Warriors

Warriors remain relentlessly unmoved by misfortune

Warriors remain relentlessly unmoved by misfortune

The Golden State Warriors celebrated their first championship in 40 years by being condemned as “lucky” because they stayed healthy when most of their competitors did not. They missed 34 man-games to injury and/or rest, fewer than any other contender by a significant amount, and this was cited as one of the ways that the Warriors didn’t actually win the title as the other training rooms lost them.
 
This is, of course, idiocy of the first magnitude, As we have lectured before, “luck” of this kind is like any other form of luck – it is to be welcomed, no matter how much it may offend people who prefer their sports to be conceptual rather than real.
 
Put another way, there are no asterisks on the trophy in Joe Lacob’s foyer.
 
That argument cannot be made this year – well, it can, but not if you want to be correct.
 
Jordan Bell’s ankle issue is the latest annoyance in a season of them, and the Warriors’ core rotational players have missed a higher percentage of games this year than in any of the other three (15 percent, rather than five in 2015, eight in 2016 and 10 in 2017).
 
What this means is that their superior depth is being challenged as never before, but that’s really all it means. They endure the loss of one of their main players quite well, in fact. Without Stephen Curry, they are 12-3, 14-4 over the past two seasons and 20-6 through three; without Kevin Durant, 7-1 this year 25-5 over the last two; without Draymond Green, 7-0, 12-1. Only Klay Thompson (0-1 this year, 1-3 last year, 6-6 since 2015) seems to bother them.
 
That’s 52-16 without at least one member of the Gang of Four.
 
But it does mean few minutes and games off for Andre Iguodala and David West and Shaun Livingston, and more minutes than ever for Kevon Looney. It plays a bit of mischief with Steve Kerr’s rotations, but he’s an adult and has an army of fellow thinkers to make any required adjustments.
 
In short, waste no worry, pity or scorn on them. They remain relentlessly unmoved by misfortune or pain.
 
But at least this year, they’re having some of each, if only to silence those who still want to think, if only for their own amusement, that things have been improperly easy for them.

Andre Iguodala's status upgraded prior to Game 4 vs Rockets

iguodalasoaringdunkhouston.jpg
AP

Andre Iguodala's status upgraded prior to Game 4 vs Rockets

OAKLAND -- Already bracing for a difficult test Tuesday night when they meet the Rockets in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors may be forced to make yet another lineup change in their effort to take a commanding 3-1 lead.

Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area Plus begins at 4 p.m. with Warriors Outsiders, with tipoff at Oracle Arena scheduled for 6 p.m. Pacific.

The Warriors have utilized four different starting lineups this postseason, and a fifth might be needed. It’s possible that Andre Iguodala, who has started 12 of 13 games, including the last five in a row, won’t be available.

Iguodala's status has improved, however, to questionable. He was listed as doubtful on Monday.

[RELATED: Warriors brief: Why Jordan Bell is a candidate to start in place of Andre Iguodala]

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 8.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Stephen Curry vs. James Harden: They won’t be assigned to each other, but no two players are more likely to dictate the outcome of this game. Each has experienced moments both shining and forgettable. Once the Warriors established a lead in Game 3, Curry got behind the wheel and floored it, resulting in a rout. Houston needs a Harden takeover game. Is he up to it?

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Andre Iguodala (L lateral leg contusion) is listed as questionable. G Pat McCaw (lumbar spine contusion) is listed as out.

Rockets: No injuries listed.

GAME OFFICIALS

Mike Callahan, Kane Fitzgerald, Derrick Stafford, Sean Wright (alternate)

THE TALLY

Game 1: Warriors 119, Rockets 106 at Houston Game 2: Rockets 127, Warriors 105 at Houston Game 3: Warriors 126, Rockets 85 at Oakland

ROAD TO THE CONFERENCE FINALS

Warriors: Defeated San Antonio in five games in the first round, defeated New Orleans in five games in the conference semifinals.

Rockets: Defeated Minnesota in five games in the first round, defeated Utah in five games in the conference semifinals.

SERIES HISTORY

The teams met three times in the regular season, with Houston posting a 122-121 win on Oct. 17 at Oakland, the Warriors taking a 124-114 victory on Jan. 4 at Houston and the Rockets prevailing, 116-108, on Jan. 20 in Houston. The Warriors have won 12 of the last 15 meetings in the regular season.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE LINEUP: If Iguodala is out, the Warriors have three viable options. Going with Kevon Looney at center seems most likely, but it’s possible Nick Young will make his third start of the postseason. The third option is Jordan Bell, who is inexperienced but the best physical matchup with Rockets big man Clint Capela.

THE START: When the Warriors went ahead late in the first quarter of Game 3, with the crowd roaring at ear-splitting levels, the Rockets cracked a little more each minute. Down nine after one quarter, they never got closer than seven after that. The second half score, 72-42, is indicative of a team that lost its resolve.

WARRIORS D: The Warriors were disciplined in Game 3, during which their defense alternated from sound to terrific. They forced 20 turnovers and limited Houston’s top three scorers to 16-of-45 shooting from the field, including 6-of-22 from beyond the arc. Similar success would practically assure a victory.

Jordan Bell receives votes for All-Rookie team

belljordanballlonzo.jpg
AP

Jordan Bell receives votes for All-Rookie team

The All-Rookie teams were announced on Tuesday morning, and Jordan Bell received some love...

... but just a little.

The 38th pick in the 2017 draft got five All-Rookie Second Team votes.

From the beginning of the season though the Warriors' matchup vs the Cavs on MLK Day, Bell appeared in 37 of 45 games and made 10 starts.

[RELATED: Warriors brief: Why Jordan Bell is a candidate to start in place of Andre Iguodala]

He averaged 5.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 blocks and 0.7 steals in 14.8 minutes per contest over that stretch.

Some of his best performances:

-Nov. 24 vs Bulls -- 7 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 6 blocks, 2 steals
-Dec. 1 at Magic -- 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks, steal
-Dec. 14 vs Mavs -- 8 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals
-Dec. 22 vs Lakers -- 20 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, steal, block
-Dec. 27 vs Jazz -- 5 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, steal

On Jan. 17 in Chicago, he suffered a bad left ankle sprain and missed the next 14 games.

Bell appeared in 19 of Golden State's final 22 games (2 starters), averaging 3.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.5 steals in 13.8 minutes.

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