Warriors

Eric Paschall, Chase Center vibe positives in crazy Warriors season

Eric Paschall, Chase Center vibe positives in crazy Warriors season

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

This season feels like a boat being tossed on high waves. I’m naming this boat "Sports Fandom," and it’s going on an 82-game journey. After one game, the boat rocks in the direction of amazing! Fun group! What a story! The next game yanks the boat back to accusations of tanking. Who are these guys?! 

I think I’ve seen every tank GIF on Twitter because fans send them to me. Thanks ... you can stop. And I’ve seen the positive reactionary tweets with M-V-Paschall and Rookie of the Year chatter.  

I’d rather traffic in the positive. An opportunity to learn is always beneficial. This little boat is going to ride through some storms, but the journey is what matters. 

There’s a second boat named "Stop Writing In Cliches," with a loud horn signaling me to get on with the mailbag.

Game On!

@kelcatinc This will be your first year reporting on the dubs that they may possibly miss the playoffs...how you holding up?

@HV1443 Does this make your job easier or harder?

I’m holding up fine! I have the same duties every game, win or lose. My job is to tell the stories of the players on the team, and relay observations during the game to the viewers. 

My broadcasting team has the right philosophy, lead by our producer Phil. He’s been on the Warriors beat for about a dozen years, and he wants to make sure there’s no difference in the quality of our broadcast whether we’re covering a 20-win team or a 60-win team. 

Bob Fitzgerald, Jim Barnett, and Tim Roye have been on the job decades. Kelenna Azubuike keeps an even keel from his playing days. Plus, he’s just a chill dude. They all bring the same perspective: Call a compelling game no matter the circumstances.

It’s great being surrounded by professionals who have seen it all. 

The group of reporters who cover the team daily noticed the national media coverage has fallen off. That means the players are not spread thin with interview demands, and we have better chances to get one-on-one time with them for deeper conversations. That’s going to lead to some great stories. I’m certain Warriors fans will enjoy the coverage this season on TV and online.

Via instagram, @goldenstatewarriorsreign: With Eric Paschall’s success, do you think his role will be magnified even further? I see him as a nightly 20 minutes off the bench guy. 

This question came the morning before Paschall erupted for 34 points and 13 rebounds on his 23rd birthday. Paschall has been the Warriors’ best new player to start the season, and if these performances continue, he’ll be one of the best new players in the league, period. 

Paschall’s maturity and years in a strong Villanova program are flowing into extended playing time for the Dubs. He’s learning quickly. He admitted he did not think he would have to do so much, so soon, but that’s the situation and he’s not backing down. 

Right now he’s in a starting role, and that should be the case for a while, even when Draymond Green and Kevon Looney come back. What’s next for Paschall is working his way around double-teams now that defenses know they have to key-in on him to limit his explosive performances. 

@GJohnde What are your thoughts on Willie? #askKerith

Willie is coming along. It’s difficult to have a training camp injury while joining a new team. While other players got their conditioning up and began their understanding of the schemes, he had to sit and watch. 

He has had flashes of exciting play, with some lobs and dunks. The Warriors always demand a strong defensive presence, so more rim protection and rebounding would be helpful.

Willie seems to have the right attitude and I think he’ll find his way to solid nights of contribution. 

@rory_h_r What's the atmosphere in the new stadium? How are fans feeling?

Via instagram, @sasutherland1: What is the vibe of the new stadium and how does it compare to Oracle?

The Blazers’ sideline reporter is a friend of mine and it felt special to hear her call Chase Center “beautiful.” The look of this place could really make it a basketball mecca in the West, especially when the product on the court is championship level. They’ll get there. 

The atmosphere so far is loud and engaged. The home fans most recently saw the games against the Hornets (tight game until some last-minute mistakes) and Blazers (big win over one of the best backcourts in the NBA) and they came through with high energy. It’s loud at Chase Center when the fans are in a frenzy. 

Warriors Insider Monte Poole and I were talking about how fans understand this year will be different, and they’re behind their team with encouragement. It reminds him of the old, less-prosperous seasons at Oracle where fans appreciate the game and want to build up the guys with love. 

@Dugstreet Where is your favorite place to eat at Chase Center so far? I haven’t been there yet, but would like to know the yummiest food? Thank you Kerith.

I like the chicken sandwiches at Bakesale Betty, and Tacolicious is a favorite of mine, at Chase or around town. I mostly eat in the media room where I can grab a salad. There’s also a frozen yogurt machine and I’m starting a pre-game routine where I eat a small bowl of froyo with oreo topping.   

Click right here for a list of the Chase Center food options. Lots of yummy choices!

Via instagram, @mass.of.one: Are the Warriors the first team to pass out T-shirts to the crowd for playoff games? I don’t remember any teams that did that before the We Believe playoffs. 

I needed Warriors' PR man Ray Ridder’s help to answer this question and he believes the "We Believe" playoffs were the first time a team created T-shirts for the crowd. He’s not 100% certain, but he’s pretty sure, and if you know Ray’s ability to recall things, he’s usually right. 

Via instagram, @spindrome: Where are you going for your next big vacay? 

My next holiday will be All-Star Break. My husband and I like to get away to a beach when we have time together. We’re thinking Hawaii. 

High Five

This week’s high five goes to Sister Regena @sistahbabygirl for some perspective. 

Her Twitter bio says she’s a Dominican Sister of Mission San Jose and Andre Iguodala’s number one fan. I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing her and she’s a real one.

