Warriors

NBA Gameday: Draymond will look to run Millsap into submission

NBA Gameday: Draymond will look to run Millsap into submission

Still recovering from the loss of Kevin Durant, the Warriors conclude a five-game road trip Monday with a trip into Philips Arena to face the Atlanta Hawks.

The Warriors on Sunday responded to their first back-to-back losses in nearly two years by beating the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Guards Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined to score 60 points to seemingly come out of their slumps.

Though Matt Barnes in that game made his first start since returning to the Warriors, coach Steve Kerr said he would determine the starter at small forward on a game-by-game basis, leaving open the door for rookie Pat McCaw.

The Hawks (34-28) also played on Sunday, losing at home to the Indiana Pacers on a buzzer- beater by Glenn Robinson III.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 5.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Draymond Green vs. Paul Millsap: The two All-Star power forwards have as many differences as similarities. Both rebound, defend and shoot the 3. But while Millsap is more the classic muscular power forward, Green is a ball of fire able to fill pretty much any role required. He’ll try to run the Atlanta veteran into submission.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, tibial bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Hawks: G/F Mike Dunleavy (R ankle synovitis) is listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 7-3. Hawks: 4-6.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won the last four meetings and nine of the last 10, including a 105-100 victory on Nov. 28 at Oracle Arena.

ODD NOTE

The Warriors will see a couple former teammates, including one that actually played for them. That would be small forward Kent Bazemore. The other is Jose Calderon, who last week spent about an hour with the Warriors.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

BALL SECURITY: The Warriors are at their best when playing nasty defense, forcing turnovers and sprinting in transition. It’s tougher to do on a back-to-back, but the Hawks just happen to be prone to turnovers; they’re the only sure playoff team to rank among the league’s five worst offenders. That has to be a signal for the Warriors.

BEYOND THE ARC: The Warriors are No. 3 in 3-point shooting percentage, while the Hawks are 23rd in defending the 3. The Hawks are 24th in shooting percentage, while the Warriors are No. 1 in defending the 3. The math spells out a significant portion of the Warriors’ game plan.

THE BIGS: Once a two-way force in the league, Hawks center Dwight Howard has been marginalized since returning to his hometown last summer. His defense and rebounding have been solid, but he’s averaging 13.2 points per game and a career-low in field-goal attempts (8.2). Will he go after Zaza Pachulia? Can Zaza keep him off the glass?

Stephen Jackson, Andrew Wiggins get into war of words over 'Hallelujah' tweet

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USATSI

Stephen Jackson, Andrew Wiggins get into war of words over 'Hallelujah' tweet

The NBA is the best soap opera on the face of the planet.

What's our evidence? All-Star Jimmy Butler requested a trade from the Minnesota Timberwolves a week before training camp starts and his current teammate Andrew Wiggins got into a social media war of words with former Warriors forward Stephen Jackson over a tweet sent by Wiggins' brother.

We can't make this stuff up.

In an Instagram video posted late Wednesday evening, Jackson questioned Wiggins' heart.

News website The Score re-posted the video and it drew comments from Jackson and Wiggins, who called Jackson a 'bum.'

That caused Jackson to respond in a second video in which is sent a message to Wiggins: 'Make sure you hands are straight when you see me, bruh."

Jackson even posted a screenshot of his career stats to prove to Wiggins that he isn't a bum.

Don't ever change, NBA. Don't ever change.

Damian Jones: Warriors training camp profile

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AP

Damian Jones: Warriors training camp profile

The Bulls did it twice, with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen leading the way. The Lakers accomplished it once, behind Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant. In the 42 seasons since the NBA-ABA merger, those are the only franchises to win three consecutive NBA Finals.

When the Warriors come together for training camp on Sept. 25, their goal is to become the third.

Here is a look at those players with guaranteed roster spots.

10TH IN A SERIES

Player: Damian Jones
Position: Center
Height/weight: 7-0, 240
College: Vanderbilt
Age: 23
Salary: $1.54M (Year 3 of three-year rookie contract worth $4M. Team has until Oct. 31 to pick up his fourth-year option worth $2.31M)
NBA 2K Player Rating: 69

2017-18 in review: For the second year in a row, Jones remained mostly in the development stage, spending far more time playing with the G-League Santa Cruz Warriors than with Golden State. He was a massive presence in some games, barely a factor in others. The Golden State staff and front office debated his progress, but never declared him ready to take playing time from their trio of veteran big men. He made 15 NBA appearances, playing a total of 89 minutes.

Key stats (G-League): 45 games (45 starts), averaging 15.0 points (68.1 percent FG, 69.7 percent FT), 8.1 rebounds, 2.2 blocks, 2.1 assists.

Season highs (G-League): Points (29), rebounds (16, twice), blocks (six), assists (six), minutes (40).

2018-19 outlook: After two seasons wondering what Jones can provide at the NBA level, this is the year the 7-footer will be given every chance to show he has something to offer. A superior athlete with a solid work ethic, Jones has been tasked with filling the role vacated by JaVale McGee. That means making an impact above the rim at both ends. If Jones can contribute off the bench and hold his own when making spot starts, the Warriors will have good reason to believe the 2016 first-round pick has a future in the league.