Warriors

Kerr, Warriors in preliminary stages of planning for Durant's return

Kerr, Warriors in preliminary stages of planning for Durant's return

OAKLAND -- Though Kevin Durant is eager to get back to the court, Warriors coach Steve Kerr and his assistants are in preliminary stages of planning his return.

One thing is certain: There will be restriction on the number of minutes Durant is plays in the first few games after he receives medical clearance.

“It’s something we’ll consult the training staff on,” Kerr said Saturday after practice. “I imagine we’ll ease him back by playing him shorter minutes to start, so he can build up his rhythm and his conditioning.”

Durant has been out since Feb. 28, when he sustained a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) and bone bruise to his left knee. After several days of strict immobilization, he has over the past week progressed to the point where he is engaging in vigorous workouts and shooting sessions.

Yet Durant will not be re-evaluated until next Thursday, which means he likely will not be cleared before the week of April 3. Not until then will the coaching staff devise a plan to reintegrate Durant.

“That obviously has a domino effect on the entire rotation,” Kerr said. “When we get to that point, we’ll figure that out. But it’s not something I’m giving a lot of thought to right now because he’s still at least a couple weeks away.”

The Warriors lost five of seven in the immediate aftermath of Durant’s injury but have recovered to win the last six in a row.

 

Warriors vs. Pistons live stream: How to watch NBA game online on MyTeams

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NBC Sports Bay Area

Warriors vs. Pistons live stream: How to watch NBA game online on MyTeams

After the worst home loss of the Steve Kerr era, the Warriors won't wait long to try to get back in the win column.

Golden State hosts the Detroit Pistons on Sunday, and will give former Warrior Zaza Pachulia his 2018-19 championship ring in his first visit back to Oracle Arena. Pachulia's Pistons are 1-2 on a current five-game road trip, and sit in the thick of a playoff race.

[RELATED: Warriors vs. Pistons watch guide]

Detroit is sixth in the Eastern Conference, but enters Sunday's matchup just 1.5 games up on the eighth-place Miami Heat. The Heat is off on Sunday, and a Pistons loss would cut that gap to just one game.

The Warriors, meanwhile, are 0.5 games back of the Denver Nuggets for the Western Conference's top seed after Saturday's loss to the lottery-bound Dallas Mavericks. The Nuggets are also in action Sunday, and the Warriors will need some help from the Indiana Pacers to regain the first seed.

[RELATED: Why KD thinks lopsided loss to Mavs wasn't 'odd at all']

Here's how you can watch Warriors vs. Pistons on NBC Sports Bay Area and streaming online:

When: Sunday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m. PT (pregame at 4:30 p.m.)
TV channel: NBC Sports Bay Area
Live stream: MyTeams by NBC Sports app

Warriors vs. Pistons watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

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USATSI

Warriors vs. Pistons watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

OAKLAND -- Following Saturday's 126-91 beatdown courtesy of the Dallas Mavericks, the Warriors are set to welcome an old friend as the Pistons come to town Sunday evening. 

Pistons big man, Zaza Pachulia, who was a member of the Warriors' last two championship teams, will receive his ring Sunday. Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4 o'clock with Warriors Outsiders, followed by Warriors Pregame Live at 4:30 and scheduled 5:40 pm tip-off.

[RELATED: How to watch Warriors-Pistons live online on the MyTeams app]

Pachulia, who signed with the Pistons last summer, is a critical piece of the Warriors championship fabric. Signed in 2016, Pachulia was a mainstay in the frontcourt during the 2017 championship run, averaging 6.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.9 assists, starting every game. Last season, with coach Steve Kerr tinkering with lineups mid-season, Pachulia lost his starting spot following the All-Star break and played in just seven postseason games. However, his lasting impact in Golden State will be his professionalism and guidance to the team's young bigs like Jordan Bell and Kevon Looney. 

On Sunday, the Warriors will reward those qualities with his second championship ring.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors


F Kevin Durant 
F Draymond Green
C Andrew Bogut
G Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry

Pistons

F Blake Griffin 
C Andre Drummond
G Reggie Jackson
G Wayne Ellington
G Bruce Brown

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: Kevon Looney (Right Forearm Contusion) is questionable. DeMarcus Cousins (Load Management, Return from Achilles Injury), Andre Iguodala (Rest) and Damian Jones (Left Pectoral Surgery) are out.

Pistons: No injuries to report

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors

After a one-game absence for rest, Curry is back in the lineup. Durant will hope to play better after a 9-of-25 performance Sunday.

With Cousins out, look for Bogut to get the start as Steve Kerr prefers to keep the rotation intact. 

Curry will look to get his shot back on track. In his last game, Thursday's win over Indiana, he made just 5-of-15 from the field. Over his last five games, he's shooting just 42.3 percent. 

Pistons

Detroit, like Golden State, will be playing their second game of a back to back Sunday afternoon. 

Griffin has been fantastic this season, averaging 24.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 5.4 assists, earning his sixth All-Star appearance. 

Joining Griffin on the Pistons imposing frontline is Drummond, who's averaging 15.4 rebounds this season and could provide a headache for the Warriors all night long. 

Officials: Josh Tiven (#58), Tyler Ford (#39), Ray Acosta (#54)