Warriors vs. Thunder watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

dangelousatsi.jpg
USATSI

Warriors vs. Thunder watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

The Warriors will try to atone for their worst performance of the season when they face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 5:10.

The Warriors were atrocious two weeks ago at OKC, falling behind double digits less than four minutes into the game, trailing by 33 at the half and by as much 42 before closing the gap late and settling for a 120-92 loss.

[RELATED: How to watch Warriors vs. Thunder]

Both teams are in the midst of transition. The Warriors (2-7) are relying on an entirely new roster, with two rookies in the starting lineup. The Thunder (3-5) made two megadeals over the summer, resulting in three new faces – Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander – in the starting lineup.

Side note: Referee Marat Kogut, described by Stephen Curry as the “MVP” of a loss at Minnesota in March, is part of the officiating crew. The Warriors have lost the last four games in which he was an official.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F  Glenn Robinson III

F  Eric Paschall

C  Willie Cauley-Stein

G  Jordan Poole

G  D’Angelo Russell

Thunder

F  Terrance Ferguson

F  Danilo Gallinari

C  Steven Adams

G  Shai Gilgeous-Alexander

G  Chris Paul

 

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (left-hand fracture), G Jacob Evans III (left adductor strain), F Draymond Green (left index finger sprain), F Kevon Looney (neuropathy), F Alen Smailagic and G Klay Thompson (right ACL rehab) are listed as out.

Thunder: G Andre Roberson (left knee surgery recovery) is listed as out.

 

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: All 10 available players played at least 12 minutes Friday in an overtime loss at Minnesota on the first night of a back-to-back set. Robinson played 42 minutes and appeared gassed down the stretch. Russell played 40 minutes before fading in overtime. Expect the minutes of both to be reduced to the mid-30s ... C Omari Spellman is a candidate for more minutes. He’s playing well, making an impact at both ends, and might be considered to start against massive Thunder big man Steven Adams . . . Though Poole is struggling with his shot, he has so far remained in the starting lineup. Why? The Warriors anticipate him finding his stroke any day, knowing that when he does, they’ll be much more difficult to defend. With three guards unavailable, only Alec Burks is a candidate to start ahead of him.

Thunder: The four-guard rotation, featuring Dennis Schroder and Hamidou Diallo, along with Gilgeous-Alexander and Paul, has been a strength. Only Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging more than 30 minutes (35.0) per game, and he has been their MVP ... Gallinari, a terrific shooter who struggles to stay healthy, is averaging 29 mpg. The result: 18.9 ppg and 45.5-percent shooting from deep. The Warriors do not have a defensive answer to the challenges he poses . . . The Thunder is holding opponents to 28.7-percent shooting beyond the arc, the third-best mark in the league, and 42.1 percent overall, ranking sixth ... Though OKC’s offensive rebounding has ticked downward, their defensive rebounding remains strong, at 37.1 per game, ranking sixth in the league.

Officials: James Capers (crew chief), Curtis Blair, Marat Kogut.

How Warriors' tough loss did little to change narrative of new reality

How Warriors' tough loss did little to change narrative of new reality

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander walked past Omari Spellman's postgame media availability Sunday with a sly smile on his face, trying to lock eyes with the Warriors' big man.

Gilgeous-Alexander, like the rest of the NBA, has been a victim of Golden State's dominance over the league. Last season, his Clippers were bounced in the first round by the Warriors.

Now, with Kevin Durant gone, Klay Thompson injured, eight new additions to the roster and two blowout losses to start the season, the Warriors are dealing with NBA mortality.

"The reality is we f--king suck right now," forward Draymond Green admitted Sunday after the Warriors' 120-92 loss to the Thunder. "Hopefully we'll get better."

The Warriors' demise Sunday was evident from the start. Through the first four minutes, the Warriors were outscored 15-3, allowing the Thunder to shoot 56 percent in the first half as they took a 70-37 halftime lead. Gilgeous-Alexander added to his recent hot streak by scoring 19 points and adding nine rebounds and four assists, and guard Dennis Schroder scored 16 of his 22 points in the first half.

As the Thunder rolled, the Warriors failed to find any consistency, and even when an offensive set did seem to work, mistakes nullified the effort. Three minutes into the second quarter, Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell passed to a wide-open Spellman underneath the hoop, only for Spellman to bobble the ball and have his shot blocked by Danilo Gallinari, prompting a Thunder fast break.

The Warriors' latest dud comes as they navigate a new world. No longer the prohibitive favorites to win the NBA championship, they have one of the youngest rosters in the league. Of the Warriors' eight summer additions, just three have postseason experience and two are over the age of 26.

