The Warriors have lost four games in a row, including two athome most recently to the New Orleans Hornets and New Jersey Nets. They begin afour-game road trip Sunday in Los Angeles against the Lakers.The Lakers, who are coming off a come-from-behind victoryover the Hornets on Saturday, have beaten the Warriors seven consecutive timesat Staples Center.Here are some things to watch for during Sundays gamebetween the Warriors and Lakers:Make Kobe a volume shooter: Kobe Bryantis the leading scorer in the league, averaging 27.9 points per game, but hesmired in an awful three-game shooting slump.Bryant is just 19-for-70 from the field (27.1 percent) overthat stretch, including going 3-for-21 against the Hornets on Saturday. In thatgame, he headed into the fourth quarter having missed his first 15shots.Bryant ended up making the game-winner against New Orleans,but if the Warriors can continue to make Bryant an inefficient scorer, itincreases their chance of winning the game.Limit second-chance points: The frontlinetandem of Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol has given the Warriors trouble for yearsup front. Warriors power forward David Lee will likely have to defend Gasol anddefending Bynum will likely be the responsibility of rookie Jeremy Tyler atleast to start.If the Warriors hope to stay in this game, theyll needDavid Lee to continue contributing as he has the past few weeks, but theyllalso need production out of Tyler and also backup center MickellGladness.Nobody is expecting the Warriors frontline to win thefrontcourt matchup, but theyve got to hold their own.No surprise stars: The Lakers defeated the Warriors 104-101 on Tuesday in Oakland, but it was a game Golden State had ashot at. One player who really hurt the Warriors that night was substitute MattBarnes, who finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and three assists in just 30minutes.Its difficult enough to beat the Lakers when theirhigh-profile stars are playing well. Its a lot tougher when the Lakers aregetting big play out of their role players.And thats what happened last Tuesday in the Lakers-Warriorsgame with Barnes and to a lesser degree Metta World Peace.Thompsons game: Rookie shooting guardKlay Thompson has scored in double figures 16 consecutive games for theWarriors, which has taken some of the sting out of the Monta Ellis trade.Nows the time for Thompson to become a little bit moreefficient though. He needs a little more consistency in terms of his shootingpercentage and it would also be nice if he could better his assist-to-turnoverratio as the season comes to a close.
After getting a rude “Welcome to the NBA” facial from Rockets guard Eric Gordon in his debut Tuesday night, Warriors rookie Jordan Bell stands to get a more legitimate baptism Friday night in New Orleans.
That’s where Pelicans All-Stars Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins will be waiting, eager to abuse the new guy.
With starting power forward Draymond Green listed as doubtful with a strained left knee -- MRI test results were negative -- Bell can expect significant minutes when the Warriors and Pelicans meet at Smoothie King Center.
Aware Green’s availability is in question, Bell sees what’s ahead in Davis and Cousins, as they both possess skills that rank among the top five big men.
“I’m definitely excited about that,” Bell said Wednesday. “(They are) some of the best bigs in the league, so I’m definitely excited to get tested against that.”
Warriors coach Steve Kerr generally avoids tinkering with his set rotations, in which case David West and JaVale McGee would continue to come off the bench at center. Of the other “bigs” on the roster, Bell is most likely to start if Green is unable.
Bell played 12 minutes in the opener, and they were in slots that typically go to McGee, who never left the bench against Houston. Citing the matchups created by the Rockets’ smallish lineups, Kerr opted for the 6-foot-8, 225-pound Bell over the 7-foot, 270-pound McGee.
That will change Friday, regardless of Green’s status, as both Bell and McGee will be needed against Davis and Cousins, both of whom possess wing spans over 7 feet. Only Bell is suited to play power forward or center, and the staff is coaching him at both positions.
“At the 4, I have to be more of a facilitator, like (Green) is,” Bell said. “Some plays (Kerr) has me doing the same things Draymond does. Sometimes he has me bring the ball up in practice. Calling plays, putting me in positions on the elbows to make the right pass, make the right read.
“When I’m at the 5, I have to be more of an aggressor, a more physical guy on the court, focusing on rebounding and finishing around the rim.”
It’s exceedingly rare for a second-round draft pick to start a game in his first week as an NBA player. The Warriors believe Bell can handle it. So in the case of Green being held out, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the rookie’s name is called.
The Golden State Warriors and Dubnation have been holding their breath a bit awaiting the results of Draymond Green's MRI.
They can breathe a little better now.
According to ESPN, the forward underwent an MRI on his left knee and results came back negative.
Golden State forward Draymond Green underwent an MRI on his left knee and results came back negative, league sources told ESPN.— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) October 19, 2017
Green left Tuesday's game against the Rockets one point shy of a triple double after 28 minutes of work.
The Warriors were left in a defensive deficit in his absence and ultimatley lost to the Rockets 122-121.
More to come...