Warriors

NBA Gameday: Three Warriors questionable against Nuggets

NBA Gameday: Three Warriors questionable against Nuggets

OAKLAND – The Warriors officially welcome 2017 on Monday night, when they face the Denver Nuggets at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors (29-5), who have won their last seven home games and are 14-2 in Oakland this season, could be without key reserve Shaun Livingston, who is coping with slight injuries to his elbow and hip. Livingston did, however, participate in shootaround Monday morning at the team facility.

The Nuggets (14-19) have been playing better in recent weeks, winning five of eight games, but are coming off a 124-122 home loss to the lowly Philadelphia 76ers on Friday night.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 15

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Zaza Pachulia vs. Nikola Jokic: Pachulia has had his moments, but he’ll need to be on his game against Jokic, the 21-year-old who is establishing himself as one of the league’s better young centers. Jokic has been on an impressive run lately, averaging 21.7 points (on 63.4-percent shooting), 8.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists over the last three games. Pachulia will need to be smart and stay out of foul trouble in an effort to contain the 6-foot-11 Serbian.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Shaun Livingston (L hip and R elbow contusions) and C JaVale McGee (illness) were listed as questionable, but are available to play according to Steve Kerr. G Pat McCaw (flu-like symptoms) is out.

Nuggets: G Jameer Nelson (abdominal strain) and F Darrell Arthur (L knee soreness) are listed as questionable.

LAST 10

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

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors won the first of three meetings this season, 125-101, on Nov. 10 in Denver and have won seven of the last nine against the Nuggets.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

1) The Glass Wars: The Nuggets are the league’s No. 2 rebounding team, having been beaten in that category only four times this season. They are particularly effective on the offensive glass, an area in which the Warriors have been vulnerable (they allow more than any other team). The Warriors don’t have to win the glass battle, but they can’t afford to get clobbered.

2) No charity: Another strength of this Denver team is its uncanny ability to get to the free throw line. Part of it is undoubtedly due to relentless work on the offensive glass, but the Nuggets also attack the paint with frequency. Their 26.6 free throws per game is tops in the NBA.

3) Enver Nuggets: Denver’s Michael Malone, a former Warriors assistant, is considered a defensive-minded coach. There is no sign of it thus far, as the Nuggets rank 27th in defensive rating. If they can’t put together stretches of sound D, the Warriors will blow them off the floor.

What did Kevin Durant say following confrontation with Draymond Green?

What did Kevin Durant say following confrontation with Draymond Green?

Lip-readers assemble! Your assistance is required.

As Kevin Durant made his way back onto the court following his bench confrontation with Draymond Green during Monday’s Warriors loss to the Clippers, video caught him mouthing something aloud. Depending on your interpretation, it’s either something of major concern to Golden State, or perhaps none at all.

So, what did Durant (who is due to be a free agent at season’s end) say exactly? I offer up three possibilities:

Option No. 1: “That’s why I’m out.” -- Uh oh. RED ALERT.

Option No. 2: “That’s just why I’m hot.” -- It was an emotional moment. Happens to the best of us.

Option No. 3: “That’s just wild, bruh.” -- Seriously. Who would have thought they’d get better without Lob City?

In all likelihood, we’ll never know for sure, unless Durant feels like opening up about it at some point. In the meantime, you be the judge. Offer up your favorite lip-reading possibilities in the comment section below.

Sources: Draymond Green crossed line bringing up Kevin Durant free agency

Sources: Draymond Green crossed line bringing up Kevin Durant free agency

OAKLAND -- Neither Warriors general manager Bob Myers nor coach Steve Kerr shed much light on the reasons for their decision to suspend Draymond Green on Tuesday. There is no doubt both men were deeply bothered.

That much was clear from their austere responses in separate pregame news conferences.

Multiple sources say Kevin Durant and Green exchanged profanities while quarreling late Monday night, as the Warriors were losing to the Clippers in Los Angeles. That happens, at some point, in most competitive locker rooms. It has happened with the Warriors, between Durant and Green.

What pushed this dispute to another level, according to sources, is that Green also brought up Durant’s upcoming free agency.

That, according to a team source, is where Green crossed the line. And it’s why Myers and Kerr, both accustomed to Green’s customary outbursts, felt a suspension was warranted.

Name-calling is one thing, contract-baiting another. It’s disrespectful.

“Something you don’t do in the NBA is talk about another man’s money,” one league source said Tuesday, prior to the Warriors' game against the Atlanta Hawks at Oracle Arena.

Which might explain why Kerr, usually willing to engage in conversation, kept most of his answers brief, looking as if he’d rather discuss anything else. And why Myers never looked so tired, his eyes redder than I can ever recall.

[RELATED: Steve Kerr recalls Michael Jordan fight in discussing Draymond ban]

The Warriors’ flight from L.A. didn’t arrive in Oakland until about 2 a.m. Tuesday, and we can safely assume neither Myers nor Kerr slept well.

Yet both insisted Durant’s free agency isn't a topic in the Warriors' locker room and that it was unrelated to the dispute between Durant and Green on Monday in LA.

“Nobody ever talks about Kevin’s free agency,” Kerr said.

“I don’t think it is [a topic],” Myers said. “I’m sure that’s going to be the idea in some people’s minds. But being around this team, being around these players ... it’s hard to win a championship. You can’t allow anything else your locker room, in the narrative. This team has done a good job of that.

“I know it may appear as if it looked easy over the last [few years]. It’s not. If you’re in the locker room, if you’re in our organization, it’s hard. We’ll get through it and we’ll keep moving.”

[RELATED: Warriors show Draymond where the third rail is by suspending him]

Given the history between Green and Durant, it’s altogether likely that this incident will not have lasting consequences. It’s not likely to drive the decision Durant will make in July. They fuss. They get on each other’s nerves. They hang out.

“I think we’ll be fine,” Kerr said. “We’re a team that goes through stuff just like everybody else. Things happen, bumps in the road. You’ve got to move forward. It’s all part of coaching a team and it’s part of being on a team. You have get through adversity, and there are some difficult time and you get through them.”

Though the Green-Durant squabble started with a basketball decision made by Green -- he dismissed Durant’s pleadings for the ball in the final seconds of a tie game Monday night, and the Warriors failed to get a shot -- that is not the basis for the suspension.

“As far as what decision coaches and player make, there’s a thousand decisions they make out there,” Myers said. “So I don’t get into this or that, as far as what he should or shouldn’t have done.”

It was, however, what set off Durant. It also bothered a few other Warriors who questioned Green’s decision. Passing the ball to Durant for a potential game-winning shot “would have solved multiple problems,” according to one source.

Instead, the Warriors have to hope any animosity will be brief, as it has been in the past. They have to hope Green still will be the fiery presence that stirs their offense and fuels their defense — and that he makes peace with Durant.

They also have to hope Durant is willing to forgive and move on.

Both conclusions are likely. That’s the history of the Durant-Green relationship. It’s at times tempestuous, but that always has passed for the sake of a greater goal.