 19 points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals. Moreover -- and this is particularly significant for a rookie with a penchant for blocking shots -- he has been whistled for only one foul.

“He’s got a pretty high defensive IQ right now, just knowing where to be and being aggressive,” Stephen Curry said of Bell. “His confidence is almost how Pat looked last year in preseason, when you knew he was a gamer. Whenever he had an opportunity to impact the game in the preseason, he was ready for that moment.”

Yet Bell is, at best, the fifth-string big man on a defending championship team. He’s behind four men who had key roles in the Warriors winning a championship last season: starting center Zaza Pachulia, death-squad center (and starting power forward) Draymond Green and backups David West and JaVale McGee.

Second-year man Damian Jones and Bell would be next in line for minutes, and Bell has been appreciably more effective.

Of the four veterans, it is Green that Bell most closely mirrors. Green is 6-foot-7 at most, Bell about 6-8. Both are skilled passers with good court awareness that improves to great on the defensive end. Each is an undersized power forward with the necessary tools to play “big” in Kerr’s uptempo system

During the Warriors’ 142-110 rout of Minnesota in Shanghai on Sunday, Bell played only seven minutes yet submitted 11 points (5-of-5 from the field, 1-of-1 from the line), adding two steals, a rebound and a block.

“The game in Shanghai was a clinic of defensive awareness, aggressiveness and decisiveness on that end of the floor that got us a couple stops,” Curry summarized. “He got a couple steals, and was in the right place at the right time on the offensive end to finish some possessions.”

Kerr pulled Bell aside after the game to lavish praise while adding a dollop of advice.

“What I told Jordan after the game was that he was great. He was fantastic and he made the most of his minutes,” Kerr said. “I said the game changed in the third quarter when Draymond decided to bring that intensity and energy that he brings for us. You might remember we made 4-5 stops in a row, and Draymond was pressuring the ball and had that look in his eye.”

That’s where Kerr explained to Bell what he wants from the rookie, stressing intensity and focus. In essence, he wants Bell to follow the example set by Green.

Which is perfectly fine with Bell. After all, it was couple years ago that Green replaced LeBron James as Bell’s favorite NBA player.

Could Steph Curry buy the Panthers? 'I want in!'

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USATSI

Could Steph Curry buy the Panthers? 'I want in!'

The Carolina Panthers will soon be for sale. After allegations of workplace minconduct recently surfaced, Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Sunday night that he plans to put the team up for sale

It looks like Steph Curry wants to be more than just a fan of his hometown team. 

The Warriors' star was responding to Sean "Diddy" Combs saying he wants to buy the team. 

Diddy responded to Curry, looking to make a partnership on the Panthers.

Curry grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, when his father played shooting guard for the Hornets. He's frequently at Panthers games whenever he gets a chance. 

When the Panthers played the Broncos in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Curry was awarded with his own custom Panthers jersey and he banged the team drum before kickoff. 

Richardson was awarded the Panthers in 1993. The team played their first season in 1995. 

Time to raise a red flag? Kerr's tone on Draymond's injury changes

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AP

Time to raise a red flag? Kerr's tone on Draymond's injury changes

OAKLAND -- When a defending NBA champion goes without an All-Star for a game or three in the first half of the season, it’s not necessarily significant.

When it extends beyond a week without any discernable timetable for his return, it’s time to raise the red flag.

That’s where the Warriors are with Draymond Green and his ailing right shoulder. Something is wrong and there has been no interpretation, much less an expressed diagnosis.

Green’s absence Monday night in Los Angeles, where the Warriors face the Lakers, will be the third in a row and fifth in the last six for the starting power forward. Unlike center Zaza Pachulia, who also has missed the last three games, Green has not participated in any basketball activities while sidelined.

If Green can’t take the court, in any way, that’s cause for concern. He lives to play the game.

“Draymond’s not happy. I can tell you that,” coach Steve Kerr said Sunday. “He’s happiest when he’s on the floor, hair on fire, screaming at everybody and competing. It’s been hard on him.

“But Draymond also knows that this is the smart approach. So he’s not complaining. But I wouldn’t call him happy, either.”

All of which explains why when discussing Green’s condition with the Warriors, the tone in recent days has shifted from relative unconcern to apparent apprehension.

“It just got sore, probably wear and tear,” Kerr said. “There’s nothing we can do about it. I don’t spend any time worrying about it. When he’s ready, he’s ready. He’ll be all right. I’m sure of that.”

Though the mystery around Green’s shoulder woes would seem to merit an MRI test, none has been scheduled, according to Kerr, who described Green’s status as “day to day.”

Meanwhile, with Green and Pachulia out, the Warriors are wading knee-deep in contingencies.

Rookie Jordan Bell and veteran Omri Casspi have started the last two games and filled the majority the minutes that normally would go to Pachulia and Green. Kevon Looney can fill in at center. The Warriors on Sunday activated center Damian Jones from G-League Santa Cruz, and he will be available against the Lakers.

The injury issues and contingencies don’t end there. With starting point guard Stephen Curry already out -- he’s scheduled for reevaluation Tuesday -- primary backup Shaun Livingston will be sidelined, too, with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee.

“It’s got to be as beaten up as we’ve ever been since I’ve been here,” Kerr said. “I don’t remember having this many guys out, particularly starters. It’s all part of it and we’ve handled it really well. It’s created some opportunities for other guys.”

Though the Warriors are comfortable running their offense through several available players, including Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant, the bulk of the point guard minutes will go to second-year guard Pat McCaw and Quinn Cook, who is in his third season bouncing between the G-League and the NBA.

Cook is on a two-way contract with the Warriors, which means he can spend up 45 days in the NBA before the team has to decide whether to offer a standard contract.

“The way the season is going, we’ll probably use all 45 of his days by the end of the year,” Kerr said.

Though half the regular rotation will be out of action, there is some good news for the Warriors: guard Nick Young, who has participated in the last two practices, is expected to clear the NBA’s concussion protocol and be available to face his former team at Staples Center.