NBA Gameday: Can Aldridge deliver huge performance vs Draymond?

NBA Gameday: Can Aldridge deliver huge performance vs Draymond?

UPDATE (4:45pm) -- Andre Iguodala is out for tonight's Game 2 against the Spurs, the Warriors announced.


OAKLAND -- The Warriors try to take a 2-0 series lead while stretching their postseason win streak to 10 Tuesday, when they meet the Spurs at Oracle Arena for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals.

Both teams could be without key players, as the Warriors may be without Sixth Man Andre Andre Iguodala and the Spurs almost certainly won’t have All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard.

The Warriors overcame a 25-point deficit Sunday to post a 113-111 victory in Game 1 and take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.


Warriors by 13.5


Draymond Green & Co. vs. LaMarcus Aldridge: With Leonard out, Aldridge will have to bring his A game for the Spurs to have a chance of winning. He is capable; he delivered 34 points and 12 rebounds -- a plus-21 performance -- to offset Leonard’s absence in the closeout Game 6 against Houston last week. Green, however, is a vastly superior defender to anyone the Rockets have. And he’ll have help. It’s tough to imagine the Warriors allowing Aldridge to do enough to beat them at home.


Warriors: F Andre Iguodala (L knee soreness) is listed as questionable. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) is listed as out.

Spurs: F Kawhi Leonard (L ankle sprain) is listed as doubtful. G Tony Parker (L quadriceps tendon surgery) is listed as out.


The Warriors finished the regular season with a 67-15 record to earn the No. 1 overall seed in the postseason. They swept four games from Portland in the first round, and then swept four games from Utah in the conference semifinals.

The Spurs (61-21) earned the No. 2 overall seed. They defeated Memphis in six games in the first round, and then defeated Houston in six games in the conference semifinals.


Prior to winning Game 1, the Warriors lost two of three to San Antonio in the regular season. In the three seasons since Steve Kerr took over as coach, the Warriors are 6-5 against the Spurs. The teams last met in the playoffs in the 2012-13 conference semifinals, with San Antonio winning in six games.


KEVIN DURANT: After two separate injuries (knee, calf) caused him to miss time, Durant seems to be finding his stride. He is averaging 30 points over the last three games, shooting 54.1 percent from the field. With Leonard expected to sit, Durant could be in line for a big scoring night. He scored 20 points, on 7-of-10 shooting, in 17 minutes after Leonard left Game 1 in the third quarter.

THE TRAP FACTOR: Though there should be no such thing as a “trap game” in the playoffs, the Warriors may have some mental hurdles to clear. Leonard will be out and their last two wins over the Spurs came after wiping leads of more than 20 points. The Warriors have talked about having a better start. Let’s see if they can.

SPURS OFFENSE: San Antonio’s offense changes dramatically when Leonard is off the floor. There no longer is a ball-dominant player, which means much more ball movement and more inside-out action. Which makes the Spurs less predictable. The Warriors likely will have to spread their defense and do it deep into the shot clock.

Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss


Cook gives injured Warriors 'huge boost' in anomalous loss

OAKLAND -- If Quinn Cook plays at anything close to the level he performed Friday night against the Kings, the Warriors should avoid any catastrophic stumbling in the absence of their top three scorers.

They stumbled plenty in a 98-93 loss to Sacramento, but not because of Cook. The two-way player who has spent most of the season with G-League Santa Cruz scored a team-high 25 points, shot 10-of-13 from the field and played respectable defense.

He did more than could have been reasonably expected.

“I felt like this was coming,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He was fantastic. He really lit it up and gave us a huge boost.”

The Warriors ran into problems elsewhere, shared among the usually reliable veterans who need to be particularly reliable in the absence of Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson.

Usual starters Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia combined to shoot 6-of-20.

Usual reserves Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston, David West and Nick Young shot a collective 13-of-39.

In the second half, when Warriors mustered only 34 points -- a season-low for any half -- the six vets combined to take 32 shots and missed 24.

Those are atrocious numbers and they explain what went wrong in a game that was there for the taking.

They’re also an anomaly.

“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Green said. “But we got some good shots. We got ‘Dre on a couple of pull-ups in the lane, I got a couple open shots, Nick got a couple open shots, Zaza got a couple open ones. D-West had one pop in and out. (Kevon Looney) had two pop in and out.

“We just got cold. But hopefully those shots will fall tomorrow.”

West, returning after missing four games with a cyst on his right arm, was 1-of-6 from the field. He came into this game as a 60.8-percent shooter this season.

Igoudala was 4-of-10; he shot 70 percent over the previous 10 games. Young was 5-of-15, well below his 44-percent shooting this season. Livingston’s 3-of-8 shooting is uncharacteristic of someone shooting at least 50 percent for four years running.

If history is any indication, Green (5-of-14) and Pachulia (1-of-6) are not going continue to miss at the rate they did in this game, the first this season in which the Warriors were without all three of their top scorers.

If history is any indication, the Warriors can’t be counted on to score 34 points on 27.3-percent shooting in the second half of a game.

“I loved how our guys battled,” Kerr said. “They really competed well and made some big plays. We just couldn’t get the ball to go down quite enough in the second half.”

That’s going to change, perhaps as soon as Saturday night in Phoenix, were the Suns are playing to lose.

So if Cook plays steady basketball, the Warriors will fall off and their fans won’t become a basket case while waiting for the three shooters. The Warriors surely believe that.

“He really showed up. I’ve been waiting on that Quinn,” Green said. “We needed that. It was great for him to come out and play like that. And most importantly, his shots were falling. Since he’s been playing (more often) he’s been playing well, but his shots weren’t really falling. But tonight, they fell for him.”

They won’t always fall at a rate of 77 percent. They won’t have to once his teammates drop in a few more of their own shots.

Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings


Casspi rolls ankle, leaves game vs Kings

OAKLAND -- Omri Casspi sustained a sprained right ankle with 9:00 left in the second quarter of the Warriors-Kings game Friday night and did not return.

After dropping in a short hook shot with 9:04 left in the quarter, Casspi landed awkwardly, rolling his ankle and dropping to the floor clutching his lower leg. Down for a couple minutes, he eventually got up and limped into the locker room, accompanied by physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane.

Casspi played six minutes off the bench, producing 6 points, one assist and one rebound against his former team.

He joins Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Pat McCaw and Klay Thompson on the sideline.