Rudy Gobert

Warriors coach Steve Kerr 'hopeful' Draymond Green will play vs. Jazz

Warriors coach Steve Kerr 'hopeful' Draymond Green will play vs. Jazz

Draymond Green's presence likely wouldn't have made a difference in the ultimate outcome of the Warriors' loss to the Mavericks on Wednesday, but it's hard to imagine them losing by 48 had he played.

Now, as Golden State heads to Utah for the final game of its road trip, the Dubs have their fingers crossed that Green will be able to play against the Jazz on Friday.

"Hopefully we get Draymond back," coach Steve Kerr said on 95.7 The Game's "Damon, Ratto & Kolsky" show Thursday evening. "We'll see. I talked to him today and he was feeling better, so I'm hopeful that he can play tomorrow."

Green sat out the loss to Dallas with right heel soreness. Whether or not he is able to face the Jazz, Kerr is of the belief that the Warriors will be far more competitive than they were the last time out.

"I think the day off today will help, I think the embarrassment of last night will help, and we'll have a shootaround tomorrow and I think we'll be ready to play," he continued. "I know our guys were embarrassed last night. It was the first time all season where I really felt like we sort of lost our spirit and our energy, so I know we'll have that back tomorrow and I'm looking forward to playing."

[RELATED: Outsider Observations: How seven ex-Warriors are playing]

Utah (9-5) currently is tied for fifth in the Western Conference and boasts the league's best scoring defense. Against Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and Co., the Warriors can use all the help they can get. But at least if Green plays, the won't have to worry about the spirit and energy part.

NBA predictions 2019-20: Steph Curry wins MVP, Lakers reclaim title

NBA predictions 2019-20: Steph Curry wins MVP, Lakers reclaim title

For the first time in five seasons, the NBA finds itself in new territory entering the 2019-20 season. 

No longer are the Warriors prohibitive favorites. League uncertainty, coupled with notable player movement across conferences, makes the upcoming season as unpredictable as it has been in recent years. 

Nevertheless, that doesn't stop one from predicting an uncertain season in the association. To get you ready for opening week, here are your predictions for the upcoming year.  

Defensive Player of the Year - Rudy Gobert

Gobert dominated defensively last season, ranking third in the league in blocks and held teams to just 45.2 percent from the field. Gobert's contribution's helped Utah rank second in the league in defensive efficiency. 

If Gobert were to win, he'd become just the second player to win three straight DPOY awards, joining Dwight Howard.

[RELATED: Draymond not focused on DPOY]

Rookie of the Year - Ja Morant

With Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson out six-to-eight weeks due to meniscus surger, Morant is in the driver's seat for the award. 

Morant -- who averaged 24.5 points, 10 assists and 6.5 rebounds in his sophomore year at Morgan State -- will be featured on a Grizzlies team in transition, having traded away franchise pillars Mike Conley and Marc Gasol in the last year. 

With that in mind, Morant will have ample opportunities to show his ability this season. 

MVP - Stephen Curry

With Kevin Durant gone to Brooklyn, and Klay Thompson not expected back this season, most of the offensive burden will fall on Curry. 

Curry has shown to be worthy to carry the offensive torch. In 2016, Curry had the highest player efficiency rating since 1991, while leading the league in 3-pointers made (402), steals (169), win-shares (17.9) and value over replacement (9.8) while finishing second in usage.

The key to Curry's season will be his health. Over the last two seasons, Curry has missed a combined 44 games due to injury, including 31 during the 2017-18 season. Last season, it was a non-contact groin injury that forced the guard to miss more than two weeks.

[RELATED: MJ claims Steph not a HOFer 'yet']

Most Improved Player - Lonzo Ball

During his first two seasons in the league with the Lakers, Ball struggled through injuries, expectations of Los Angeles, and ongoing litigation centered around his company Big Baller Brand. 

Now, in New Orleans, he is far away from the distractions, and is alongside a healthy young cast featuring Brandon Ingram and Williamson. If Ball can recapture the magic that made him a No. 2 overall pick, the Pelicans could be a fringe playoff team. 

