Warriors

Warriors draft look: Power forwards

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Warriors draft look: Power forwards

Programing note: Tune in to the Chronicle Live Warriors Draft Special tonight at 5 and 11 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area!

The Warriors headinto Thursdays NBA draft with four selections: The No. 7 pick, the No. 30pick, the No. 35 pick and the No. 52 pick. While the Warriors would seem tohave four positions pretty much set point guard, shooting guard, powerforward and center the reality is that they could go in any direction comedraft day.

VIDEO: Steinmetz and Jean make their Warriors draft predictions

Leading up toThursday, well rank the top players at each position, and see whether or notthey could fit into the Warriors draft plans.POWERFORWARDS
Anthony Davis,Kentucky, 6-10, 220 pounds: There is no doubt Davis will be the No. 1selection by the New Orleans Hornets. What there is doubt about is how goodDavis will be. Most NBA executives think Davis will be an elite defender atthe very least.And if he comesaround at the offensive end, watch out.Warriorsangle: The only angle with Davis as it pertains to the Warriors isthis: If he turns into the player many expect him to become, well, then, theNew Orleans Hornets just leap-frogged the Warriors in the standings.ThomasRobinson, Kansas, 6-9, 240 pounds: He is a prototype power forwardand he plays with tons of energy. The knock on Robinson is he might be a touchundersized for power forward, but he makes up for that with a 7-foot-3 wingspanand a perpetual motor.Robinson is going tobe good, just a matter of how good.Warriorsangle: In a perfect world (well a world less perfect than if theWarriors could acquire Davis), the Warriors would find a way to move up and getRobinson.Early in his career,Robinson would be the perfect complement to David Lee and Andrew Bogut ahighly energetic, highly athletic player to come off the bench. Then, down theroad if Robinson turns into something, youll have Lee and his expiringcontract to work with.But the reality ismoving up to No. 2, which is where youd have to move to ensure gettingRobinson, is quite a jump and will come at a cost.<b>RELATED: Steinmetz's NBA Draft scouting report for Robinson<b>
TerrenceJones, Kentucky, 6-9, 250 pounds: Jones stock has seemed to slip inrecent weeks and the reason is because there are concerns about whether he hasan NBA niche. Hes not a true power forward and doesnt have the skill set toplay much small forward.Warriorsangle: It wasnt long ago that the Warriors were looking at Jones atNo. 7, but as the draft approaches that may be too high of a spot to takehim.The concern is thatJones could be a classic tweener, and thats something the Warriors arentreally interested in. If the Warriors pull the string on Jones at No. 7, itwould have to be considered a surprise at this point.John Henson,North Carolina, 6-11, 220 pounds: When it comes to Henson, there isgood: length, athleticism and the ability to block shots. But theres also thebad: questions about inner fire and his lack of strength.Warriorsangle: Henson is not in play for the Warriors unless they end upmoving back say into the mid-teen area. There are just too many unknowns totake him at No. 7.JaredSullinger, Ohio State, 6-9, 280 pounds: Before he was red-flagged fora back issue, Sullinger was considered one of the most coveted big players inthe draft.What he lacks inathleticism, he makes up for in court savvy and the ability to pass the ball.Hes a solid rebounder and would seem to have an ability to play bothfrontcourt spots under certain circumstances.Warriorsangle: Sullinger was someone the Warriors were very much consideringbefore his back became an issue. Its obvious now the Warriors will not takehim at No. 7. However, if his fall is drastic and Sullinger is still there atNo. 30, the Warriors would likely take a stab at him. But he doesnt figure tofall that much.

DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

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USATSI

DeRozan fined by NBA for comments made after Raptors' loss to Warriors

Following Toronto's 127-125 loss to the Warriors on Saturday night, Raptors shooting guard DeMar DeRozan wasn't happy.

His team had almost erased a 27-point deficit and he felt like the officials were helping the Warriors.

"It's frustrating being out there feeling like you're playing 5-on-8. Some of those calls were terrible, period," DeRozan told reporters after the game.

