Warriors

Spurs-Warriors: What to watch for

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Spurs-Warriors: What to watch for

Programming note: Spurs-Warriors coverage begins tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area Plus!
The Warriors are winding down, and the Spurs are ratchetingup. Thats the way it usually goes at the end of NBA regular seasons and thisone is no different.

RELATED: NBA conference standings
The Warriors have lost 11 of their past 13 games and arelimping toward their seventeenth non-playoff season in the past 18. The Spurshave won 13 of their past 15 games and will be a part of the NBAs postseasonfor the 15th consecutive seasons.For the Warriors, its all about whether they will get tokeep their 2012 first-round draft pick. If they finish with a top-sevenselection, they get to keep it. If they wind up with the No. 8 pick or worse,it goes to Utah.The Spurs, on the other hand, are just a game-and-a-halfbehind the Oklahoma City Thunder in the battle for home-court advantagethroughout the playoffs.Here are some things to watch for during Mondays gamebetween the Spurs and Warriors at Oracle Arena:Who will play and who wont: The Warriorswill be without most of their front-line players, including Andrew Bogut,Stephen Curry and David Lee. They are likely to be without Andris Biedrins(concussion) and Richard Jefferson (right knee).Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has long believed in resting hisplayers during the regular season to keep them healthy for the postseason. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and ManuGinobili are all healthy right now, but dont be surprised if Popovich sits oneor more of them. Mondays game begins a stretch of three games in a row for theSpurs.Tylers finish: With seven games remaining,its important that rookie Jeremy Tyler finishes strong and starts to buildsomething for next season. Tyler had been giving the Warriors some consistencybefore a recent stretch derailed his progress.In the past four games, Tyler is shooting just 31.8 percentand has turned the ball over five times and had three assists. He also has just12 rebounds in his past 70 minutes.It wont be easy for Tyler, assuming hes playing against aSpurs frontline that includes Duncan.Nates game: When point guard NateRobinson plays well, hes capable of helping the Warriors hang around againstany opponent. When Robinson doesnt play well and hes playing legitimateminutes he can really hurt the Warriors chances in terms of winning andlosing.Robinson played very well in a loss to the Spurs earlierthis season, one in which he scored 28 points and Golden State had a latelead.Lets see if Robinson can put another nice game togetheragainst San Antonio.

Curry claims he didn't throw mouthguard at ref: 'I've got a pretty good aim'

Curry claims he didn't throw mouthguard at ref: 'I've got a pretty good aim'

Just before the Warriors officially lost the game in Memphis on Saturday night, their superstar point guard lost his cool.

After not getting a foul call with 43 seconds left in the game, Steph Curry chucked his mouthguard in the direction of referee Scott Wall in a fit of rage reminiscent of Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals.

Wall immediately ejected Curry, who continued to argue with the officials.

After the game, Curry wanted to make it clear he wasn't trying to his Wall with his mouthguard.

"If I tried to throw it at him and hit him, I've got a pretty good aim," Curry said told reporters after the game. "I've thrown my mouthpiece plenty of times and thrown it on the floor. Probably not the best thing to do, but I've done it. I own up to it.

"If I was trying to throw it at him or hit him, I would have been able to executed that."

Curry explained why he reacted the way he did.

"That last play, I thought I got fouled. My frustration boiled over, did something stupid, deserved to get kicked out and that's what happened. Obviously learn from it and try not to do it again," Curry told reporters.

Now Curry and the Warriors wait to see if the NBA will suspend or fine him. He has an expectation of what the punishment will be.

"Don't think it will be a suspension or anything. My pockets will be a lot lighter," Curry said after the game.

What's caused Warriors' slow start and why it should come as no surprise

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What's caused Warriors' slow start and why it should come as no surprise

It’s much too early to get legitimately nervous, much less start tumbling into a panic.

The Warriors are going to be fine.

Eventually.

They most certainly are not yet what they will become in about two weeks, when they settle in for a four-game homestand that begins Nov. 6. That’s 10 games into the season, and it’s conceivable the Warriors might be 6-4.

After a 111-101 loss to the ever-tenacious Grizzlies on Saturday in Memphis, the Warriors are 1-2 and, by their lofty standard, looking about as lost as a stray cat in a hurricane.

“We’re obviously not ready. We knew that,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We’re not ready to put together a full effort. And I’m not doing a great job of putting together combinations, finding the right motivation to get guys going, to get some joy and laughter in here.

“It’s just one of those rough patches. And, hopefully, we can climb our way out of it. I’m sure we will. It may take some time.”

It will take some time, and of that there is plenty.

Do not blame this lull entirely on China, not when there is so much more. The Warriors are coming off their third consecutive prolonged season, this one followed by the training camp disruption caused by spending eight days in Oakland, eight days in China, followed by eight days in Oakland leading up to opening night.

It’s easy to see the timing is off on an offense that relies on precision. The spacing is off on an offense that requires room to operate. The energy is lacking on a defense that lapses into ordinary without its bedrock intensity. Both body and spirit appear less than peak.

“We’ve been playing hard,” Kevin Durant told reporters at FedEx Forum, “but I think we’ve got to take it up a level.

“We’ll be fine. It’s 79 more games left. I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”

Understand, a team that won an NBA-best 67 games last season and posted a league-record 16-1 postseason doesn’t lose it because opponents load up. When the Warriors are on their game, opponents don’t matter.

For now, though, there is an individual listlessness that results in collective slumber. Stephen Curry has gambled himself in foul trouble in both losses and was booted in Memphis. Andre Iguodala missed an entire game and Draymond Green missed the fourth quarter of the first loss, a game in which the Warriors gave up a 13-point lead over the final 12 minutes.

And Durant’s 4.6 blocks per game is impressive. It also happens to be offset by his 6.3 turnovers per game.

“That’s on me,” he said. “I’m turning the ball over at a high rate right now. I’m really pissed at myself about it. I’ve just got to hold on to the ball. Just make the correct pass. I think I’m just rushing. I just need to calm down, settle down, and that would ignite the whole team. But if I turn the ball over, that’s contagious.”

The Rockets turned 17 Warriors giveaways into 21 points. The Pelicans turned 14 into 20. The Grizzlies turned 17 into 24.

Asked what has to change, Klay Thompson went to exactly the right place, saying “probably our defensive intensity from the jump.”

That’s where it starts, at least on the court. Meanwhile, there is more video work, more group texts about details and the need for more time for their bodies and minds to become one.

“We’ll be better,” Durant said. “We’re still finding a groove with each other. We’re still getting back into shape as far as playing our game, the flow, just the reads off not calling plays. We’ve got to get used to that again.”

Thompson is, however, displaying a modicum of impatience.

“We’ll come out Monday and we’ll play a great game,” he said. “I guarantee it.”

He’s probably right. The Warriors will be playing at Dallas, against a Mavericks team that is built to be devoured by the powerful.

That might be a quick fix. But it won’t be the final fix. That is weeks away.