Sixth Man - Lou Williams

At this point, Williams is like Nicki Minaj at the BET Awards in the late 2010s. If he is on the floor, an award is expected to come his way. 

Last season, he won his second straight award (and third overall), averaging 20 points, three rebounds and five assists. In the playoffs, he helped the Clippers push Golden State to six games in their first-round NBA playoff matchup. 

This season, Williams is expected to play starters minutes off the bench, giving yet another opportunity for the veteran the claim an award that should be named after him when its all said and done. 

Coach of the Year - Doc Rivers 

Last season, despite the Clippers trading away Tobias Harris -- the team's leading scorer -- Los Angeles surprisingly won 48 games and nearly eliminated Golden State in the first round. 

Now, with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the roster, Rivers is expected to lead the current roster to a title. 

Rivers has experience coaching stars, having led the 2008 Celtics -- featuring Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen -- to a title, earning COY honors along the way.

Best Record - Milwaukee Bucks

The best way to quiet the noise of Giannis Antetokounmpo's pending free-agency will be to get off to a hot start. 

Milwaukee has the team to do it, with shooters like Kyle Korver, Brook Lopez and Wes Matthews to spread the floor around the Greek Freak. 

Antetokounmpo, months removed from winning his first MVP, should be primed for a run at another award.

[RELATED: Steph 'optimistic' about Warriors in 2019]

NBA Champs - Los Angeles Lakers

With a historic offseason, the Lakers seem to have their most balanced team in years on paper. The tandem of LeBron James and Anthony Davis should help with the bulk of the offensive output. 

The signings of Avery Bradley and Danny Green give Los Angeles top-level defenders, a welcome sign for a team that finished in the middle of the league in defensive rating last season.

But the key will be James, who is entering his 17th season on Tuesday evening. With Golden State no longer a contender, he should push to his first title since 2016.

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!

Kings vs. Jazz watch guide: Projected lineups, injuries, player usage

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AP

Kings vs. Jazz watch guide: Projected lineups, injuries, player usage

The Sacramento Kings get their first look at a revamped Utah Jazz team Monday evening when they travel to Salt Lake City. A 50-win team last season, the Jazz bolstered their roster with Mike Conley and Bojan Bogdanovic during the summer and look primed to jump into the contender conversation.

Sacramento is fresh off a win over the Phoenix Suns and are looking to move to .500 on the preseason. The Kings also made substantial changes in the offseason as they try to snap their 13-year playoff drought.

Tip is set for 6 p.m. PT at Vivint Smart Home Arena, although the game is not available on television.

The Kings return home following the contest to face Melbourne United in their final preseason game Wednesday at Golden 1 Center.

Where to Watch: Game is not televised

Line: Jazz by 4.5

Projected Starting Lineup

Kings

PG De’Aaron Fox
SG Buddy Hield
SF Harrison Barnes
PF Marvin Bagley
C Dewayne Dedmon

Jazz

PG Mike Conley
SG Donovan Mitchell
SF Bojan Bogdanovic
PF Royce O’Neale
C Rudy Gobert

Injury Report

Kings

PG Cory Joseph (calf) OUT, SF Trevor Ariza (lipoma) OUT, C Harry Giles (left knee soreness) OUT, PG Tyler Ulis (groin) OUT, PF Tyler Lydon (hip) OUT, F Hollis Thompson (hip) OUT.

Jazz

PG Danté Exum (right knee rehab) OUT, F Juwan Morgan (left ankle sprain) QUESTIONABLE, PG Emmanuel Mudiay (left hamstring soreness) QUESTIONABLE.

What to Watch

Bagley vs. The Stretch 4

Marvin Bagley’s move into the starting lineup is going to create matchup issues. Sometimes it will be good for the Kings, but other times, he might be a liability, at least until he figures out how to guard stretch fours on a consistent basis. Utah runs a group of sharpshooters at power forward, including Joe Ingles, Bojan Bogdanovic and Jeff Green.

Battle of the Backcourts

It doesn’t get much better than this. De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield are an up and coming duo that play at a breakneck pace. Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell are a perfect mix of veteran savvy and incredible athleticism. A floor general, a slasher, a shooter and an aerial acrobat.