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

Warriors execs scout top 2020 NBA draft prospect James Wiseman up close

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USATSI

Warriors execs scout top 2020 NBA draft prospect James Wiseman up close

The Warriors likely will pick much higher than they've gotten used to in June's NBA draft. 

Golden State is a league-worst 2-9 this season, appearing like a lock to keep the top-20 protected 2020 first-round pick the Warriors sent to the Brooklyn Nets as part of the Kevin Durant sign-and-trade. The Warriors would have no shortage of options if they picked at -- or around -- the top of the draft, and their front office got an in-person glimpse at Memphis center James Wiseman on Tuesday night, according to The Athletic's John Hollinger. 

Wiseman, plagued by foul trouble early, finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds as Memphis lost to Oregon on Tuesday night.

Wiseman will be one of, if not the best player available in the draft. The 7-foot freshman center averaged 22.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks per game entering Tuesday's game, and the 18-year-old has the upside to develop into something the Warriors have not had in the Steve Kerr era: A truly dominant big man.

[RELATED: Warriors' injury report still growing through trying season]

How much more Wiseman will play this season remains to be seen. The NCAA ruled Wiseman ineligible for taking $11,500 from current Memphis coach Penny Hardaway in order to help Wiseman's family move when he transferred to play for Memphis East, the high school Hardaway was coaching at the time. A Shelby County, Tenn. judge placed an immediate temporary restraining order on the college athletics governing body shortly after the NCAA's ruling. Plus, as SB Nation's Ricky O'Donnell noted, Memphis has not ruled Wiseman ineligible and the Tigers plan to continue playing him. 

Myers' presence at the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, as well as that of Harris and Dunleavy, suggests the Warriors are taking their new reality very seriously. Golden State will need the lottery balls to bounce its way, too, in order to select Wiseman, but the Warriors should have done their due diligence by then, at least. 

Warriors continue to ache from most detrimental injury list in NBA

Warriors continue to ache from most detrimental injury list in NBA

SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors left for Los Angeles on Tuesday shortly after posting an injury report that is the longest and surely the most roster-altering in the NBA. It runs seven deep and includes three starters, two of them All-Stars in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.

Asked if he’d ever seen anything like it, coach Steve Kerr replied with a single word.

“No,” he said. “I’m not going to expound it either.”

Six weeks removed from training camp, only four players – Ky Bowman, Marquese Chriss, Jordan Poole and Glenn Robinson III – have escaped the trainer’s room.

With five games over an eight-day span beginning Wednesday against the Lakers in LA, here is an alphabetical status update on each player:

Steph Curry

The two-time MVP and franchise focal point for the past seven seasons sustained a broken left hand on Oct. 30 and underwent hand surgery on Nov. 1, after which the Warriors announced he will be re-evaluated in three months. When Curry addressed the media on Monday, he was wearing a heavy protective sleeve that runs from his left hand to his forearm. He also disclosed that he will undergo a second operation in December to remove pins inserted in the original procedure.

Curry also was firm in announcing his intention to return sometime this season.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. Obviously not before February.

Jacob Evans III 

The 6-foot-4 guard in his second season, who was expected to be in the team’s rotation, has missed the last eight games with a left adductor strain.

“Jacob, from what I heard (Monday) talking with him directly and our training staff, is still at least a couple weeks away,” Kerr said.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. It likely will be at least a month before he returns, so around mid-December.

Kevon Looney

The 6-foot-9 center-forward, scheduled to be at least a part-time starter, has not played since opening night, after which he was diagnosed with neuropathy, a condition related to the nervous system. It’s treatable but not necessarily curable. The effects of his condition might be permanent.

“He’s working out every day, getting some good work in,” Kerr said.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. The Warriors would be delighted if he returns next month. Looney might always have some level of restriction.

Damion Lee

The two-way guard, in his second season in that role with the Warriors, was diagnosed Tuesday with a non-displaced fracture of the fourth metacarpal in his right hand. He is one of four players that played in each of the team's first 10 games.

“We’re hoping it’s just a few weeks,” Kerr said Tuesday.

Timeline for clearance: Undetermined. Barring complications, the second week of December is a reasonable expectation.

Alen Smailagic 

The 19-year-old forward, drafted in the second round, sustained a right ankle sprain on the first day of training camp. He wore a boot for several weeks, but now is rehabbing.

“Smailagic told me he dunked today, which is a good sign,” Kerr said. “He was excited about that, so his ankle is improving.”

Timeline for clearance: He could be cleared for contact over the next 10 days and conceivably be available late during the Nov. 17-22 road trip.

Omari Spellman 

The versatile forward/center was playing well, particularly on offense, before spraining his left ankle last Saturday at Oklahoma City. He did not play Monday night and did not practice Tuesday. So, according to Kerr, Spellman is doubtful to play on Wednesday.

Timeline for clearance: Probably Friday against the Celtics. If not, he’ll go on the four-game road trip that begins Sunday at New Orleans.

[RELATED: Kerr explains Draymond's 'really bizarre' reality on Dubs]

Klay Thompson 

The five-time All-Star sustained a torn left ACL in Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals and underwent surgery on July 1. He is rehabilitating and occasionally engaging in light one-on-one shooting sessions.

Timeline for clearance: He’s expected to miss at least another four months. There is optimism he could return in March. It’s typical for a player to sit out at least eight months – or as much as a year – after such surgery.