Warriors

Warriors open 2018-19 season vs Thunder, host LeBron's Lakers on Christmas

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USATSI

Warriors open 2018-19 season vs Thunder, host LeBron's Lakers on Christmas

The NBA released the teaser portion of its schedule on Wednesday, and the sneak preview revealed the Warriors are at home for two of the league’s three annual marquee dates.

Here are the dates and opponents:

Opening night (Oct. 16) vs. Thunder: Russell Westbrook can only watch as former Oklahoma City teammate Kevin Durant receives his championship ring, the second year in a row for the Finals MVP. The teams split four games last season, but OKC could improve after retooling. Tipoff: 7:30 Pacific from Oracle Arena.

Christmas Day (Dec. 25) vs. Lakers: For the fourth consecutive year, the Warriors will find LeBron James under their Christmas tree. The jersey has changed, and Los Angeles will have its strongest roster in five years. Tipoff: 5 p.m. Pacific, prime time on the East Coast, from Oracle Arena.

MLK Day (Jan. 21) at Los Angeles Lakers: The Warriors are making what has become their traditional appearance on Martin Luther King Day, this time on the road. Tipoff: 7:30 p.m. Pacific, from Staples Center. It will conclude the league’s nationally televised tripleheader.

The Warriors also learned that they must travel to Utah to face the formidable Jazz on Oct. 19 in Vivint Smart Home Arena. 

The NBA is set to release its full schedule on Friday.

NBA rumors: Kevin Durant hasn’t shown interest in Warriors trading him

NBA rumors: Kevin Durant hasn’t shown interest in Warriors trading him

Programming note: Watch Saturday night's Warriors-Mavs game streaming live at 5:30 p.m. PT on the MyTeams app.

Kevin Durant is still sorting through everything that happened on Monday night in Los Angeles. He was taken aback by the things Draymond Green said to him and the emotions are still raw.

But that doesn't mean the two-time Finals MVP is looking for a way out of Golden State right now.

[LISTEN: Warriors Outsiders Podcast -- Steph Curry's absence massive; Draymond's joke]

As Sam Amick of The Athletic reported late Thursday night:

According to a source close to Durant, he has shown no interest in wanting to be traded and remains focused on the championship chance that lies before them.

“We’ve got a three-peat upon us,” the source said.

And if the Warriors do win a third straight championship in June? Well, nobody knows what will happen after that. One school of thought would say: "How could Durant pass on the opportunity to win four straight?" On the other hand, Durant may simply want to move on to something else. Everything is completely up in the air. 

[RELATEDDraymond Green's recruitment of Kevin Durant will contain one message]

But the one thing that remains certain is Draymond's oozing confidence. After shootaround on Thursday, he basically challenged the rest of the NBA to beat the Warriors. And after the loss to Houston, he guaranteed the Warriors would still win the championship.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Ask Kerith Mailbag: Warriors' biggest weakness; last word on Pat McCaw

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NBC Sports Bay Area

Ask Kerith Mailbag: Warriors' biggest weakness; last word on Pat McCaw

Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, will take you inside the two-time defending NBA champions as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #askkerith

Tip-off

After the Warriors announced Draymond Green’s one-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, a few quotes stood out to me.

Bob Myers got a question about whether Kevin Durant’s free agency has anything to do with the tension. Myers responded: “It’s hard to win a championship. You can’t allow anything else in the locker room, in the narrative.”

After Tuesday’s game against the Hawks, Klay Thompson spelled out how the Warriors will keep going after tension between Draymond and KD, indicating what could heal things: “A win on Thursday, and a win on Saturday and Sunday. That’s called a win streak. (The incident) will not matter, and this will be in the past like a pony tail.”

Winning is the spackle over cracks. Winning heals a lot of things, at least on a professional level. That’s the theme emerging from the team. Draymond and KD are competitors who want to win. That will be the bond that carries them forward, even if it’s unclear if forward means forgiving and forgetting.

When KD spoke after the Hawks game, he got a question about whether this tension reaching an eruption point can make the team stronger. KD replied, “We’ll see.”

The emotion bundled in those two words — We’ll see — could impact the rest of the season. Mature teams sort things out, and we have every indication this is a mature team.

When it comes to strength, Draymond made a declaration at Thursday’s shootaround: “If you think you saw something before, good luck with us now. We’re not going to crumble off of an argument.”

Game On!

@pdparticle What do the Warriors see as their weakness this season?

I had a long answer written out in the first draft of this mailbag that delved into complacency and injuries. Those still are important factors. But the long answer got the control-alt-delete treatment once Draymond’s suspension came.

The No. 1 thing that can defeat the Warriors this season is the Warriors. If locker room strife festers, it can be poison. Poison can break down bonds, make guys suspicious of other guys’ motives and shift the focus away from team. The team has a huge goal this season to three-peat. When players describe how hard it is to win championships, believe them. It takes everyone, playing at their peak abilities, together.

Marcus Thompson of The Athletic wrote the deepest story on the nature of the fracture between Draymond and KD. Marcus learned that Klay’s voice rang out strongly to help reset the focus. Here’s how Marcus closed his story:

“We all want to win,” Thompson said in the locker room after the (Clippers) game, per accounts of the people in the room. “That’s all this is about. We all want to win. I think we’re the only team that can beat us. Nobody else can beat us. So let’s go kick ass.”

@LisaDimmick1 What is REALLY going on with Pat McCaw?
Richard Manso, via Facebook: Any update on McCaw?
@rlangeles If Pcaw returns who do you think will be moved to make space? #askKerith

No offense to these question-askers, because they’re asking the most common mailbag question for weeks now, but the Pat McCaw topic feels like a bygone.

To sum it up quickly, the Warriors own Pat’s rights, so any hope he has of landing with another team goes through the Warriors. I haven’t heard any updates on the impasse between Pat and the team. I also checked with Warriors Insider Monte Poole. He’s not detecting any movement either, and it seems this situation is near dead.

When I saw these Pat McCaw questions, I thought of something random: a love poem from Pablo Neruda about heartbreak and letting go. It’s called Poema XX, and you can read the English version here.

Why the heck am I bringing this up? Because this poem captures a range of emotions, like loving someone, wondering where they are now and reflecting about how things ended. The poem asks, What does it matter that my love could not keep her.

The poem also contains the lines, Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer/ and these the last verses that I write for her.

I don’t know why Pat and the Warriors broke up. But may these be the last words I write for him in the mailbag.

@__OhMyLanta Nov 11 How is Steph’s new bodyguard? #askkerith

He’s great! His name is Dwight Pruitt, and he retired as a lieutenant from the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department in 2011.

I told him there was a mailbag question about him, and the people want to know who he is. I asked what his hobbies are. He said, “basketball!”

Turns out Pruitt used to be an assistant high school basketball coach. In the 2008 Division III state basketball championships, Pruitt’s school, Sac High, was defeated by Klay Thompson’s school, Santa Margarita.

Pruitt was on the Minnesota Timberwolves’ security team last season. He’s a friend of Steph’s old security guy, Ralph Walker. When Walker retired in the offseason, Pruitt applied for the job.

High Five

This week’s high five goes out to the guy who wondered if I could dunk on Jim Barnett. Look, I’m tall, and I have a decent vertical, but I cannot dunk.

Jim and I have had some long chats on the team buses as we go from airport to airport. He has a heart of gold, but I think you already knew that.

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage all season.