Warriors

Kevin Durant is out here commenting on snake posts on social media again

Kevin Durant is out here commenting on snake posts on social media again

Kevin Durant just can't let storylines die, even if he's poking fun at himself.

When the four-timing scoring champ left the Thunder for the Warriors in 2016, critics hurled insults at him that included "snake" and "cupcake."

On Tuesday, the Warriors forward took a self-deprecating approach to a video posted on Instagram of a snake slittering across a golf course.

"My bad, lemme get out your way," Durant wrote on Barstool Sports' Instagram post.

He also liked the video.

As you can imagine, Durant's comment garnered a lot of reaction.

Instagram user schlepmunsch left this comment: "You comment on this cause you're a snake yourself KD?"

Durant was one of many users that liked the comment.

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

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USATSI

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

HOUSTON -- Amid the drama surrounding the Warriors, there are basketball games to play, and the one on the schedule Thursday is not just any game.

They’ll be facing the Rockets at Toyota Center in what will be rematch of the teams that went seven grueling games in the 2018 Western Conference Finals. Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4 p.m., with tipoff of the TNT telecast at 5:05

Not only are the Warriors (12-3) without Stephen Curry, but they also are working through a crisis involving star forwards Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. With Green being suspended on Tuesday for his actions, this will be the first time the two have shared their court since their high-profile argument on Monday.

The Rockets (6-7) lost five of their first six games but have rebounded to win five of their last seven.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F Kevin Durant
F Draymond Green
C Damian Jones
G Klay Thompson
G Quinn Cook

Rockets

F James Ennis
F P.J. Tucker
C Clint Capela
G Chris Paul
G James Harden

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: C DeMarcus Cousins (L Achilles’ tendon surgery rehab) and G Stephen Curry (L groin strain) are listed as out.

Rockets: F/G Gerald Green (R ankle sprain) and F Gary Clark (hip contusion) are listed as questionable. G Brandon Knight (L knee injury) and C Nene (R calf strain) are listed as out. The status of F Carmelo Anthony (illness) has not been updated.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: Jonas Jerebko started at power forward in place of Green on Tuesday, played well and could see significant minutes at center or power forward.. . . Key for the Warriors will be the play of Cook at point guard. He’ll have to score to offset his poor defense. If he doesn’t, Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston will spend plenty of time at point guard.

Iguodala generally defends Harden well.. . . The Thompson-Harden matchup, which could be pivotal, dates back to their high school days in Southern California.. . . Most eyes, however, will be on the chemistry between Green and Durant.

Rockets: If Clark and/or Green is unable to play, the Rockets could be looking at a rotation of no more than eight players. Point guard Michael Carter-Williams plays sparingly and power forward Marquese Chriss plays even less.

Shooting guard Eric Gordon is one of the most dangerous bench scorers in the NBA, in the same class as Clippers shooting guard Lou Williams. Expect to see some three-guard lineups featuring Harden, Paul and Gordon.. . . The team’s best 3-point shooter (47.7 percent) is power forward Tucker, who launches almost exclusively from the corners. It’s imperative that the Warriors stay attached.

While Warriors chemistry takes hit, championship house remains intact

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AP

While Warriors chemistry takes hit, championship house remains intact

HOUSTON -- Now that Kevin Durant and Draymond Green have addressed the quarrel that shook the walls around the Warriors, there is the distinct sense within the team that the house will not come tumbling down.

Given the history, that’s a reasonable reaction. There was tension last season, certainly in the postseason, and the Warriors overcame it and thrived.

This time, however, they need some repair.

Durant and Green participated in the team’s shootaround Thursday, eight hours before facing the Rockets. They walked into Toyota Center together. They were shooting at the same basket. They spoke. They fist-bumped at the end of the session.

This doesn’t mean there are no remnants of anger and disappointment lingering in the wake of their heated squabble Monday night in Los Angeles. There is.

Green was suspended and, pending appeal, that could cost him roughly $120,00. And still looming in the background is the decision Durant will make about his future when he becomes a free agent in July.

But Green, considered the antagonist in this tiff, as indicated by the team’s decision to suspend him for the game against Atlanta on Tuesday, insists a few tempestuous days won’t keep the Warriors from achieving their goal of a third straight championship.

“I’ve read a lot about how ‘Is this the end of the run?’ Or 'Is it over?’ Or ‘Did I ruin it?’ Or ‘Did I force Kevin to leave?’” Green said. “At the end of the day, as I’ve said before, whatever Kevin decides to do, whatever Klay (Thompson) decides to do, whatever who decides to do, we’ve had great years together. And I support everybody, whole-heartedly, 100 percent. Because as a man, as a human being, you’ve got the right to do whatever you want to do with your life. So I’ll never question that.

“But what you must know is that nobody in this organization from a player -- not myself, not Kevin, not anybody else -- is going to beat us. If you’re one of the other 29 teams in the league, you’ve got to beat us, because we’re not going to beat us. We’re going to continue to do what we do.”

Coach Steve Kerr met with Durant and Green before shootaround to “address some things that will remain private.” Kerr came away feeling “extremely confident” that this will not derail the season.

“I know what this team’s made of,” Kerr said. “I know the character of the group. I know the history of this group. And it’s way too strong and way too powerful to be upended by the type of adversity that can hit any team in the season.”

Though the game features the two teams that less than six months ago played an epic seven-game Western Conference Finals, all eyes will be on the interaction between Durant and Green.

How will they coexist? Will the splinters in their relationship be evident? It was apparent Tuesday night that Durant was stung by Green’s overheated reaction to his pleas for the ball in the final seconds of a tie game. If Green has expressed any contrition, it was within the confines of the team.

“There’s no secret that I am an emotional player,” Green said. “I wear my emotions on my sleeve; I play with that same emotion. Sometimes, it gets the best of me and it doesn’t work to my favor. I’m going to live with that because it works to my favor, to the good -- as my resume speaks and as this team’s resume speaks -- more so than it doesn’t.

“I’m never going to change who I am. I’m going to approach the game the same way I always do and, like I said, we’ll continue to move forward.”

Green is the seasoning in the team’s successful recipe. Durant is a crucial ingredient. Each knows he is needed and each is a professional. That’s why this is not likely to unravel what has been built.

As insurance, though, the Warriors brought team leader Stephen Curry along for the four-day road trip, even though his groin injury could keep him on the sideline for another two weeks.

“It’s great to have him on this trip while we’re going through this adversity that we’ve hit,” Kerr said. “Steph’s always going to be a guy who smooths out bumps and keeps us rolling, so it’s great to have him here.”

Smart move. Having the essential component to this team’s prosperity can only help.

There is work to do, and plenty of it. The passage of time will help. Though the fabled team chemistry of the Warriors definitely took a hit, there is no reason to firmly believe the involved parties can’t be appeased.