Adding to their problems, injuries to center Willie Cauley-Stein (foot), rookie forward Alen Smailagic (ankle), guard Alec Burks (ankle) and center Kevon Looney (hamstring) have crippled Golden State's depth. On Sunday, the young roster failed to get into sets, exacerbating their problems.

"We're just thinking way too much and we're not 'doing,' but most of these guys don't know what to do, and it's just the reality of it," Green admitted. "The amount of experience we have on the floor is very little, and you usually learn how to play with -- you figure this stuff out through playing, but hopefully they're figuring it out because they're playing."

For years, the Warriors' defense was the backbone of their championship runs. In the five years that Steve Kerr has been their coach, they've finished in the top 10 in defensive rating three times and No. 1 once. Now, the Warriors have the league's worst defense, with a 124.3 rating, and they've been outscored by 47 total points in their two games.

"Our defense this year is nonexistent," Green said. "I don't even think we know what defense is right now. The offense sucks because we're playing against a set defense every time."

Added Warriors guard Stephen Curry: "I can't even judge our offense because we're taking the ball out of the basket after every possession. We're giving up free-throw attempts and all that type of stuff. We've been drowning on that side of the floor, so it's really hard to assess what we're doing offensively."

Despite losing Durant in free agency, the Warriors still were expected to compete in the Western Conference, in part because of what they received in return. Hours after Durant announced his intention to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, the Warriors acquired Nets All-Star guard D'Angelo Russell in a sign-and-trade. So far, Russell -- who was ejected in the third quarter Sunday -- has struggled, averaging just 13 points on 34 percent shooting from the field, adding to Golden State's curious play.

"I didn't have this feeling that it would be like this," Green admitted. "I kind of figured s--t wouldn't be the same. I didn't think we'd be getting our ass kicked like this. It's pretty bad."

[RELATED: Fans, NBA Twitter in a panic over Warriors' 0-2 start]

Now, the Warriors' future looks as unclear as their last two performances. Looney's hamstring will require neurologic testing this week, and Smailagic and Cauley-Stein's timetable to return remains a mystery. Still, as he stood at a similar spot that Spellman did roughly 15 minutes earlier, Green exuded confidence while admitting his team's faults.

"It's two games," he said. "It sucks, and I know people are used to seeing us win. I'm for damn sure not used to losing like this, but we're not giving up on anything after two games, nor are we giving up on ourselves.

"We do suck -- I did say that," he added. "That's true, but we're not giving up on ourselves."

Draymond Green admits Warriors 'f---ing suck" after ugly loss to Thunder

Draymond Green admits Warriors 'f---ing suck" after ugly loss to Thunder

The Warriors' slogan the last few years was "Strength in Numbers."

Through two games, Draymond Green appears to be coining the slogan for this season: "We f---ing suck."

Put that on a T-shirt.

After the Warriors lost to the Thunder by 28 points Sunday, Green was asked about trying to motivate his teammates and turning around things.

"You want that and you hope that and you feel that way, but the reality is we're just not capable of doing that right now," Green told the media in Oklahoma City. "I would like to see us play harder. That'll help a little bit.

"The reality is we f---ing suck right now. Hopefully we'll get better. We'll continue working at it and try to get better, but we're just not that good right now.

"I don't know what better way to frame it for you. I can try in Spanish, but I ain't really good at Spanish. That's really the best way I can tell it to you right now."

In previous seasons, when the Warriors fell behind by 10 or 15 points, everyone watching knew they could erase that deficit in a matter of minutes. No lead was safe around those Warriors. But so far this season, once the Warriors get down by 10 or 15, you can sense there's no way they can climb back into the game.

Green was asked if that's a deflating feeling.

"I don't get deflated. It's basketball," Green told reporters. "You want to win, you do all you can to win, but it's basketball. I'm not about to get down in the dumps."

After the Warriors' opening-night loss to the Clippers, Green told the media that the Warriors "f---ing sucked."

[RELATED: Steph given tech, D-Lo ejected]

Until Green, Steph Curry and Steve Kerr figure out how to get the train back on the tracks, that phrase will be a common theme.

The Warriors' next chance to prove themselves comes Monday when they travel to New Orleans to face the Pelicans.

Related content from TMZ Sports

AB retaking condo-trashing deposition during Week 12

Former Dodger Paul Lo Duca sued by MLB umpire

Vallejo native CC Sabathia posts emotional retirement letter

Chris Bosh calls Tyler Herro 'best rookie in the draft'