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


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.

Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut


Casspi defends his spot on Warriors, explains why he's not worried about being cut

OAKLAND -- Like much of the NBA and everyone with an interest in the Warriors, Omri Casspi has watched the emergence of Quinn Cook, who came out of the G-League and is making a strong bid to make the postseason roster.

Casspi, out since spraining his right ankle last Friday against Sacramento, happens to be at or near the top of the list of the tiny group of players that might be dropped should the Warriors decide to add Cook.

The 6-foot-9 veteran forward has heard the chatter.

“First of all, it’s you guys talking,” Casspi said, referring to media. “I don’t really feel it from the organization. At the end of the day, I’m focused on getting healthy and playing. That’s all I can control.

“I feel like the team needs me and know what I can do for the team. My focus is on getting healthy and playing.”

The Warriors have until April 11 to submit their playoff roster.

Casspi’s roster spot is in danger for three reasons.

One, he has lost confidence in his long-distance shooting, which was influential in the team’s decision to sign him to a one-year minimum contract last July.

Two, his defense has been a glaring weakness, with teams attacking him at every opportunity.

Three, he had fallen out of the rotation when the team was fully healthy and didn’t return until after succession of injuries. Casspi exceeded 10 minutes of playing time in only one of the 12 games before injuries to several teammates became a factor.

Stephen Curry’s ankle woes this season, along with Cook’s impressive play, are making a persuasive argument for adding the third-year point guard.

For now, Casspi is determined to get back on court after missing the last two games.

“With my role on this team, when I’m healthy I want to go out there and play, maybe not 100 percent healthy, but close to it,” he said. “That’s what I’m focused on, on feeling good and running up and down and being able to cut and move and be out there again with the guys.”

As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay


As Warriors inch closer to full health, Kerr provides update on Durant, Klay

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson all worked up sweat Wednesday, putting the Warriors ever closer to being whole again.

Only Draymond Green did not full participate in the non-contact practice session, but he’s expected back in a matter of days.

So while the Warriors are a little more than a week away from possibly having the full squad available, they’re starting to feel a little less vulnerable.

“They’re all kind of day-to-day,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Steph is closer to playing than KD and Klay.”

Curry has not played since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle. He missed the last six games. Durant (rib cartilage injury) and Thompson (right thumb sprain) sustained their injuries on March 11 at Minnesota, though Durant played one more game, March 14, before receiving a diagnosis. Durant missed the last three games, Thompson the last four.

Green sustained a pelvic contusion Monday night at San Antonio, but believes he will be available this weekend, either Friday against Atlanta or Sunday against Utah.

Curry, though, is fully cleared for all activities.

“Steph looks great,” Kerr said. “He’s chomping at the bit. But we’ll see how he responds in the next couple days before we decide whether he plays or not.”

Durant loathes acknowledging pain or injuries, and his return will be dictated by his ability with withstanding the contact inevitable in the course of a game.

“I don’t expect KD to play this week,” Kerr said. “It’s not like a timetable . . . just sort of a feel thing. It’s symptomatic with him.”

Thompson seems, at this point, the furthest away from full activity.

“Klay did some stuff," Kerr said, “but not full participation.”