OAKLAND -- For a rookie, Klay Thompson got up a lot of shotslast season. Heck, for a veteran Thompson got up a lot of shots.Thompson found himself the recipient of plenty of playingtime and plenty of offensive freedom after the Warriors traded Monta Ellis lastseason to the Milwaukee Bucks.Thompson became the teams starting shooting guard, but evenmore important, he was the starting shooting guard on a team that had been hithard by injuries.So he got to take plenty of shots. Question is will he getas many if everybodys healthy?Warriors coach Mark Jackson thinks he just might.There are certain guys that just get their looks, Jacksonsaid after Thursdays practice. You cant explain it. There are certain guysthat if you just put them out there on the floor and dont run anything forthem theyre still going to get their shot attempts. And there are certain guysthat if you run stuff for them, theyre not going to get their shotattempts.Hes a traditional shooting guard, a knock-down shooter.That ball is going to find him and hes going to be in position where hesgoing to get his shots.Thompson averaged 11 shots per game last season in just24-plus minutes per game. But after Ellis was traded, Thompsons playing timewent up and so did his attempts.Thompson took 20 or more shots seven times in the last fiveweeks of the season, and only in one of those games did he make more than halfof those attempts.Thompson shot 44.3 percent from the field and 41.4 percentfrom 3-point range.But he believes he can be more efficient this season, andthats what hes looking to do most.I definitely see my role changing, Thompson said. Imworking with (the starting unit). I should have a lot more responsibility on myshoulders, which I welcome. I just love my role now and I cant wait to startplaying games and seeing what I can do.Hopefully with my work over the summer, I can be moreefficient. I think Im going to get more open looks because we have more postplayers now and there are so many perimeter scorers.NOTES: Warriors center Andrew Bogut hasbeen increasing his workload, and on Thursday he did a lot of running and drillwork after practice. Bogut is still hoping to play on opening night. RookieDraymond Green was held out of practice again because of left kneeinflammation. Jackson said hes not close to deciding who will win the smallforward job, but its going to go to the player that makes the team better. The Warriors first preseason game is on Sunday against the L.A. Lakers inFresno. ... The Warriors had double sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday and a single practice on Thursday. Jackson is giving the team a day off on Friday.
Kevin Durant figures to have a good chunk of his career ahead of him, but he's already thinking of his next move.
Durant is only 29-years-old, but is already in the midst of his 11th NBA season. For his post-basketball life, the reigning Finals MVP has his sights set on NBA ownership.
Over his last 18 months as a member of the Golden State Warriors, Durant's increasingly yearned to own an NBA team, according to a report from ESPN's Chris Haynes.
"[This] is a genuine goal of his after he retires, to add another African-American in the position of majority ownership," a league source told Haynes under the condition of anonymity.
Currently, Michael Jordan is the only African-American majority owner in the league. Durant said he would also like to see more African-Americans in front office roles.
"[Jordan] was the first big Nike athlete, the biggest star of his time, but if you don't have the trajectory, that path, that journey, it's going to be hard to do what he did," Durant told ESPN. "But you can still affect the NBA and the game of basketball in a different way. You don't have to be an owner.
"I think it should be more guys in the positions of power like general managers and scouts and coaches. Anything that involves the day-to-day operations of these franchises. I think more players and more experienced players should be in those positions."
Durant and his business partner, Rich Kleiman, have met with multiple tech executives and team owners in order to "learn the lay of the land," Haynes wrote.
He's not the only former MVP on the Warriors with ownership aspirations, either. Stephen Curry tweeted last month he wanted in on Sean "Diddy" Combs' prospective bid for the Carolina Panthers, and Curry told ESPN last month he's "really serious" about the opportunity.
The Warriors will have their full squad available Monday when they wrap up their season series with the longtime rival Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.
The teams have met in the last three NBA Finals, with the Warriors winning twice.
The Warriors (35-9) are coming off an impressive back-to-back road sweep, winning at Milwaukee on Friday and at Toronto on Saturday. Their regular starting lineup -- Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Zaza Pachulia and Draymond Green -- will be together for only the fourth time in the last six weeks.
The Cavaliers (26-16) have stumbled lately, losing seven of their last nine. Isaiah Thomas, acquired in the trade that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston in August, made his debut on Jan. 3 and will be playing his fourth game as a member of the Cavaliers.
Warriors by 5.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Kevin Durant vs. LeBron James: The top two forwards, and conceivably the two best players, in the game today. The Warriors are 5-2 against Cleveland since Durant was acquired to offset James. James is No. 3 in scoring (27.1 per game), Durant No. 5 (26.3). Both are efficient scoring machines. James is rebounding better (8.0-7.0), Durant blocking more shots (2.14-1.07). When these two clash, it’s hard to take your eyes off them. Durant asks to defend James and won the battle when the teams met on Christmas Day in Oakland.
Warriors: F Omri Casspi (low back soreness), F Andre Iguodala (hip flexor strain) and G Shaun Livingston (L shin contusion) have been upgraded to available.
Cavaliers: G Derrick Rose (L ankle sprain) and G Iman Shumpert (L knee surgery rehab) are listed as out.
Warriors: 8-2. Cavaliers: 3-7.
Scott Foster (crew chief), Marat Kogut, Eric Lewis
The Warriors won the first of two meetings this season, 99-92, on Christmas Day in Oakland. The teams split two meetings last season. The Warriors have won five of the last seven regular-season meetings and 11 of the last 14. They have won 11 of 18 NBA Finals games played in the last three years.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
THE POINT MEN: Neither Curry nor Thomas played on Christmas Day, so it’ll be intriguing to see them renew a battle that dates back to Thomas’ days in Sacramento. Curry generated dominated the matchup, though Thomas has since made the leap from good to great offensive player. One thing remains, though: Thomas remains among the league’s worst defenders.
INTENSITY LEVELS: Because of the history, the air crackles with fury when these teams meet. That won’t change anytime soon. But the Cavaliers, having beaten the Warriors only once in the last seven meetings, should be particularly fierce. This game means more to Cleveland than it does to the Warriors. Will the Warriors be able to match the intensity they’ll face inside the Q?
THE ARC: The 3-ball almost certainly will be crucial in this game. The Cavs are third in 3-pointers made (513), while the Warriors are fifth at 505. But the Warriors are more accurate, shooting at 38.9 percent to Cleveland’s 37.2. The Warriors are slightly better at defending the arc and, on the other end, can use ball movement to stress the Cavs’ relatively slow defenders.