Warriors

Gameday: Conditions exist for Warriors to score 150 points vs Suns

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USATSI

Gameday: Conditions exist for Warriors to score 150 points vs Suns

OAKLAND -- The Warriors will be without Draymond Green when they conclude their pre-All-Star break home schedule Monday night against the struggling Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena.

In a 122-105 win over San Antonio on Saturday, the Warriors (43-13) showed signs of emerging from a stretch of desultory performances. With two games remaining before the break, the goal is to take a four-game victory into the break.

The Suns (18-39) have lost five in a row and 10 of their last 11. They are on pace to post four straight losing seasons for the first time in 30 years. They’ve missed the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons, the longest such streak in the history of the 49-year-old franchise.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 15.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Andre Iguodala & Co. vs. T.J. Warren: Though he toils in the shadow of guard Devin Booker, Warren is himself a threat. He’s averaging 19.7 points per game and shooting 50.5 percent from the field. With Green out, Iguodala is the likely replacement in the starting lineup. Even if coach Steve Kerr decides otherwise, the Warriors will give Warren different defensive looks.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Pat McCaw (L thumb sprain) is listed as questionable. F Draymond Green (L index finger sprain) and F/C Jordan Bell (L ankle inflammation) are listed as out.

Suns: C Tyson Chandler (neck spasms) is listed as probable. G Tyler Ulis (low back discomfort) is listed as questionable. G Devin Booker (L hip pointer), G Brandon Knight (L ACL surgery) and F Alan Williams (R meniscus repair) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 6-4. Suns: 1-9.

GAME OFFICIALS

David Guthrie (crew chief), Mark Ayotte, CJ Washington

SERIES HISTORY

This is the first of four meetings this season between the teams. The Warriors won all four meetings last season, by an average of 14.2 points. They are 11-1 against Phoenix since Steve Kerr took over as coach in 2014-15.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

KLAY CLOSES IN ON JBC: Klay Thompson has 9,962 points and needs 5 more to pass Joe Barry Carroll and move into 10th place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. Thompson is 38 points away from 10,000 career points.

THE SPRINTS: The Warriors play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA, just ahead of the No. 3 Suns. The uptempo pace factors into the fact that both teams average more than 15 turnovers per game. The Warriors, however, are vastly more explosive.

THE 150 POSSIBILITY: Several members of the Warriors believe they can, under the right conditions, score 150 points. Such conditions exist on Monday. The All-Star beckons, the Suns are the worst defensive team in the league, the pace allows for a high amount of possessions and the Warriors’ scorers are healthy.

The Spurs' press release announcing Kawhi Leonard trade omits... lots of stuff

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USATSI

The Spurs' press release announcing Kawhi Leonard trade omits... lots of stuff

On Wednesday morning, the Spurs traded Kawhi Leonard to the Raptors.

Here is what San Antonio's press release said about Leonard:

"Leonard spent his first seven seasons in the NBA with the Spurs, appearing in a total of 407 games and averaging 16.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists."

That's it.

[RATTO: Kawhi Leonard trade widens gap between Warriors and teams chasing them]

You may notice that the Spurs chose not to mention that Leonard:

-was named 2014 NBA Finals MVP
-was All-NBA First Team in 2016 and 2017
-finished 2nd in MVP voting in 2016 and 3rd in 2017
-was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016

In addition, this was the Spurs' tweet thanking Danny Green:

This was the Spurs' tweet "thanking" Kawhi:

The font size is... laugh out loud status.

But ultimately, you can't really blame the Spurs for acting like this.

You can firmly put this in the "bad breakup" category...

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Kawhi Leonard trade widens gap between Warriors and teams chasing them

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AP

Kawhi Leonard trade widens gap between Warriors and teams chasing them

Wouldn’t it be odd if the Golden State Warriors actually became the last “super team” of this generation?
 
Kawhi Leonard, who was ticketed to the Los Angeles LeBrons as a sure thing by NBA fabulists across the nation, has been traded as far from Los Angeles as the NBA allows -- Toronto. And Paul George, the third peg of this super team, decided to stay in Oklahoma City, which is as far from Los Angeles culturally as the NBA can offer.
 
And no, that is not some left-handed swipe at Oklahoma City. If it’s good enough for Paul George, it ought to be good enough for you.
 
The point is, Leonard and Danny Green now are Raptors, at the price of DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 first-round draft pick. And while Leonard still is a rental who might end up in Los Angeles, it's still a sign that super teams don’t just happen at one person’s whim.
 
And it also means that the Warriors, who introduce DeMarcus Cousins on Thursday in one of those weeks-after-the-fact press conferences that never make much sense, remain untroubled by the field.
 
It should be mentioned here that the Warriors, while fitting the rough definition of a super team, were a championship winner before Kevin Durant, and as such gained his love as someone who could dramatically lengthen the title odds for all the other teams in the league. And Cousins is a Warrior to rehabilitate his own career rather than Golden State’s.
 
The notion that James was going to Los Angeles to build a super team of his own was predicated, though, on other great players joining him, and none have. George wouldn’t even talk to the Lakers, and Leonard couldn’t because he didn’t own his employment freedom -- and might not have been interested in any event.
 
In short, the Warriors now are further from their closest pursuers than ever, and the most interesting part of this NBA season will be to see who comes closest to them without actually thinking anything can be done about it.
 
There is an extraordinary level of hubris here, as though the Warriors shall be invulnerable forever. They won’t, of course, for something will separate them eventually, most likely either time or money.
 
But the NBA’s most interesting developments have been at the fringes of the Warriors empire, and the most notable thing is that the super team to challenge them was not built this year, or even approached. The Raptors took a huge gamble with Leonard but one they are willing to undertake. The Rockets got worse. The rest of the West is sort of milling around playoff spots three through eight, with the Lakers making the biggest leap despite getting only one-third of the things on their shopping list.
 
But there is no super team to challenge the super team, and another narrative dies a hideous death. That’s OK, though. The concept of the narrative never is as much fun as the surprise ending anyway. Maybe someone will knock off Golden State this coming season, and the fascination will come not in the planning but the shock value. That’s not the way to bet, mind you, but the NBA arms race has stopped with only one clear winner.
 
At least for awhile. Given that LeBron couldn't make a super team in one summer, maybe for a longer while than we think.