Warriors

Draymond Green returning to Warriors with aching finger, heavy heart

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AP

Draymond Green returning to Warriors with aching finger, heavy heart

SAN FRANCISCO -- With a heavy heart and bandaged left hand, Draymond Green plans to be available to the Warriors when they face the Utah Jazz Monday night at Chase Center.

Speaking after shootaround Monday morning, Green, who missed the last four games with a sprained left index finger, is listed as “probable” but said he is prepared to return despite discomfort that might linger throughout most of the season.

“It’s improved,” he said. “It’s not all the way, 100 percent, but I’ll be waiting until March for a finger to become 100 percent. So, you kind of get it to where you can tolerate it and move forward. It’s now at that point -- you kind of mess up your fingers all year, every year -- but it’s back at that point of a normal light sprain.

“Sometimes it’s going to get hit. Just keep it moving. But I can tolerate it now. I can dribble. I can catch. Solid.”

Green’s return comes as the Warriors are exhibiting clear signs of a team in development, with indications of progress while experiencing growing pains that are hard to watch yet impossible to miss. Keen observer that he is, Draymond took note while sitting out.

“These guys have gotten a chance to play a lot of minutes over the last week and a half,” he said. “That helps. It gives us something to (build on) and it gives me something to come back to. And that will be an adjustment, too, because some guys are more aggressive than they were.

“It’s been a little different style of play, so we’re figuring that out as well. But we’re definitely better and more aggressive and we seem to be understanding the defensive rotations and we’re showing more patience on offense.”

Green’s desire to play also sends a message to the team’s many young players. Some injuries necessitate sitting out, while some aches can be managed.

It was apparent, however, that Draymond was thinking less about himself than about a couple acquaintances, both with associations to his beloved Michigan State.

Charles Rogers, a wide receiver taken No. 2 overall in the 2003 NFL Draft, died at age 38 over the weekend, reportedly after battling cancer and liver disease.

And Cassius Winston, a member of the current Michigan State basketball team, lost his younger brother, Zachary, who was hit by a train over the weekend. Winston played Sunday, no doubt with his brother in mind, delivering 17 points and 11 assists in a 100-47 rout of Binghamton.

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“For Cassius to play yesterday was huge for him,” Green said. “Because it’s two hours that you can kind of think about something else. It sucks. My prayers out to the family.

“My prayers also go out to the Rogers family. Charles Rogers was a legend to me. A lot of people look at Chuck and say, ‘Oh, man, he never became what he wanted to become in the NFL.’ He from Saginaw, Michigan. He was a No. 2 pick. He a legend. He paved the way for a lot of us guys coming out of Saginaw after him to believe that we could make it.

“Once Chuck did it, we all thought we could do it.”

Warriors vs. Bulls live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

Warriors vs. Bulls live stream: How to watch NBA game online, on TV

The last time we saw the Warriors end up in the win column, they were hosting the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 27 with injured star Klay Thompson joining the broadcast as a sideline reporter at Chase Center.

Friday night will see the Warriors once again take the court opposite Zach LaVine and the Bulls, but this time the teams will be at the United Center in Chicago.

In case you forgot, last year’s matchup between these teams in Chicago featured a pretty impressive, record-breaking performance for Klay, as he drilled 14 three-pointers in a blowout win.

While we obviously won’t see Thompson on the floor in tonight’s edition, D’Angelo Russell returned to the court on Wednesday night and will play against the Bulls.

[RELATED: Ask Kerith: Why Warriors' focus is on player development]

Here's how you can watch Friday's Warriors-Bulls game:

When: Friday, Dec. 6 at 5:00 p.m. PT -- pregame coverage begins at 4:00 p.m.
TV Channel: NBC Sports Bay Area
Live Stream: MyTeams App

What Warriors do with their two-way players when held out of practice

What Warriors do with their two-way players when held out of practice

Warriors guards Ky Bowman and Damion Lee are on two-way contracts. By rule, they are allowed to be with Golden State for a maximum of 45 days.

Only games and official practices count against the limit, as travel days are not included.

The Warriors have been so banged up this season the team has had to be strategic with both players in order to squeeze as many games as possible out of them. 

For instance, the Dubs didn't practice in Houston about a month ago to preserve a day. On Thursday, coach Steve Kerr revealed that Bowman simply did not participate with the squad.

"He can't take part in team practice activity. So he can be in the building but he can't be out on the floor watching," Kerr explained Thursday evening on 95.7 The Game. "So what we do is we will have him come to the gym either before or after the team practice -- and we're doing the same thing with Damion Lee -- with one of our developmental coaches and get an individual workout.

"But they can't do the team workout or it costs us one of those 45 days."

The rules are quite strict.

"They have to watch the film separately from the team," Kerr said. "That's why we have individual coaches and developmental coaches assigned to every player."

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Bowman already has used up 28 days -- 23 games plus five practices.

Lee only has played in 11 games (plus one practice), as he hasn't taken the floor since sustaining a non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand on Nov. 11.

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