Warriors

Warriors focus: Kent Bazemore

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Warriors focus: Kent Bazemore

Editor's note: This is the second of seven individual player analysis, focusing on new Warriors' faces.

The Warriors have made plenty of changes since the end ofthe 2011-12 season. They will likely have four first-year players on their rostercome the start of the season, and they also acquired veterans Jarrett Jack andCarl Landry.Center Andrew Bogut came to the Warriors in March, but hesa newcomer, too, if you factor in that he still hasnt played a game for theteam yet. With training camp set to begin in early October, lets begin ourplayer-by-player analysis of the Warriors new players.Kent Bazemore, 6-foot-5, 195 pounds, shootingguard.Whats most important to know about Bazemore -- at thispoint, anyway -- is that hes currently occupying the 15th roster spot, which isthe maximum number allowed in the NBA.Whats also very pertinent is that his contract isntguaranteed. That means that while the Warriors like Bazemore, there are noassurances hell be around for the whole season.Yes, theres a scenario in which Bazemore could spend theentire 2012-13 with the Warriors or their D-League affiliate, which is prettymuch what Chris Wright did last season.But Bazemore is also a candidate to be waived at any time --which is the nature of a non-guarantee.What Bazemore has going for him is that he has the potentialto be the teams best defender on point guards and shooting guards. That alonecould make him worth keeping around.Its not a secret that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, theWarriors projected starting backcourt, do not excel at the defensive end.Jack will help on thatend of the floor, but its not like hes a defensive stopper.Charles Jenkins is certainly improving defensively, butwere still talking about a stocky, 6-foot-3-ish sized player who isntoff-the-charts athletically.Bazemore, a left-hander, is a long 6-foot-5, and hesathletic. On top of that, hes got a defensive foundation, he has goodinstincts and he anticipates well. Bazemore comes into the league afterwinning back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards in the ColonialAthletic Association his junior and senior seasons.Bazemore defended well for the Warriors in the Las VegasSummer League. He also averaged 1.8 blocks per game, including one game inwhich he had seven. Bazemores length sometimes gives smaller playersdifficulty, and in Vegas, he showed an ability to block shots from behind intransition.There were times this summer when Bazemore and Jenkinsplayed together -- with Bazemore defending the point guard and Jenkins theshooting guard.When you look at the Warriors roster -- top to bottom -- youcould see how a player such as Bazemore could stick around. After all, he hasthe ability to do something very important -- defending guards -- better thananyone else on the roster.You can see why the Warriors like that and like Bazemore,too. Then again, the Warriors liked Wright and Jeremy Lin and even DominicMcGuire -- and none of those players are still with the team.Still, Bazemore has a shot with the Warriors. Lets see whathappens.

Bulls forward Bobby Portis suspended multiple games for punching teammate

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USATSI

Bulls forward Bobby Portis suspended multiple games for punching teammate

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls have suspended forward Bobby Portis for the first eight games for injuring teammate Nikola Mirotic during a fight at practice.

Mirotic suffered multiple broken bones in his face as well as a concussion on Tuesday. He will likely need surgery and is out indefinitely.

The team announced the suspension on Wednesday. Chicago opens the season at Toronto on Thursday.

A 2015 first-round pick, Portis has averaged 6.9 points and 5 rebounds. He will be allowed to practice with the team while he is suspended.

Mirotic averaged 10.8 points over his first three seasons with Chicago. A restricted free agent, he signed a two-year contract that could pay as much as $27 million in September. The club holds an option on the second season.

In Warriors' season-opening loss, Young brings swag while burying 3-pointers

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In Warriors' season-opening loss, Young brings swag while burying 3-pointers

OAKLAND -- The Warriors hired Nick Young to bounce off the bench and enter games firing 3-pointers, with the belief that plenty will go through the hoop.

Young in his Warriors debut Tuesday night granted his new team’s best wish.

“Nick was great,” coach Steve Kerr said after a 122-121 loss to the Rockets at Oracle Arena. “I was thrilled with his play. That’s what we brought him here for. Great shooter and he gave us great minutes tonight.”

Young led the Warriors in scoring, pouring 23 points in 26 minutes off the bench. The veteran guard shot 8-of-9 from the floor and, moreover, was 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. The six triples are a record for a Warriors player making his debut.

“It’s a great thing when you’ve got teammates telling you to shoot the ball and having that much confidence in you,” Young said.

The USC product is on his fifth NBA team and hoping for a season of revival, to change the narrative without totally sacrificing his “Swagy P” persona.

Young is 32 years old, in his 10th year and only once since his rookie season in Washington (2007-08) was he on a playoff team. That was in 2011-12 with the Clippers, where he was a late-season acquisition.

His career, up to this point, has been defined mostly by goofy moments on the court and his former relationship with the Australian rap artist Iggy Azalea, the two maintaining a high-profile courtship during most of Young’s four years with the Lakers.

The idea is to change that, to make Young better known for being a key component of a winning team. He’s off to a good start, even if the Warriors failed to gain the win.