As you might imagine, the NBA wasn't thrilled with thoses comments and fined DeRozan $15,000 on Tuesday for public criticism of the officiating.

DeRozan's incident is the latest in a long list of greivances between the players and the officials. The two sides met face-to-face in late December and plan to meet again during All-Star weekend in February to discuss the growing tension.

Warriors tease in first half, then torture Cavs

Warriors tease in first half, then torture Cavs

After all the battles over the past three years, the exchanging of championships and champagne celebrations, the Warriors truly respect the Cavaliers and give honest props to LeBron James for being a great player.

But the Warriors have moved beyond the days of considering the Cavs a legitimate threat to rob them of their goals. That much was evident in the first half of their 118-108 victory Monday night in Cleveland.

“I was a little upset at halftime just because we weren’t guarding anybody,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters at Quicken Loans Arena. “We didn’t play with much intensity.”

The Warriors spent the first quarter lounging about at scrimmage speed. They could’ve wearing robes and smoking pipes. Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry combined for six shots. There wasn’t much sweat at all, yet the offense was effective: 35 points, 56.5-percent shooting and 11 assists on their 13 buckets.

The offense slowed to a crawl in the second quarter, as the Warriors managed only eight field goals while shooting 36.4 percent.

And Warriors defense was a rumor throughout the half, during which Cleveland shot 56.5 percent.

“We kind of let them do whatever they wanted in that first half,” Klay Thompson said.

That’s not the way Cavs big man Kevin Love saw it.

“We played well in the first half,” he summarized.

Fools gold. Cleveland went into the locker room with a seven-point lead, 64-57, in part because a Kevin Durant live-ball turnover in the final seconds resulted in at least a four-point swing.

Once the Warriors actually arrived in the second half, the blowout was on. They poured in 56 points in a little more than 20 minutes, during which time Cleveland managed only 35 points.

“We just started focusing more,” Durant said.

“In the first half, we were just out there,” Draymond Green conceded. “We played with more force in the second half.”

Put another way, the Warriors spent 24 minutes toying around, skipping and shrugging and whistling, before operating on the team they have faced in the last three NBA Finals.

The team widely considered No. 2 in the NBA despite its current 26-17 record.

When the Warriors pulled away for good early in the fourth quarter, Durant and Curry were sitting on the bench, peeking out from beneath hoods. They’d crushed it in the third quarter, combining for 27 points to equal Cleveland’s total for the quarter. Now they were watching Green and Thompson and the Vet Platoon -- Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and David West -- bury the Cavs under a ton of defense.

“Seemed like the rim got smaller and smaller,” James said.

“That group that was out there, they have hung their hats on being a defensive unit and getting stops and that’s what they did the first four minutes,” Curry said. “I don’t think they gave Cleveland any daylight.”

Leading by two entering the fourth quarter, the Warriors needed about six minutes to push it to 10. They were up eight, 105-97, when Curry and Durant returned with 5:29 remaining to deliver the goodnight kiss.

The Warriors well into that stage that most great teams experience. They know that if they do what they’re capable of doing, the competition is irrelevant.

They also are aware that if they are too careless or complacent, they can lose to any team. Five of their nine losses are to teams simply hoping to make the playoffs.

The Cavs aren’t hoping. They’ll be there. The question is will they be there in June.

“I don’t think this game was any indication of what’s going to happen with this team down the line,” Durant said of the Cavs. “They’re going to be much better than what they are right now. And we all know that.”

Durant is right. The Cavs will be better in April than they are in January. Isaiah Thomas, who missed the first 11 weeks before taking the court on Jan. 2, will have shaken off the rust long before the playoffs. James will be in championship-or-bust mode. Whether there is a trade or not, Cleveland’s rotations will be set.

But the Warriors know they’re the better team, able to keep up with the Cavs even while snoozing. When the defending champs decide to work at it, they know Cleveland is helpless, even if it’s not something said in public.