Warriors

NBA Gameday: Draymond vs Saric the matchup to watch

NBA Gameday: Draymond vs Saric the matchup to watch

OAKLAND -- After losing three consecutive regular season games for the first time since coach Steve Kerr arrived in 2014, the Warriors on Tuesday night have a prime opportunity to get back to their winning ways.

They’re playing at Oracle Arena, where they are a league-best 26-4, and they’re facing the downtrodden, injury-depleted Philadelphia 76ers.

The Warriors (52-14), who are tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the No. 1 overall seed, have been struggling ever since Kevin Durant sustained a knee injury on Feb. 28 at Washington, losing five of seven since.

The 76ers’ record (24-42) is deceptive insofar as they are 11-24 when Joel Embiid is out of the lineup, and he is done for the rest of the season. They have lost seven of their last nine, with the only wins coming over the lowly Lakers and Knicks.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 16.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Draymond Green vs. Dario Saric: In the absence of Embiid, the 6-foot-10 Saric has emerged as Philly’s most consistently productive player. The 22-year-old Croatian forward is waging a second-half Rookie of the Year campaign, averaging 19.4 points and 8.1 rebounds over his last 13 games. Green, who thrives on opportunities to teach lessons to talented youngsters, has been off his game lately and could use a stellar performance.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain) is listed as out.

76ers: G Jerryd Bayless (L wrist surgery), F Robert Covington (R knee soreness), C Joel Embiid (L knee injury), F Ben Simmons (R foot fracture) and F/C Tiago Splitter (R calf strain) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 5-5. 76ers: 3-7.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won the last seven games, including the first this season, 119-108 on Feb. 27 in Philadelphia. They haven’t lost to the Sixers at home since 2011.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE HUSTLE GAME: The Sixers may be undersized and talent-deficient, but they are well coached and they play hard. Which means they cannot be taken for granted. But if the Warriors are careful with the ball and can match Philly’s effort, they should prevail even with an ordinary shooting night.

TAKING OF GIFTS: Only the Nets commit more turnovers than the 76ers, which plays into the hands of the Warriors. They are at their best when forcing turnovers and turning them into transition offense. Expect defensive energy from the Warriors as they feed off the home crowd and try to create separation before halftime.

PLAY THE LANES: The 76ers, as demanded by coach Brett Brown, rely on constant movement. According to NBA.com, they actually lead the NBA in passes per game as well as overall miles per game (Yes, there is a stat for that). All that passing and movement provides more opportunity for steals by the Warriors, who lead the league in that category.

Gilbert Arenas: Steph Curry is not a Top 5 point guard

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AP

Gilbert Arenas: Steph Curry is not a Top 5 point guard

Calm down Warriors fans.

Gilbert Arenas is just looking to make headlines (and it worked).

On the most recent episode of his show "Out of Bounds," Arenas unveiled his Top 5 point guards in the NBA:

1) Chris Paul
2) LeBron James
3) John Wall
4) Damian Lillard
5) Ben Simmons

Just to be clear -- Arenas repeatedly harped on the definition of "point guard" and considers guys like Curry, James Harden and Russell Westbrook "combo guards" or "scorers."

But obviously, his list is silly and full of contradictions. For one -- Lillard is a "scorer" who is averaging 6.2 assists (Curry is averaging 6.5) and is shooting only 40 percent from the field this season.

"I can't put Curry as a Top 5 point guard," Arenas explained. "You know he hasn't actually led the Golden State Warriors in assists ... you're a guard, you're a scorer ... if I pass the ball to Klay Thompson 15 times ... that means I get six assists a game.

"Then you have KD on your team, pick-and-roll pass it back -- he's gonna make at least six of those. So the fact that you're not averaging 12 assists from just two of these guys, is a problem."

Note to Arenas: Curry led the Warriors in assists in five of his first six seasons.

The other two hosts -- Adam Caparell and Pierce Simpson -- constantly brought it to Arenas' attention that the modern NBA is different and positions are not nearly as defined as they once were.

But Arenas didn't really want to hear any of that.

In his dissection of Harden, Arenas made it very clear that he is not a fan of Harden's turnover numbers.

"If the guy throws 25 passes -- 13 made buckets and 13 turnovers -- he is not considered a great playmaker," Arenas declared. "Thirteen assists compared to his 5.5 turnovers. He's not even 2 to 1 guys. Come on. He's not even 2 to 1. If you're saying a great guard, yes. He's a great guard. Combo guard."

Two things:

1) 13 + 13 = 26
2) 13 to 5.5 actually is greater than 2 to 1. It's 2.36 to 1

Oh well.

Caparell's Top 5:

1) Russell Westbrook
2) Steph Curry
3) Kyrie Irving
4) Damian Lillard
5) James Harden

Simpson's Top 5:

1) James Harden
2) John Wall
3) Russell Westbrook
4) Steph Curry
5) Giannis Antetokounmpo

This was a big waste of time, wasn't it?

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

Klay 'active citizen in the community' Thompson discusses local TV hit

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USATI

Klay 'active citizen in the community' Thompson discusses local TV hit

The Warriors had an off day in New York on Monday.

So Klay Thompson hit the streets.

Why did he agree to take part in a local TV hit about scaffolding?

"I was walking and she asked me if I wanted to do an interview, and I said sure," Klay explained to reporters on Tuesday. "Interesting topic -- unfortunately, people got hurt. And it was cool to give my opinion and be an active citizen in the community."

Did she know who Klay was?

"No. It was great. It was nice," Klay answered. "The cameraman recognized me but she didn't ask my profession. Just what I thought about the situation, so I answered it truthfully. 

Don't ever change, Klay. Don't ever change.

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