Warriors

Take the pressure off Curry and Thompson

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Take the pressure off Curry and Thompson

If you had to rank these items from most important to least important as far as Warriors needs, how would it look? Backcourt depth, overall athleticism, size and rebounding. Kaleo, Bay Area.
Steinmetz: I would put equal importance on a backup point guard and a backup big man. The Warriors need a competent and proven player to play behind Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and I just dont think theres any way around that.
The Warriors also need a competent and proven player behind Andrew Bogut and David Lee. As far as athleticism, youre right there, too. But perhaps that can be addressed with one or both of those spots.
As Ive written before I think the Warriors need to acquire a guard who can play 20-25 minutes a game because it would take pressure off Curry and Thompson.RELATED: Bringing in point guard a must for the Warriors

Curry is coming off injury and Thompson will be entering Year 2. As for the up front position, it would be great if the Warriors could somehow find a guy like Ekpe Udoh, whom they traded for Bogut in the deal with Milwaukee.
Do you think Andre Iguodala or Danny Granger are realistic options for the Warriors? Rick, Bay Area.
Steinmetz: I think those guys were more realistic last year when the Warriors still had Monta Ellis to dangle. I think both of those players would be a good fit for the Warriors. Question is: What does it take to get them?
Ive got to believe the Warriors have no interest in trading Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee or Andrew Bogut because the Warriors are going forward with that core at this point.
Do the Warriors have enough besides that? Well, certainly theyd have to part with the No. 7 pick and then probably their best player outside of those four. Who is it? Richard Jefferson? Dorell Wright? Neither Brandon Rush nor Dominic McGuire is under contract.RELATED: Seven who might be available at No. 7

So, I dont know if theres a deal there. Heres the other thing: Were talking about two teams that advanced past the first round of the playoffs this past season.
And were talking about two players who were key guys on those teams. Youre going to have to put together something of value to pry one of those players and Im not sure the Warriors have it without parting with someone they dont want to part with.
What do you think about Raymond Felton as a possible additional point guard? Andrew, San Francisco.
Steinmetz: Im not a huge Raymond Felton fan, but Id sure like him more if he were a backup. But I dont think hes ready to be a backup at this point, so I see him as a little unrealistic for the Warriors.
The other thing in a perfect world, that third guard the Warriors would bring in would have some size more like an Andre Miller or Jason Kidd type.
The Warriors are going to need the guard they acquire to defend both guard spots, and thats something Felton cant do. I just dont see Felton as a good fit here.
Talking about a Curry-Thompson backcourt, is it really that much different than a Curry-Ellis backcourt? Sure, Thompson has a bit more size than Ellis, but he didnt exactly prove himself as a defensive stud last year. Consider that and the fact that both Curry and Thompson focus more on the perimeter game, as opposed to scoring in the paint, and do you really have the potential for improvement in the starting 1-2 pairing? Amit, San Jose.
Steinmetz: You bring up a great point about Ellis ability to drive and score at the rim and how Thompson doesnt have that yet. Youre absolutely right. The Warriors could become even more perimeter-oriented next year because of that.
I think the Warriors wanted to get out of the cycle of a team with Monta Ellis taking 20-25 shots a game and trying to win that way. They dont wantneed Thompson to be Ellis, because the Warriors believe everyone else will be able to flourish more without Ellis.
I think the Warriors realize they might have gotten worse in the backcourt with the trade, but in theory they got a lot better up front, too. And I think the Warriors believe it was more important to get better up front.
I do think, however, things have changed overnight for the Warriors. They are now better up front with Lee and Bogut than they are in the backcourt with Curry and Thompson.
Its always been the other way around for the Warriors at least recently.

Gameday: Two Warriors All-Stars out for Friday's game vs Bulls

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USATSI

Gameday: Two Warriors All-Stars out for Friday's game vs Bulls

The Warriors will be without their starting forwards Friday night when they return to Oracle Arena not only to face the struggling Chicago Bulls but also in search of good habits.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30, with tipoff scheduled for 7:35.

Kevin Durant is out with a sprained ankle and Draymond Green will be resting.

The Warriors (13-5) are coming off a 2-2 road trip during which they blew a 17-point third-quarter lead in one of the losses and had to overcome a 24-point third-quarter deficit to earn one of the victories.

The rebuilding Bulls (3-13) are concluding a four-game swing through the Western Conference, having lost the first three games by an average of 15.7 points.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 15.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Omri Casspi & Co. vs. Lauri Markkanen: Markkanen has been one of the few bright spots for the Bulls this season. The 7-foot rookie from Arizona shares the team lead in scoring at 14.6 points per game, while leading in rebounds at 8.3 per game. The only Chicago rookies to score more points in their first 16 games are Michael Jordan, Derrick Rose and Elton Brand. With Green and Durant out, the task of defending Markkanen falls to Casspi, who will start at one forward, with rookie Jordan Bell also taking a few turns.

INJURY LIST

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L ankle sprain) and F Draymond Green (rest) are listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Bulls: G Zach LaVine (L ACL rehab), F Nikola Mirotic (facial fractures), G David Nwaba (R ankle sprain) and G Cameron Payne (R foot surgery) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Bulls: 2-8.

GAME OFFICIALS

Bennie Adams (lead), Mark Ayotte and JT Orr.

SERIES HISTORY

The teams split the two-game series last season, each winning on its home court. The Warriors have won five of the last eight overall and 14 of the last 18 in Oakland.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE INTENSITY METER: The Warriors believe, justifiably, that their biggest worry is about themselves. When they’re properly focused, they are the best team in the NBA. When they are not, they are susceptible to most any quality team. Insofar as Chicago doesn’t appear pose an explicit challenge, the Warriors must not only manufacture intensity but also maintain it.

KEEP ‘EM OFF THE LINE: The Bulls are dead last in the NBA in offensive rating (94.4), field-goal percentage (41.0), field goals made per game (35.7). The one thing they do well is shoot free throws, which they shoot at a league-leading 92.9 percent. The Warriors can be prone to fouls (only eight teams commit more), so they’ll have to play it smart against this opponent.

THE BENCH BUNCH: With Durant and Green out, along with this being the second game of a four-games-in-six-nights stretch, the Warriors will have to lean on their bench, which has been quite good. Its 54-percent shooting leads the league, as is its 4.2 blocks per game. The net rating 10.2 is second in the NBA.

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

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AP

Jordan Bell: Rookie year with Warriors 'like being a freshman all over again'

Warriors rookie Jordan Bell made an instant impact for the team this season. But as of late, his playing time has dwindled. In four of the Warriors' last five games, Bell has been inactive. 

“It's just the life of a rookie,” Bell said to The Athletic. “That's what Steve Kerr always tells me. It's not because I'm playing bad. Just gotta be professional about it and stay ready. It's like being a freshman all over again.”

While Bell wants to be on the court with his teammates, what he appreciates most from Steve Kerr is his communication. Kerr is always honest about when he won't play Bell and he keeps the former Oregon Duck encouraged. 

“He talks to me about it every time he sees me,” Bell said. “Lets me know I'm not going to be active. Keep doing what you're doing, you're doing good. But it still f------ sucks. You're playing well and it doesn't mean anything because you're younger. It sucks, but you got to be professional about it.”

Bell has played in 12 of the Warriors' 18 games this season. The 22-year-old is averaging 3.2 points and 2.2 rebounds per game over 8.3 minutes per game. 

The Warriors bought the 38th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft from the Chicago Bulls and selected Bell. On Friday night, the Warriors, and perhaps Bell, play the Bulls for the first time this season.