Dirk Nowitzki

Warriors-Mavericks watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

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AP

Warriors-Mavericks watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

 

OAKLAND -- Not content with their work since returning to the Bay Area two weeks ago, the Warriors restart their search for consistency Saturday afternoon when they face the Dallas Mavericks at Oracle Arena.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4:00 p.m. with Warriors Outsiders, followed by Warriors Pregame. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Upon returning from a swing through the Eastern Conference, during which they went 3-2, the defending champs came home Dec. 8 feeling confident they were ready to reel off a string of victories.

In the five games since, they are . . . 3-2, including a blowout home loss to Toronto. That has dropped the Warriors (21-11) into third place in the Western Conference as they open this four-game homestand.

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The Mavericks (15-15) were not expected to be in the playoff race but made themselves relevant by winning 12 of 15 after a 3-8 start to the season. They are reeling again, having lost four in a row, the last three by single digits.

Another reason why Dallas matters is rookie guard/forward Luke Doncic, who along with veteran center DeAndre Jordan, have been the team’s most effective players. Doncic, only 19, has been spectacular and is battling Suns center Deandre Ayton for Rookie of the Year honors.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors
F Kevin Durant
F Draymond Green
C Kevon Looney
G Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry

Mavericks
F Wesley Matthews
F Harrison Barnes
C DeAndre Jordan
G Jaylen Brunson
G Luka Doncic

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: C DeMarcus Cousins (L Achilles’ tendon rehab) and C Damian Jones (L pectoral surgery) are out.

Mavericks: F Maxi Kleber (L big toe sprain) and F Dirk Nowitzki (L ankle soreness) are listed as probable. G/F Ryan Broekhoff (illness) and G Wesley Matthews (R foot soreness) are questionable. G Dennis Smith Jr. (R wrist sprain) is listed as doubtful.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: Thompson continues to struggle with his shot. He was 3-of-12 Wednesday at Utah and is shooting 38.2 percent (including 28.1 percent from deep) over his last five games. Because of his value on defense, his minutes have not been affected. ... Draymond Green spent considerable practice time this week working on his 3-point shot. In five games since returning from a toe injury, he is 1-of-10 from deep and his shooting 18.9 percent this season. ... Keep an eye on ball movement and player activity, as the usual lofty assist totals are down. Thirty assists per game is their measurement of success, but they’ve failed to reach 30 in 17 of their last 20 games. ... They would welcome a comeback game from their bench, which was outscored 39-17 in the five-point loss at Utah.

Mavericks: Doncic is coming off a career-high, 32-point scoring performance on Thursday against the Clippers in Los Angeles. He leads all NBA rookies in scoring, is second in assists and third in rebounds. ... Coach Rick Carlisle adjusted to the absence of Dennis Smith over the last three games by moving Doncic to PG, Matthews from SG to SF and inserting Brunson into the starting lineup. ... Among the keys for the Warriors is keeping Jordan, the league’s No. 2 rebounder at 14.1 per game, off the glass. ... Former Warrior Harrison Barnes is shooting 42.2 percent from deep. ... Dirk Nowitzki missed the first 26 games after off-season ankle surgery and has not played more than eight minutes since returning on Dec. 13. ... They excel in drawing fouls, shooting at least 30 free throws in five consecutive games. ... The bench has scored more than 60 points twice this season. ... The Mavs are tied with the Hawks for the league lead in technical fouls with 34.

Dirk Nowitzki doesn't understand why Kevin Durant responds to stuff on social media

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AP

Dirk Nowitzki doesn't understand why Kevin Durant responds to stuff on social media

Kevin Durant was recently a guest on the "Pull Up with CJ McCollum Podcast."

Part 1 was released last week and Part 2 dropped on Tuesday.

After a brief introduction on Part 1, McCollum wasted no time getting into Durant's social media habits.

"You made the waves recently responding to people on Twitter," McCollum began. "We have to talk about this; I always tell people we are normal human beings -- we got feelings, we got emotions, we go through depression, we go through happy moments, sad moments -- why did you respond?"

For Durant, it's pretty simple -- he enjoys interacting with fans and talking about basketball:

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"Well, I'm always on Instagram -- well not always; I mean, when I have time -- we scroll through the Explore page and through your tagged pictures, I do that ... so I've been seeing this kid just been having these basketball analyses and he has like 50,000 followers so he kind of got a little voice. People actually looking at this stuff.

So you know, there was some comments, obviously I'm gonna disagree about some stuff. And I'm like, 'Yo, bro. You don't know what you're talking about. I understand you love the game, you love different players. Bro, relax. Now you got 50,000 people following you with this garbage.' Exactly what I said.

Obviously, because of me and I play for the Warriors, which everybody hates the Warriors -- I don't think they have anything against me it's just the fact that I play for the Warriors. So when I respond to the kid, it's like I did it in a sensitive manner. But I've seen you respond to a lot of people as well. I've always seen Kobe Bryant respond to people on Twitter as well just reminding them about some stuff ... I could go down the line of players in every sport that do that, but I guess just because it's just me...

I'm just chillin, on the Gram, so I can't be like, 'Nah man, I'm not gonna be who I am.' I've been doing the social media for a minute -- since I first started. That's what it's for. I got tweets in the archive since I first started in the league. It's who I am, that's jus what I do on social media. And it's pretty simple -- when I want to comment I do, if I don't -- probably I don't want to. I think people just blow it out of proportion because it's me."

You may think that it's silly for Durant to engage whatsoever. But it's fun for him and he isn't going to change (it also results in some great content).

Hey Dirk Nowitzki -- do you follow any of the Durant stuff on social media?

“I don’t follow him on Twitter, but obviously it’s tough not to see what’s going on," Dirk said on The Dan Patrick Show on Friday morning. "I just think overall and in general, I don’t know why you would get engaged with fans talking trash.

"I like having fun with it. I get hit up on Twitter every now and then in my mentions. ‘Hey, you’re old, go away. Retire.’ Or something like that. To me, it’s fun. You’re not supposed to be sensitive about it. That’s how I look at it.

"I’m not sure why KD feels the need to respond to some of the stuff, because, I mean, Twitter is just such a place for tough guys and a lot of hate. I take it with a smile on my face. You can’t take yourself too serious on there.”

Wait. Hold on. Dirk doesn't follow Durant on Twitter?

Have a great weekend everybody!

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller