Kings-Warriors: What to watch for


Kings-Warriors: What to watch for

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Warriors Pregame Live starts tonight at 7, followed by Warriors-Kings at 7:30, and Warriors Postgame Live at 10 -- all on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

It has not been a good season for the Warriors or Kings. TheWarriors are 6-12 and are in 13th place in the Western Conference.The Kings are 6-14 and in 14th place in the WesternConference.The teams will play each other twice in the next five days --Tuesday night at Oracle Arena and Saturday in Sacramento.Warriors coach Mark Jackson continues to maintain his team willmake the playoffs, although the longer the season progresses the more of alongshot that seems.Here are some things to watch for:Coaching matchup: Keith Smart coached theWarriors to 10 more wins in 2010-11 than they had the previous season. But thatwasnt good enough for owner Joe Lacob, who fired Smart and hired Jackson afterthe season.In a strange turn, Smart became an assistant coach inSacramento, then ascended to the head position after Paul Westphal was fired.There is a segment of Warriors fans who dont believe Smart deserved to befired and that Golden State might be better off with him in charge right now.Regardless, despite that both teams are struggling, thisshould be a game that both Jackson and Smart want badly.Interior battle: The Kings areinconsistent up front, but they are big. Sacramento will play DeMarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson plenty of minutes and thats the kind ofbruising and physical front line that gives the Warriors difficulty.Jackson has shown an unwillingness to play Andris Biedrinsor Ekpe Udoh late in games, often using David Lee at the five. During thosetimes, the Warriors have been susceptible to giving up second shots and beingoverwhelmed inside.The backcourt: If the Warriors expect towin this game, theyll have to win the backcourt matchup. Stephen Curry andMonta Ellis would seem to have an advantage against Tyreke Evans and JimmerFredette. Expect the Warriors to attack Fredette, a defensively challengedcombo guard.Bench play: During the course of theseason, Jackson has consistently praised his teams bench, particularly theplay of Nate Robinson, Brandon Rush and Klay Thompson.The Warriors bench has often come into games and changedthe momentum. In fact, Jackson has intimated that there may be times in thefuture when he allows some of his bench players to finish out games.

With Green listed as doubtful, expect Warriors to rely on rookie Jordan Bell


With Green listed as doubtful, expect Warriors to rely on rookie Jordan Bell

After getting a rude “Welcome to the NBA” facial from Rockets guard Eric Gordon in his debut Tuesday night, Warriors rookie Jordan Bell stands to get a more legitimate baptism Friday night in New Orleans.

That’s where Pelicans All-Stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will be waiting, eager to abuse the new guy.

With starting power forward Draymond Green listed as doubtful with a strained left knee -- MRI test results were negative -- Bell can expect significant minutes when the Warriors and Pelicans meet at Smoothie King Center.

Aware Green’s availability is in question, Bell sees what’s ahead in Davis and Cousins, as they both possess skills that rank among the top five big men.

“I’m definitely excited about that,” Bell said Wednesday. “(They are) some of the best bigs in the league, so I’m definitely excited to get tested against that.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr generally avoids tinkering with his set rotations, in which case David West and JaVale McGee would continue to come off the bench at center. Of the other “bigs” on the roster, Bell is most likely to start if Green is unable.

Bell played 12 minutes in the opener, and they were in slots that typically go to McGee, who never left the bench against Houston. Citing the matchups created by the Rockets’ smallish lineups, Kerr opted for the 6-foot-8, 225-pound Bell over the 7-foot, 270-pound McGee.

That will change Friday, regardless of Green’s status, as both Bell and McGee will be needed against Davis and Cousins, both of whom possess wing spans over 7 feet. Only Bell is suited to play power forward or center, and the staff is coaching him at both positions.

“At the 4, I have to be more of a facilitator, like (Green) is,” Bell said. “Some plays (Kerr) has me doing the same things Draymond does. Sometimes he has me bring the ball up in practice. Calling plays, putting me in positions on the elbows to make the right pass, make the right read.

“When I’m at the 5, I have to be more of an aggressor, a more physical guy on the court, focusing on rebounding and finishing around the rim.”

It’s exceedingly rare for a second-round draft pick to start a game in his first week as an NBA player. The Warriors believe Bell can handle it. So in the case of Green being held out, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the rookie’s name is called.


Report: Draymond Green receives results on left knee MRI


Report: Draymond Green receives results on left knee MRI

The Golden State Warriors and Dubnation have been holding their breath a bit awaiting the results of Draymond Green's MRI. 

They can breathe a little better now. 

According to ESPN, the forward underwent an MRI on his left knee and results came back negative. 

Green left Tuesday's game against the Rockets one point shy of a triple double after 28 minutes of work. 

The Warriors were left in a defensive deficit in his absence and ultimatley lost to the Rockets 122-121. 

More to come...