Warriors

Draymond Green roasted by Cris Carter after Warriors' loss to Clippers

Draymond Green roasted by Cris Carter after Warriors' loss to Clippers

Draymond Green summed up the Warriors’ opening night loss succinctly in his postgame press conference Thursday night, and in a way only Draymond can.

“We f--king sucked.”

Colorful language aside, the Warriors were thrashed from the opening tip, losing to a stacked Clippers squad 141-122 in the inaugural Chase Center game. 

It was a team loss through and through.

But if you ask Fox Sports 1 analyst Cris Carter, the Warriors’ do-it-all forward needs to shoulder more of the blame.

“Draymond Green shouldn’t say, ‘We sucked,” Carter said during a Friday morning episode of “First Things First.”

“He needs to look in the mirror. Draymond Green was awful.”

Draymond certainly had a night to forget, as his minus-35 was the worst mark of his career. He finished with 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting in 28 minutes, but also injured his elbow early in the first quarter and played through the pain with a heavy bandage on his arm

Green wasn’t wreaking havoc on defense like he normally does, but the Dubs’ two dynamic scorers, Steph Curry and D’Angelo Russell, weren't at their best either. They combined to shoot an inefficient 14-of-36 from the field, which included Curry shooting just 2-for-11 on 3-pointers. The Warriors’ starting center, Kevon Looney, only played 10 minutes after experiencing hamstring tightness and their other center, Willie Cauley-Stein, remains sidelined with a midfoot sprain.

[RELATED: Warriors' new normal will be tough pill for fans to swallow]

So yes, Draymond wasn’t great. But neither was Curry, Russell, or any of the Warriors’ core. The Clippers are championship contenders and played like it. The Warriors still are figuring out their identity after an offseason of change.

The Warriors and Draymond will have better days. But to put the loss all on one player? That’s just ridiculous. 

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Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Golden State two-way guard Ky Bowman made his G League debut Friday night in Santa Cruz.

He dominated the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario:

The Boston College product could have scored 40 points if he really wanted to, but he picked his spots and made sure his teammates were getting good looks.

After shootaround in Utah on Friday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked what Bowman can work on while he's with the Sea Dubs.

"He's got a really aggressive mindset -- which I like -- but there are still circumstances and situations where he needs to think more pass," Kerr said. "And more strategic, rather than just score, score, score."

Bowman clearly listened to the eight-time NBA champion.

[RELATEDWhy Dubs might be very active before, after trade deadline]

Also, "Sky Bowman" was on full display:

The 22-year-old will be back in action Sunday afternoon as Santa Cruz faces the Northern Arizona Suns. Watch the action at 2:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

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Warriors' Marquese Chriss playing his way into starting opportunity

Warriors' Marquese Chriss playing his way into starting opportunity

Warriors coach Steve Kerr, like all his NBA peers, does not follow strict rules of meritocracy when deciding upon starting lineups. He has to consider roles, balance, spacing and general team chemistry.

So Kerr has to peep beyond the best man, position-by-position, and examine his bench and how it might come together as a unit.

Which is why it’s not so simple for Kerr to make what appears to be the obvious change at center, replacing Willie Cauley-Stein with Marquese Chriss -- even as Chriss is doing all he can to earn a promotion.

If this were a meritocracy alone, yes, Chriss would start. He is outperforming Cauley-Stein in almost every way -- better numbers, higher impact, more positive and productive energy.

Yet Cauley-Stein, who spent four seasons in Sacramento, remains the starter. That was the plan when Willie signed in July. He would slide into the starting vacancy created by the departure of former Kings teammate DeMarcus Cousins.

A sprained foot kept Cauley-Stein on the sideline the entire preseason and the first three games of the regular season. He came off the bench in his Warriors debut, Oct. 30 against the Suns, but has since made 23 consecutive starts. At an even 7-feet, Cauley-Stein has the physical dimensions required to play center. Though not a classic rim protector, he runs the floor well and poses a lob threat.

The Warriors didn’t add Chriss until September on the eve of training camp, and even then it was to a non-guaranteed contract. With Kevon Looney and Cauley-Stein sidelined, they needed big bodies for scrimmaging purposes. Remember the brief stay of Kavion Pippen? Scottie’s nephew? There was a desperation that might linger until Willie was ready.

Well, Willie is back and healthy. Looney returned last week. Pippen is gone. Omari Spellman, who absorbed minutes at center during the first few weeks, has moved mostly to power forward. Chriss, at 6-9, 240 pounds, has been the team’s most assertive and effective center.

Chriss submitted a strong performance Wednesday -- 12 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks, two assists in 24 minutes -- in a loss to the New York Knicks. He followed that with 12 points, 13 rebounds, five assists and two blocks in 23 minutes Friday night in a 114-106 road loss to the Utah Jazz.

“Marquese was fantastic,” Kerr told reporters in Salt Lake City on Friday. “He played a tremendous game. He was all over boards, he had a couple blocked shots, he ran the floor.”

Kerr barely skipped a beat before navigating an issue with an increasingly high profile.

“I also thought Willie made some big plays for us down the stretch defensively,” he added, “protecting the rim. Those guys were really good.

“And it was good to have Loon back, playing his solid minutes for us. Just having that size and that experience.”

In so liberally spreading praise, the coach was being careful not to show favoritism or slight anyone. And, in truth, Cauley-Stein made a difference, blocking three shots.

Willie was scoreless Friday night, going 0-of-4, missing layups and dunks. In addition to the blocks, he had five rebounds and two steals. He had seven points, five rebounds and three blocks Wednesday.

Cauley-Stein’s combined numbers, over 45 minutes, for the last two games: Seven points, 10 rebounds, six blocks, two steals and one assist.

But here is where Kerr should feel at least a modicum of pressure. Chriss’ minutes often parallel those of Spellman and, together, they give the Warriors a detectable bump in energy. Starting Chriss means playing Spellman with Cauley-Stein and, frankly, that’s likely to bring its own challenges.

[RELATED: Warriors believe they're improving despite dismal record]

Though making the change seems an obvious move to make -- and I’m told Kerr is considering it -- all sides of the issue must be scrutinized. That is happening. It is an ongoing process. And merit does matter.

If it were the only factor, Kerr would be without reasons to keep Chriss out of the starting lineup.