Warriors

Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins nearing 'finish line' of Achilles rehab

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Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins nearing 'finish line' of Achilles rehab

OAKLAND – DeMarcus Cousins has entered the anxious stage of his rehabilitation, which means he so badly wants it to end that he is scrimmaging as often as he can, for as long as he can, because he can sense his Warriors debut is near.

“We’re nearing the finish line,” general manager Bob Myers said on Monday.

Nothing changed on Wednesday, when the Warriors went through their first practice of 2019. Cousins, in the final stages of rehab from Achilles’ tendon surgery 11 months ago, did everything his teammates did.

“He’s starting to feel the finish line getting closer and closer,” teammate Quinn Cook said after the session.

Coach Steve Kerr, however, downshifted a bit on the 6-foot-11, 260-pound center.

“I don’t know exactly when he’s going to play,” he said, “but he practiced fully today and he’s got to continue to work on his conditioning.”

[RELATED: Alfonzo McKinnie on how he distracted himself from Patrick McCaw situation]

In the final stages of rehab from Achilles tendon surgery, Cousins is so eager to play that, according to team sources, he wants to bypass some of the physical drudgery required for clearance. His performances in scrimmages have been uneven enough for the Warriors to wonder if he’s bored with the rehab routine, or needs more time.

That’s where Rick Celebrini, the team’s director of sports medicine comes in. He received lavish praise since arriving last summer and his most valuable current project is to prepare Cousins for NBA activity. There are times when it goes well, and there are times when it is challenging.

“I’ve got to feel good about putting him on the floor, DeMarcus has to feel good about being on the floor and Rick has to feel good about his safety, going on the floor and not reinjuring himself,” Kerr said.

Listening to coaches and teammates, as well as Myers, it’s likely that, barring a physical setback, Cousins will be cleared sometime this month. The coaching staff is starting to prepare for him to get back on the floor.

“We don’t have a ton of new plays for him,” Kerr said. “We have a few plays that we’ll have for him, for sure, but he’s got to come in and fit with us more than vice versa. I don’t think that will be a problem, because he’s very skilled. He can shoot threes and he’s a good passer, so we’ll try to put him in position to accentuate his skills. And then he’s got to adapt to the players around him.

“It’ll take some time, but I don’t feel like we have to change our offense to fit him in.”

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 112-94 loss to red-hot Kings

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Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 112-94 loss to red-hot Kings

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Warriors-Kings matchup has provided some fun in recent years. The fun was entirely one-sided Tuesday in Sacramento's 112-94 drubbing of Golden State. 

It was the Warriors' seven straight loss and their third consecutive to the Kings this season. Sacramento (24-33) can sweep a series with Golden State (12-46) for the first time since 2003 with a win on April 15. Kings guard De'Aaron Fox scored 21 points and dished out five assists as Sacramento won its third straight game. 

Here are three takeaways from another dejected Warriors performance in a season full of lows. 

Sloppy play dooms first half

The easiest way to catch Steve Kerr's ire is to turn the ball over, and the Warriors did just that Monday. They committed nine of their game-high 17 turnovers in the first half, allowing the Kings to hold a 12-point lead at halftime. 

The Warriors have turned the ball over a lot against the Kings this season. Golden State committed 20 turnovers against Sacramento the last time these two played in San Francisco, and the two teams combined for 57 in an unwatchable affair that night.

While their ballhandling improved in the second half, the Warriors' lack of talent all but sealed another loss. On most nights, Golden State won't be the best team on the floor. The Dubs have to limit mistakes enough to give themselves a chance. 

Warriors can't shoot

The Warriors became one of the best-ever shooting teams during their dynastic run. Golden State demoralized teams with a 3-point attack led by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Tuesday showed just how far the mighty have fallen. 

Thompson and Curry are sidelined, and the Warriors shot 4-for-28 (14 percent) from beyond the arc Tuesday. Even worse? The ways the Warriors missed. Marquese Chriss and rookie Juan Toscano-Anderson traded airballs in the first half, as the Warriors shot just 5.9 percent from 3-point range in the first two quarters.

The Warriors' 3-point struggles are understandable. Only one Golden State player who dressed Tuesday -- Damion Lee -- shot better than 35 percent from beyond the arc entering the night. As long as Curry and Thompson are out, the Warriors' 3-point shooting will continue to decline. 

[RELATED: Kerr says 'hope' is Steph can return to Dubs on March 1]

Chriss shines 

The last time Chriss faced his hometown team, he played knowing he'd be cut by the end of the evening to make room for Lee's multi-year contract. Chriss showed how indispensable he is to the Warriors right now Tuesday, finishing with 21 points and 10 rebounds in 25 minutes. 

Chriss showed his potential in the first half, jamming an alley-oop pass from Dragan Bender over Kings big man Harry Giles. By the end of the half, he scored 13 points and grabbed five rebounds. 

The 22-year-old has played well since signing a multi-year deal last month. Chriss has averaged 18.4 points and 9.0 rebounds over his last five games. If he continues his current pace, he'll be an intriguing piece when the Warriors are healthy next season.

Watch Steph Curry mesmerize adorable baby Warriors fan with high five

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Watch Steph Curry mesmerize adorable baby Warriors fan with high five

Warriors fans intently watch Steph Curry during his pre-game shooting routine, especially now that the injured star is so close to returning to Golden State's lineup.

None, however, stared as intently at Curry on Tuesday at Chase Center as this adorable baby with primo floor access. 

Curry was kind enough to give the tiny fan one high five, but he completely left them hanging for a second! Steve Kerr said Saturday that news of Curry's participation in a scrimmage prompted a standing ovation from his teammates, but that was before the two-time MVP left a baby hanging. 

That probably won't diminish any excitement in Golden State's locker room, though, especially after Curry did Curry Things before the Warriors' game against the Kings on Tuesday. 

[RELATED: Klay shares moving tribute to Kobe after attending memorial]

Curry has not played since breaking his left hand on Oct. 30. Four months and two surgeries later, Kerr said "the hope" is that Curry returns to the Warriors' lineup Sunday against the Washington Wizards. 

The 31-year-old's hand will be re-evaluated Saturday, and he'll play if all goes well. Whether or not he's cleared, the Warriors at least know that his hand is capable of making a young fan's day.