OAKLAND -- After winning despite a five-deep injury list Wednesday night, the Warriors will be considerably healthier when they take the court Friday night to face the Sacramento Kings.
All-Star Forward Draymond Green will return after a one-game absence to rest his sore right shoulder, and center-forward David West, though listed as probable, also is expected back after missing five games with a cyst on his right arm.
“It’s a big boost,” coach Steve Kerr said after practice Thursday at Oracle Arena. “We’ll just keep adding guys as they come back.”
The list of unavailable Warriors is now reduced to three guards: Stephen Curry, Pat McCaw and Klay Thompson. All three will be reevaluated next week.
The return of Green and West will give the Warriors a fully stocked frontcourt for the first time in two weeks and only the fourth time since mid-January. Center/forward Jordan Bell missed 17 games during that span.
In posting a 117-116 victory over the Lakers Wednesday, the Warriors started Zaza Pachulia at center, with Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney at the forwards. With Green and West out, the team activated Damian Jones and Chris Boucher from G-League Santa Cruz. Both youngsters entered the game in the final minutes.
“Last night was fun for all those young guys to play,” Kerr said. “But we only have so many minutes to go around, so . . . we’ll see what happens.”
Pachulia was making his first start in four weeks, while Looney was making his first this season. Both held up well. Bell tweaked his right ankle, but Kerr indicated the rookie is OK.
Kevin Durant has had a prickly relationship with the media this season.
But if the Warriors superstar thinks this is bad, he should probably scratch the New York Knicks off his free agency list.
The New York media is ruthless, and that's something the two-time NBA Finals MVP may not be able to handle if he joins the Knicks.
ESPN's Michael Wilbon doesn't see Durant fitting in Gotham.
"I think Kevin Durant and New York City are a match made not in heaven," Wilbon said on First Take on Friday morning. "It's OK, Kevin is a fairly thin-skinned guy. You can be that. But do you function best in New York? Look, Kyrie [Irving] grew up in metropolitan New York, he understands the mood, the tenor, the volume. I mean, Kevin, that's not his thing from my observation."
The popular rumor over the last few months has Durant and Irving declining their player options with their respective teams and joining forces on the Knicks.
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In a recent interview with the New York Post, Knicks president Steve Mills sounded pretty confident that his team will have a big offseason.
We tend to agree with Wilbon on this one, though. Based on what we've seen in the last few months, Durant doesn't seem suited for New York. If the Knicks lose games early in his tenure, the media and talk shows will crush him. If he doesn't bring a title to The Big Apple, they won't let him live it down.
Stay right where you are, KD. In more ways than one, you've got it pretty good in the Bay Area.
Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Sunday morning at 11, streaming live on the MyTeams app.
Andrew Bogut had a great game Thursday night in Los Angeles.
Scratch that: Andrew Bogut had a terrific game.
In the Warriors' 132-105 win over the Clippers in Game 3 of their NBA playoff series, the 34-year old recorded eight points, 14 rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block. In 25 minutes, he was plus-24.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 draft was instrumental in getting Kevin Durant off to a hot start:
Bogut led the Dubs with four "screen assists," according to NBA.com.
The 2015 All-Defensive selection also made a signifcant impact on the defensive end:
Klay Thompson was cold to start the game. He missed his first four shots.
[RELATED: Why Iguodala hopes Looney leaves Warriors in free agency]
Bogut helped change that, though, a couple minutes into the second quarter:
After practice Wednesday, coach Steve Kerr said the Warriors are lucky to have Bogut. On Thursday, you saw exactly why.
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