Warriors-Kings: What to watch for


Warriors-Kings: What to watch for

Warriors coach Mark Jackson is calling Saturdays matchupwith the Kings a big game, which is easy to snicker at. After all, theWarriors are 8-12 and the Kings are just 7-15.
STEINMETZ: Kings "big game" for Warriors
But the Warriors are going for their third consecutive win,which would be a season high. And Jackson believes the Warriors are turning thecorner with this team, saying that he believes they have gone through theirrough stretch.The Warriors are headed toward getting back to .500, Jacksonbelieves, and the game at Sacramento is one important step to getting there.Here are some things to watch for:
Thornton returns: Kings shooting guardMarcus Thornton is back after missing five games because of a strained leftquad. Thornton didnt play in the Kings 93-90 loss at Golden State on Tuesday,but he returned Thursday and scored 20 points in Sacramentos win overPortland.Thornton is an explosive scorer who had a career-high 42points against the Warriors last March in a game at Sacramento. Thorntonsreturn to the lineup Thursday meant rookie Jimmer Fredette earned his firstDNP-CD of his career.Thornton and Tyreke Evans arent the easiest backcourt forMonta Ellis and Stephen Curry to match up against.Bench play: The Warriors bench was mostresponsible for the win over Sacramento on Tuesday. Jackson stuck with hisbench for most of the fourth quarter, subbing only after Ekpe Udoh fouled outand for foul shooting in the last minute.The Warriors substitutes have been a big bright spot thisseason. But the fact of the matter is that the Warriors havent played a ton ofroad games. And if the Warriors are to make any kind of run this season, thebench is going to have to be there at Oracle and away from it.Jackson vs. Smart: Theres no gettingaround the coaching angle in this one. Sacramento coach Keith Smart was thecoach of the Warriors a season ago but wasnt retained despite winning 10more games than in the previous season. At the time, one of the things owner Joe Lacob said was thathe was looking for a coach with more experience than Smart. Instead, Lacobhired Jackson, who had never coached at any level before. Smart ended up getting the Kings job after Paul Westphal wasfired earlier this season. Road woes: The Warriors arent goinganywhere this season unless they figure out how to win on the road. Over thepast three seasons theyve gone 26-97 away from Oracle, and this season theyrejust 2-5. So far, the Warriors have played 13 home games and justseven on the road. In other words, unless the Warriors start winning at abetter rate away from Oakland, their chances of turning around the season arevery slim.

Steve Kerr: #FakeKlay 'perfect metaphor for our conditioning'

Steve Kerr: #FakeKlay 'perfect metaphor for our conditioning'

First, there was #ChinaKlay.

Now, there is #FakeKlay.

In case you missed it, a Klay Thompson lookalike was seated behind the Warriors bench during their season-opening loss to the Rockets on Tuesday. He had the full jersey, the facial hair and the cadence.

A day later, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked about #FakeKlay and he used it as an opportunity to state that he felt his players were out of shape.

"I thought it was a perfect metaphor for our conditioning as a team," Kerr told the media in Oakland. "I turned around and was like 'Klay, did you have a few extra burgers last night? What happened?' That was great. I love that guy."

So Kerr is definitely a fan of #FakeKlay. No word yet if the real Klay has met #FakeKlay. We'll let you know if they do cross paths.

Warriors spend day reviewing Rockets' horror show, focus on one area of concern


Warriors spend day reviewing Rockets' horror show, focus on one area of concern

OAKLAND -- Sidelined with a back strain, Andre Iguodala spent Tuesday night “yelling at the TV more than I normally do” as the Warriors labored through an uneven performance before blowing a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter.

So there was Iguodala, this time with his teammates, sitting before a monitor Wednesday as coach Steve Kerr review the horror show that was a 122-121 loss to the Houston Rockets.

“We only did about a half-hour on the floor, mostly skill work,” Kerr said after the light practice. “Watched a lot of video.

“That game was a weird game because we were shooting the ball well and scoring enough to win. But we never had control of it the way we normally have control of a game, with defense and toughness.”

Though the Warriors were hampered by injuries -- Iguodala being out, while Draymond Green and Omri Casspi were hurt during the game -- beyond their control, there was at least one thing they believe they can fix immediately.

They can avoid some of the fouls, particularly those that are mindless.

That’s the trap Stephen Curry fell into, picking up three fouls in the first four minutes. That he was limited to 30 minutes, and only 18 through the first three quarters, had an impact on the playing rotation and was a factor in the loss.

“The only thing I’m worried about with him is just those little fouls,” Iguodala said. “Because when he’s on the court, no matter if he’s scoring or not, he’s making life easier for everyone else.”

Kerr after the game cited conditioning as an issue and elaborated on the subject Wednesday.

“Conditioning is not just physical. It’s mental, too,” he said. “We were not ready, mentally, to play that game, even when we weren’t tired early in the game.

“There were other lapses, too. After made baskets, transition threes for them we neglected to pick up. That’s not physical conditioning. That’s mental conditioning. That’s where we need to get better. And we will.”

The Warriors will be wounded in more ways than one when they board their flight to New Orleans Thursday morning. They’ll have some achy players, for sure, but they’ll also have a 0-1 record.

“I feel like losses have this huge effect on us that usually benefits us,” Iguodala said.