Warriors

The night Draymond told Warriors teammates Durant was done for season

The night Draymond told Warriors teammates Durant was done for season

Editor's note: The above video is from after the Warriors' loss to the Wizards on Feb. 28.

Kevin Durant thought he was done for the season.

And as ESPN's Jackie MacMullan revealed on Thursday, Warriors players and coaches thought the same thing.

An excerpt from the article:

Back in the Warriors' locker room, the injury was already casting a pall. The coaches, in touch with Kleiman by phone, had purposely refrained from telling the players what they'd heard.

But Green, texting with Durant, was under no such restrictions. He was already quietly spreading the word from locker to locker. KD was done. Says Green: "We were all in a state of shock."

So the Warriors watched Durant get hurt less than a minute into their game against the Wizards, lost the game in the final seconds, and then were told Durant was lost for the year.

Fast forward three months later and they are hosting Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night for the third straight season.

Back in late March, Durant disclosed that the original diagnosis was a fractured tibia.

When he received the news, he "just bust out crying."

Now, he is back in the Finals for the first time since 2012.

“This year has taught me a lot," Durant recently told NBC Sports Bay Area's Monte Poole. "Just because I can say I’m so ready, that I can’t wait to go out there and play my ass off. I’m going to play hard as hell.

"But it’s not like I come in here and I’m not focused on shootaround or 5-on-0 or pre-practice shootaround. I’m telling myself I can’t wait to go out there and play. I can’t wait. And you can have all that built up in your head.

"But you’ve still got to prepare the right way and stick to your routine. I rely on that, rather than showing my emotions about me being in The Finals. I know where I am. I’m just trying to rely on the hard work and preparation instead of just blowing smoke up my own ass.”

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Warriors vs. Pelicans watch guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

warriorswatchguide20190116.jpg
AP

Warriors vs. Pelicans watch guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

OAKLAND -- Less than 24 hours after their most impressive win of the season, the Warriors return to the court Wednesday night to face the New Orleans Pelicans.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:00 p.m. with Warriors Outsiders, followed by Warriors Pregame. Tipoff at Oracle Arena is scheduled for 7:40 p.m.

The Warriors (30-14) returned to the top of the Western Conference on Tuesday in Denver with a rousing 142-111 rout of the Nuggets, who had been in first place. The win also extended the Warriors’ winning streak to five.

New Orleans (21-23) has been among the league’s most disappointing teams. Though star big man Anthony Davis is having a fabulous season, it has not translated to consistent team success. The Pelicans have had three losing streaks of at least four games and have not been above .500 since Nov. 23.

The teams met earlier this season, with the Warriors posting a 131-121 victory on Oct. 31 at Oracle.

PROJECTED STARTERS

Warriors

F – Kevin Durant
F – Draymond Green
C – Kevon Looney
G – Klay Thompson
G – Stephen Curry

Pelicans

G – E’Twaun Moore
F – Julius Randle
F – Anthony Davis
G – Jrue Holiday
G – Elfrid Payton

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: DeMarcus Cousins (left Achilles’ tendon rehab) and Damian Jones (left pectoral muscle surgery) are listed as out.

Pelicans: No injuries listed.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: With no starter exceeding 31 minutes on Tuesday, the Warriors should be fairly well-rested for the second night of a back-to-back set. All 12 healthy players saw action.

Coach Steve Kerr likely will stay with the Curry-Durant combo sharing court time. The Warriors are 3-0 since making the move and both players are thriving.

Curry scored a game-high 37 points in the previous meeting and his career average of 25.6 per game against New Orleans is fifth-highest against any team.

Expect to see a similar defensive strategy applied to Davis as was applied to Denver’s Nikola Jokic. The Warriors will send occasional double-teams, especially inside 12 feet.

Given the pace at which the Pelicans play (sixth-fastest in the NBA), expect Kerr to make liberal use of his bench.

Pelicans: Though Davis totaled 46 points and 16 rebounds in a win Monday over the Clippers, the most effective players were Holiday (plus-24) and Randle (plus-21). Randle clearly has found a home, and Holiday has All-Star skills and is one of the three best two-way guards in the league.

PF Nikola Mirotic, replaced by Randle in the starting lineup, is in the Sixth Man role and is shooting a disappointing 34.7 percent from deep.

Moore is shooting 41.7 percent from deep, while Payton leads the team at 45.5 percent.

The Pelicans attack the offensive glass, ranking second in the NBA in that category.

Former Warrior Ian Clark, shooting 31 percent from deep and 36.1 percent overall, has fallen out of the rotation.

DeMarcus Cousins calls Warriors 'the most hated team in sports'

boogiekd.jpg
USATSI

DeMarcus Cousins calls Warriors 'the most hated team in sports'

If the Warriors became the Super Villains when Kevin Durant joined them, we need a new name with DeMarcus Cousins on the squad. 

Before he makes his highly-anticipated Warriors debut, which is scheduled for Friday against the Clippers in Los Angeles, Cousins is all in on the envy. 

"We're the most hated team in sports," Cousins said Wednesday to ESPN. "They hate Kevin, they hate me. They only guy they really like is Steph. They may hate him as well. They hate Draymond. I mean, it is what it is. I can't worry about that." 

Cousins tore his Achilles tendon with the Pelicans on Jan. 26, 2018 while in the midst one of the best seasons of his career. Nearly one year later, the four-time All-Star is ready to prove he's still one of the top players in the NBA. 

"I'm back and I'm not looking back," Cousins said. "Looking forward, I'm leaving it out on the floor every night, and I plan on coming back for that top spot." 

Coming off a 31-point thrashing of the Nuggets, the Warriors are ready to unleash Boogie, even if the news has to get in the way of Draymond's naps.