Warriors vs. Suns: What to watch for


Warriors vs. Suns: What to watch for

Programming note: Warriors-Suns coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Stick around after the final buzzer for Warriors Postgame Live!

The Warriors enter the 2012-13 season full of optimism, hope and, yes, concern and worry. Their goal is to make the playoffs, though they havent been as vocal about that as a season ago when coach Mark Jackson and owner Joe Lacob promised as much.The reason for the hope is the return of Stephen Curry and the (late) arrival of center Andrew Bogut. Curry will be in the starting lineup Wednesday night when the Warriors open against the Suns in Phoenix. Bogut, who practiced the past few days, could join Curry.RELATED: Table set for Bogut
Here are some things to watch for during Wednesdays game:Currys conditioningeffectiveness: Fresh off signing a four-year, 44 million contract extension, Curry will start at point guard for the first time since last season.RELATED: Extension for Curry
Curry played only five of eight preseason games as the Warriors took great precaution in protecting his right ankle. Curry hasnt played since Oct. 19, when he sprained the ankle in a game against Portland.Hell match up with Phoenix point guard Goran Dragic on Wednesday night, and Dragic is a quick and athletic point guard. It should be a nice challenge for Curry in his first game back.Bogut or no Bogut: Bogut hasnt played since January, when he fractured his left ankle as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. He is expected to give it a go tonight against Phoenix, but nothing is official at this point.If healthy, Bogut gives the Warriors a dimension they havent had in recent years -- a competent big man who is versatile and can help in different areas. They could really use Bogut on the defensive end. Suns center Marcin Gortat hurt the Warriors in a preseason game a week ago at Oracle Arena.Barnes gets nod: Lets see if there are any first-game jitters for rookie small forward Harrison Barnes, who is getting the start against Phoenix. What the Warriors need most from Barnes is energy and athleticism.Barnes has shown an ability to get to the rim in the preseason and also knock down 3-point shots. Question is: Can he do those things consistently during his rookie season?

Why Steph Curry can never, ever chuck his mouthpiece again

Why Steph Curry can never, ever chuck his mouthpiece again

Stephen Curry knows he asked for this one. Begged for it. Wanted it so bad he not only ripped his mouthpiece out of his face but also wound up and fired it in the direction of a game official.

He has to be, and likely is, pleased that the NBA wanted nothing more than a $50,000 bite out of his newly fortified paycheck.

“It was a dumb thing to do. Stupid,” he said after shootaround Monday morning. “Learn from it and try to move on and be better.”

It was not nearly enough for the league that Curry apologized immediately after the mouthpiece-tossing incident that got him tossed in the fourth quarter of the Warriors’ 111-101 loss to the Grizzlies on Saturday. Apologies don’t carry much weight in these matters and they are entirely weightless when it’s a second offense.

And that’s what this was, as you may recall Curry flinging his mouthpiece late in Game 6 of the 2016 NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. He was tossed from that game, too.

Of more importance, and what Curry has to take away from this is that he can’t afford another offense. Ever. Though he surely can afford it monetarily, it would rob the Warriors of their offensive catalyst.

Throwing a mouthpiece once is a forgivable mistake. Doing it twice is a relapse that some may forgive while others definitely will not. Doing it three or more times falls into the selfish category, even if selfishness is not a characteristic fairly applied to the two-time MVP.

It’s conceivable that no one in the NBA gets pushed and grabbed and knocked around as much, without a whistle, as does Curry. Part of this is on him, for not being better at selling calls. Part of it is on officials who typically use a different standard for him than those usually set for MVP-caliber players.

Through it all, and it has gone on for years, Curry rarely says a peep. He plays on, simmering, but staying on task.

“I think people on the outside automatically think that these guys can control everything and be robots and score 35 and be perfectly composed,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Monday morning. “But they’re all human beings, just like the rest of us. There’s going to be times where you lose your mind. There’s going to be times where you get angry and times where you’re in perfect mental and you’re playing at a high level and everything is under control.

But nobody can keep that level 100 percent of the time.”

Curry’s actions Saturday in Memphis were only partly the result of the officiating. The Warriors were losing, again. Curry was committing silly fouls, again. It was a buildup of unfavorable events and he lost it.

“We were playing terrible,” Curry said Monday morning. “I was frustrated because I was fouling. I thought I got fouled on the last play. The reaction was definitely a little over the top.

“Stuff happens. I’m going to try to continue to be myself and show some fire, but do it in a way that doesn’t take away from the team and misrepresent who I am.”

Curry said Monday that he didn’t bother to review his actions because he knew how unbecoming they were. He also expressed regret about lashing out. There was no need to brace for the fine he knew was coming.

Next time, though it won’t be a fine that will take a fraction of his check. Next time, it’ll be a suspension that will take away a piece of the Warriors.

NBA fines Curry and Iguodala for incident in Memphis


NBA fines Curry and Iguodala for incident in Memphis

Programming note: Warriors-Mavs coverage starts today at 4:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area.

Steph Curry owes the NBA some money.

The two-time MVP was fined $50,000 for throwing his mouthpiece near the end of Saturday night's game in Memphis, the league announced.

He won't be suspended.

Andre Iguodala was fined $15,000 for verbally abusing a game official.

"I want to play tonight. Don't think a suspension is necessary," Curry said following shootaround on Monday. "I'm pretty sure based on the precedent that was set last time I threw my mouthpiece, there'll be a fine.

"The timing is getting a little tight thinking about preparing for tonight, but just gotta wait and see."

Curry was fined $25,000 for throwing his mouthpiece during Game 6 of the 2016 Finals.

He did not need to rewatch the incident from Saturday to know he was in the wrong.

"In the grand scheme of things, it's Game 3, we were playing terrible," Curry explained on Monday. "I was frustrated because I was fouling, I thought I got fouled on the last play and the reaction was definitely a little over the top.

"Stuff happens. Try to continue to be myself, show some fire, but do it in a way that doesn't take away from the team and misrepresent who I am."

Kevin Durant -- who was also ejected from the game -- apparently won't receive any additional punishment.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller