Kerith Burke

How do Warriors' current injury woes compare to other teams, seasons?

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NBC Sports Bay Area

How do Warriors' current injury woes compare to other teams, seasons?

Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, will take you inside the Dubs as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #askKerith.

Tip-Off

Hello everyone! The longest road trip left on the schedule comes next week, after the Warriors face the Pacers tonight. It’s an East Coast swing that will cover Philadelphia Boston, Cleveland, Washington and Brooklyn. After that, three games left until the All-Star Break.

Don’t forget, an update about Steph Curry will come on Feb 1. And we’ll learn more about Klay Thompson’s rehab around the All-Star Break. 

Game On!

@bakumshakum The injuries this year seem so severe. How out of the ordinary is what the Warriors are going through? A lot? Not at all?

Injuries bite every team, but the severity differs in terms of players affected, and how serious the injuries are. 

The Warriors have played 46 games. As of this morning, consider how many games the core Warriors from last season have missed:

Thompson: 46 (ACL rehab)
Curry: 42 (broken hand)
Draymond Green: 13 (heel soreness, finger sprain, rolled ankle, illness, rest)
Kevon Looney: 35 (neuropathy, abdominal soreness)

Other players who have missed at least 10 games are:

D’Angelo Russell: 18 (thumb sprain, ankle sprain, shoulder contusion)
Jacob Evans: 24 (adductor strain, concussion)
Damion Lee: 14 (broken hand)

In total, Warriors players have missed 228 games due to injuries.

This a random comparison but this is what I could find deep in my inbox from last season ... The game notes for Game 3 of the playoff series with the Rockets indicate the Warriors had a total of 181 games missed due to injury. To be at 228 today is eye-popping. 

@CrazyBeauti_Ful Do coaches get time off too? #askKerith

This summer they will. When the Warriors play deep into the playoffs, that flows into the draft, then Summer League. Before they know it, training camp is here. 

This season has a different flavor. The off-season will be longer with no playoffs. 

Coaches also get the All-Star break off. This is the time of year when everyone starts asking, “What are you doing for All-Star?” Plans range from staying at home to catch up on life, or getaways to San Diego, Mexico or Hawaii. 

@AnneHarr13 After half a season of games, do you think Chase Center is beginning to feel like "home" to the players and staff? And how is your workstation location working out?

I think so. It’s a big change even though the arenas are only about 16 miles apart. There’s a bridge to cross to different sides of the Bay. There’s a culture change.

The routine is new for players and coaches. They had to discover the quickest routes to work in San Francisco in unfamiliar traffic patterns. Then they had to familiarize themselves with the building. That means new routines. 

For example, the new locker room has a short flight of stairs to climb before players reach the hallway to jog out to the court. At Oracle, they sprinted from their locker-room door to the arena floor without interruption. There’s no tunnel shot for Steph anymore. 

It takes time. Fans are getting used to the new digs, too. I like to ask visiting sideline reporters what they think of Chase Center. They say it’s beautiful and the newness shines. 

My workstation is nicer at Chase Center. I’m in the Warriors' tunnel, uncovered by bleacher seats. Peanut shells no longer fall on my head. 

@JeffFedorko With Jordan Poole playing good basketball, does it take some of the pressure off the team to make a move to get Bowman on the team and off his two-way deal?

Jordan playing well helps during games, but there’s not the same urgency to make a deal for Ky Bowman as there was for Damion Lee. 

Damion isn’t a rookie, and he paid his dues with the Dubs. He has been patient and a good scorer and rebounder for the team. Bowman is also good for the team as an electric player, but Golden State owns his rights and he can be stashed in the G League for now. The Warriors don’t have any roster spots open, plus they’re hard-capped. 

The Warriors want Bowman around, but his situation with the big club is on pause for now.

@imthatchick1870 Any time limit on when Smiley will return? He’s fun to watch!

The ideal place for Alen Smailagic is the G League, which was the plan all along. Injuries for the big club opened opportunities for Smiley to play. He did well. But Smiley admitted, “I don’t know what I’m doing on the court,” and as charming as that was, it’s true. He plays hard, but a slower environment that matches his level is a better place for him at the moment. 

He’s 19 years old. He was limited at the beginning of the season with an ankle injury. The Warriors can give him plenty of space to grow. He’ll have some brief stints with the Dubs because it’s helpful for him to be around the players, coache and trainers, but expect him to spend most of his time in Santa Cruz until the G League season is over in March.

@ichiro998 Do you wish that Seattle had an NBA team?

Yes, I do. Hearing Clay Bennett's name makes me scowl. While we’re at it, how about a team back in Vancouver, too? 

@The_Regend Which NBA road arena is your favorite? #AskKerith

I’m mad about how Oklahoma City got its team, but the game experience there is positive. The arena workers are markedly different. They’re helpful! They’re polite! This feeling is more about the people than the arena itself, but I like OKC.

I like Toronto, Utah, Boston and New York as well. 

@loganmmurdock Which arena has the best cookies in the league?

Sacramento by far. Do you see these salt flakes? 

@erikquenzer Red Doritos or Blue Doritos?

Red! I like my chips with 100 ingredients and my fingers dusty. 

@notjustinkaiser How was Pullman? #AskKerith

Amazing! Klay Thompson was in his element during his trip back to his alma mater for his jersey retirement ceremony. It was my first time back at school, too, in more than a decade. If you missed the coverage, check it out here

High Five:

This week’s high five goes to Warriors fan Darin, who made me laugh with this question:

@darinbunch Can we do something about the Warriors’ headband and ponytail issue? As a fan with a smallish TV and questionable vision, it’s getting tougher and tougher for me to identify D-Lo, D-Lee and J-Poole #AskKerith

I noticed this headband trio awhile back and asked the people for a nickname for this sweat-banded group. I’d like to thank my mother (my MOTHER!) for coming up with “The Schweddy Ballers.” It’s a play on a classic "Saturday Night Live" sketch you can see here

Hi mom, I love you. 

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage all season.

Klay Thompson 'winged' his Washington State jersey retirement speech

Klay Thompson 'winged' his Washington State jersey retirement speech

PULLMAN, Wash. -- When Klay Thompson took the microphone for his jersey retirement ceremony at Washington State University, he spoke from the heart. No notecards, no wrinkled piece of paper. Just a smile on his face and the confident words of a man at ease, at home in Pullman.

“Hopefully I’m with the Warriors for the rest of my career, “ Klay exclaimed to a crowd of 10,380 at Beasley Coliseum, the largest crowd for a basketball game in the state of Washington since Klay’s junior year in 2011. “But I will always be a Coug.”

Klay got choked up twice -- when he mentioned his grandpa Jerry, who watched his games “sitting 12 rows up” until his death in 2017, and when he hugged his mother, Julie, after his No. 1 rose to the rafters. 

He’s a natural at public speaking, despite being reluctant to take the mic or be on camera in ordinary circumstances. 

“I winged it,” Klay said about his speech. “I knew Public Speaking 102 would come in handy.” He paused a beat and added, “I hated that class.”

[RELATED: Klay, Steph had a blast in Pullman]

Check out some of the sights and sounds from Klay’s ceremony.

Will Steph, Klay be on minutes restriction upon return to Warriors?

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NBC Sports Bay Area

Will Steph, Klay be on minutes restriction upon return to Warriors?

Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, will take you inside the Dubs as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #askKerith.

Tip-Off

The Warriors are still looking for their 10th win of the season, as their losing streak has grown to 10 consecutive games. The rest of the month is tough. If the playoffs began today, the next six opponents the Dubs play to wrap up January -- Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics -- would be in the postseason. 

The players and coaches are frustrated, and so are fans. I like hearing from you in the mailbag. The most popular questions this week were about when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson might return. 

Game On!

Via instagram, @thebryannolen, @_habizz.walden_pnw, and @renegadegabe all wondered about Steph and Klay and whether they’d have minutes restrictions when they come back. 

Last week’s mailbag contained the update that Steph will be re-evaluated on Feb. 1 and Klay will be re-evaluated during the All-Star break. 

It was encouraging to see Steph and Klay travel with the team during the last road trip, and video from practice shows Steph shooting with his teammates. He was moving side-to-side with the ball in his hands, putting up 3-pointers with ease.

Keep in mind Steph’s re-evaluation date is still two weeks away. He might need more time to recover. When, or if, Steph comes back (and I think it will be when ... late February/early March is my feeling), he’ll probably be eased in slowly, per usual after long-term injuries. A minutes restriction will keep things manageable as he gets his wind back, while he builds chemistry on the floor with his new teammates. 

Klay spoke to reporters on Tuesday. It was the first time we’ve heard from him since Media Day, months ago. 

“I don’t know what’s going to come this season. I would love to get out there,” Klay said.

I think he’s holding out hope he could possibly play late in the season, while understanding it might not happen -- and that could be for the best.

“I’m trying to make sure this type of injury never happens to me again. So, I’ll be very patient because I want to play at a high level until I’m in my late-30s,” Klay added.

The medical staff needs to clear Klay for contact first, and that’s not happening for several weeks -- more likely months.

[RELATED: Watch Klay shoot at Chase Center

@MrHeavyMetaI What are chances Steph, Klay, D Lo and Green play a game together this season?? #askKerith

Because it’s uncertain Klay will play at all this season, I’ll entertain this question by saying a 2 percent chance. There’s wiggle room, but I feel doubtful. Even if all four of them are available toward the end of the season, one of them a night could be load-managed.

@misha1031 Watching the game (on Tuesday), I worried that we are not grasping how weak this team is on the floor (I’m not underestimating the difficulty of what this team is trying to do) In your opinion, how many seasons will it take to find a real core? One seems optimistic.

The Warriors have a core -- it’s Steph, Klay, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney. Three out of those four have been dealing with long-term injuries. And Draymond is physically and mentally tired. 

There’s a chance D’Angelo Russell will grow into part of the core, but his first year with the team wasn’t what he expected. He deserves space to acclimate to handling a great deal of the scouring output. He’s been slowed by thumb, ankle, and shoulder injuries this season. 

The core is there for next season. Steph and Klay were forced to rest via rehab. Draymond’s obvious frustration this season should ease when he’s alongside the Splash Brothers again. Kevon’s situation of managing his neuropathy is concerning, but until reporters get word that Kevon needs something more than day-to-day management, I choose to be optimistic. 

Barring another season of injuries, the Warriors have their core next year. They also have a collection of young core candidates who have been through the fire this season. Lead by perhaps the best coaching staff in the NBA and an organization with a healthy culture in place, next season should be much better.

@DavidGrisar What is Steve Kerr’s contract status? Did he sign a new deal?

Kerr signed a contract extension in the summer of 2018, and Warriors Insider Monte Poole learned Kerr is expected to coach at least the first two seasons at Chase Center. You can find more details here. 

@TheMattBoyle More likely Steph plays in the Olympics given this will be a less taxing regular season?

For sure. Going from the Finals to the Olympics, for example, would not give Steph a chance to rest and recover. Concerns about recovery kept him out of the 2016 games in Rio. But a deep Warriors playoff run is not the situation this season. Being an Olympian is one honor Steph doesn’t have yet in his career. This summer in Tokyo should change that.

@AnneHarr13 Does the team fly out of SFO now, rather than out of OAK?

Yes. The team practices and plays games in San Francisco, so they fly out of SFO too. 

Via instagram, @mr.blai asks, Where do those boxes of food the players bring to the plane come from? Are they just takeouts from their favorite restaurants? 

There is food everywhere, provided by the team. Those takeout boxes you see contain healthy, catered meals. There’s salad, lean meats, noodles, quinoa, cold cuts, cheeses, smoothies, juices, you name it.

Players will never go hungry. There’s food before take off, on the plane, at practice, and in the locker room pregame and postgame. One of the most popular snacks on hand is the old comfort food, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

High Five

This week’s high five goes to Klay Thompson, who will see his Washington State University number lifted into to the rafters in a jersey retirement ceremony Saturday in Pullman, WA. 

He led the Pac-12 in scoring his junior year before declaring for the draft, and he left the school with the single-season scoring record of 733 points. 

I’ll be in Pullman to cover the ceremony. Stay tuned for interviews, video, and pictures!

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage all season.