Warriors

NBA Gameday: Expect fireworks as Warriors take on T'Wolves

NBA Gameday: Expect fireworks as Warriors take on T'Wolves

(UPDATE: 5:50pm PT on Saturday): Warriors head coach Steve Kerr ruled forward Draymond Green and guard Ian Clark out for Saturday night's game against Minnesota. Kevon Looney will start in place of Green.

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OAKLAND – When the Warriors return home Saturday to complete a back-to-back set, they’ll do it under a cloud of uncertainty.

They don’t know for sure if All-Star forward Draymond Green or reserve guard Ian Clark will be available when they pursue their 11th consecutive win, facing the Minnesota Timberwolves at Oracle Arena.

Green indicated late Friday night that he intends to play despite a gimpy left ankle, while Clark is coping with a bruised throat.

The Warriors (14-2) are coming off a 109-85 victory over the Lakers on Friday in Los Angeles, while the Timberwolves (5-10) are coming to Oakland after taking a 98-85 win over the Suns in Phoenix.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 14

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Kevin Durant and Green vs. Karl-Anthony Towns and Andrew Wiggins. This is why Green’s status is so significant. Though Towns is a 7-foot center, he’ll see less of Warriors center Zaza Pachulia than he would of Green and Durant, as well as some JaVale McGee. Warriors forwards, no matter who they are, will share assignments on Towns and Wiggins, both of whom are terrific athletes and fabulous scorers.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Draymond Green (L ankle contusion) and G Ian Clark (throat/neck soreness) were ruled out by Steve Kerr roughly 90 minutes before tip-off. C Damian Jones is on assignment with the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors.

Timberwolves: C Nikola Pekovic (R ankle pain) is listed as out.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors won two of three against Minnesota last season and have won 20 of the last 24 overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

The backup plan. If Green can’t go, Warriors coach Steve Kerr will have to scan his bench for alternatives. The result could be more minutes for bigs Kevon Looney, James Michael McAdoo and McGee as well as small forward Andre Iguodala. In any case, the defensive assignments (Towns and Wiggins) will be challenging for all.

The fireworks show. While Minnesota is a team of athletic high flyers, the defense-oriented reputation of coach Tom Thibodeau is taking a beating. The T'Wolves are allowing opponents to shoot 46.4 percent; only the Lakers and Nets have been worse. The Warriors’ 50.3-percent shooting is by far the best in the league.

The shooting guards. Klay Thompson is having his most inconsistent defensive season since he was a rookie. He’ll need to pick it up against Zach LaVine, one of the greatest athletes in the NBA who has become a solid scorer. Given Klay’s strong shooting of late, this has the potential for plenty of offense.

Michael Jordan claims Warriors' Steph Curry isn't Hall of Famer 'yet'

Michael Jordan claims Warriors' Steph Curry isn't Hall of Famer 'yet'

Through his first 10 NBA seasons, Steph Curry has won two league MVPs (one unanimous) and three league titles with the Warriors. He's been named to six All-Star teams and has a scoring championship under his belt. He's on pace to destroy the all-time record for most career 3-pointers.

By most accounts, he's changed the way young players shoot the basketball.

That should be enough to make Curry a Hall of Famer, right?

Not according to Michael Jordan.

"He's still a great player," Jordan said Monday on NBC's "Today." "Not a Hall of Famer yet, though. He's not."

MJ, you're the GOAT, but this is a freezing cold take.

How did this come up? About six years ago, Jordan was asked to pick four players he'd want to team up with in a fictional pick-up game. He chose Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and James Worthy.

NBC's Craig Melvin asked Jordan if anything had changed since he picked those four and if he'd swap out any of them for current NBA players.

Jordan said he would not, and Melvin threw Curry's name out there, asking His Airness if the Warriors star should be offended.

"I hope not," Jordan said, before claiming Curry isn't yet a Hall of Famer.

[RELATED: KD picks Steph over Russ]

Curry has revolutionized the way the game is being played, just like some guy named Jordan did in the 1980s and 90s.

Jordan did a lot of good during his playing career, but since he hung up that Wizards jersey, not much has gone right for him. These comments are just another black eye on Mike.

 

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!

Kevin Durant's basketball life flashed before eyes after Achilles injury

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USATSI

Kevin Durant's basketball life flashed before eyes after Achilles injury

Kevin Durant is unlikely to step on the court in an NBA game this season. The last time he did, he tore his Achilles, one of the toughest injuries for basketball players to fully recover from.

The person that began defending Durant on the play on which he was injured was none other than Toronto's Serge Ibaka, who previously played alongside the two-time Finals MVP while both were members of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The two former teammates recently met up for the newest episode of Ibaka's Bleacher Report show, 'How Hungry Are You?', and Durant confessed what was going through his mind at the moment when his Achilles gave out.

"I felt like my whole basketball life flashed before my eyes," Durant told Ibaka. "I thought about everything I did from like the first time I played until then. That was the first time that something like that ever happened to me on the court. 

"I guess it just relaxed me a bit as I thought about it because I'm like, 'Man, I've been through everything and this is something else I've got to get over, so let me get my ass up, walk to the locker room and figure out what's next."

Before such a serious thought crossed Durant's mind, a far more comical one did so first.

"First of all, when you switched out on me, I was like, 'Why would y'all switch Serge out on me?" Durant questioned with a laugh. "Even though I'm a little hobbled right now, this a bucket. That's what I was thinking.

"And it's crazy how fast your mind switches, cuz in a matter of the next second, it was like I was on the ground thinking about my whole basketball career. It happened so fast, and once I got back to the back and realized what happened, I was just like, 'Alright, man, let me figure out ... when can I get surgery?'

"I was just trying to move on to the next step so fast and not dwell on it too much."

[RELATED: Who's better: Steph or Russ? KD makes his choice clear]

Little did we know at the time that Durant's next step would lead him to Brooklyn.

Programming Note: Get ready for the 2019-20 Warriors and Kings seasons with the NBA Tip-Off Show, streaming live on the MyTeams app at 1 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Download MyTeams and tune in to the show by clicking here!