Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in scrappy 105-100 loss to Celtics

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in scrappy 105-100 loss to Celtics

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SAN FRANCISCO – There was a lot of green attire at Chase Center on Friday night, and there was a bit too much green on the court for the Warriors to keep up.

The Boston Celtics came into town as the hottest team in the NBA, and the Warriors responded with a spirited performance that fell short in a 105-100 defeat.

It was the sixth consecutive loss for the Warriors (2-11), and the 10th straight win for the Celtics (10-1), who had a significant fan presence in the arena.

Alec Burks scored a team-high 20 points in 30 minutes off the bench.

Add another name to the Warriors’ extensive injury list, as guard D’Angelo Russell left the game in the third quarter after sustaining a sprained right thumb.

Here are three takeaways from Warriors’ 350th consecutive home sellout:

Curry-less lineup with possibilities

In search of a group that can come together as a unit Stephen Curry’s absence, the Warriors tried yet another starting lineup. This one exhibited some encouraging signs.

The lineup: Eric Paschall and Draymond Green at forward, Willie Cauley-Stein at center, Glenn Robinson III and Russell at guard. Those five built an early lead – that eventually got as high as 15 – and provided the momentum for a 32-23 advantage in the first quarter.

The most appreciable difference? Green running more point, which generated more passing and flow than is the case when playing predominantly through Russell. The Warriors in the first quarter recorded eight assists, with one turnover, as better execution resulted in fewer easy buckets on the other end.

In their game as the starting forwards, Green finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and four assists in 34 minutes, while Paschall totaled 16 points and eight rebounds in 33 minutes. Expect to see more of these two playing together.

D-Lo’s awful, painful evening

Playing off the ball theoretically gives Russell a bit of a break from ball-handling to spend more time at shooting guard. After all, he is by far the team’s No. 1 scoring threat.

Yet he somehow found his way to nine turnovers in the 25 minutes. It is conceivable Russell’s thumb was bothering him throughout, and he simply tried to play through it without success.

In any case, he was ineffective with the ball. There were a couple reasonable attempts that simply didn’t succeed. But most of the damage came off awful passes, ill-conceived and poorly timed, and risky dribbling that turned restless.

Russell played 25 minutes before departing, finishing 12 points, (5-of-10 shooting from the field, including 1-of-6 from beyond the arc), seven assists and two rebounds.

New role, same struggles for Poole

Jordan Poole, who has been mostly ineffective while starting the last eight games at shooting guard, was moved to the bench in the new lineup.

It didn’t seem to help the 20-year-old shooting guard, who entered the game shooting 28.2 percent from the field and also 28.2 percent from deep.

[RELATED: Robinson laughs at notion of tanking]

Poole scored 4 points on 1-of-8 shooting from the field, including 0-of-5 from beyond the arc, over 22 minutes. He snagged five rebounds.

The University of Michigan product did, however, make both of his free throws and is now shooting 96.2 percent (25-of-26) from the line. It’s Poole’s free-throw shooting that gives the Warriors reason to believe his field goals will begin to fall at a higher rate.

NBA rumors: Warriors 'not pushing' to trade guard D'Angelo Russell now

NBA rumors: Warriors 'not pushing' to trade guard D'Angelo Russell now

When the Warriors acquired D'Angelo Russell as part of Kevin Durant's sign-and-trade with the Nets this past offseason, and signed the star point guard to a four-year, $117 million contract, it seemed like a bit of an odd fit.

How would Russell fit with fellow point guard Steph Curry? What about when shooting guard Klay Thompson became healthy? More than anything, it looked like Golden State added a great trade asset. 

But the Warriors reportedly are in no rush to trade D-Lo. 

“If it is something that they’re going to do quickly, like before the end of this month, I wouldn’t say they’re pushing for it,” one NBA general manager recently said to Heavy.com's Sean Deveney. “Maybe they have a deal in mind, maybe they’re sitting on something and laying low. But I’d be surprised.

That’s not how they’d approach it, I’d think. You want to create a market if you are going to trade a player like him, you want to pit teams against each other, drive up the price. You don’t want to lock into one deal. But the market thing, that’s not really happening yet. They’re not pushing the market for him.”

If the Warriors do indeed have a trade in mind, they soon can start taking calls. The NBA's collective bargaining agreement prohibits the Dubs from parting ways with Russell until Dec. 15. 

Since acquiring the All-Star, general manager Bob Myers has made it clear the Warriors have no intentions of getting rid of Russell. 

"We didn't sign him with the intention of just trading him," Myers said to reporters on July 15. 

Russell has been a bright spot on the 5-19 Warriors when healthy. He has been limited to only 12 games while dealing with a sprained right thumb, but has averaged a career-high 22.3 points, 6.2 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game. 

[RELATED: Why R.J. Hampton and LaMelo Ball might interest Warriors]

The Warriors truly won't be able to evaluate the 23-year-old's future with the team until he has played more with Curry and the rest of the injured Dubs.

Golden State has until the Feb. 7 trade deadline to move Russell, but as of now, that doesn't seem to be at the front of the team's priority list.

Warriors' Steve Kerr shouts out Larry Bird on NBA legend's birthday

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Warriors' Steve Kerr shouts out Larry Bird on NBA legend's birthday

On Larry Bird's 63rd birthday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr tipped his virtual cap to the Basketball Hall of Famer. 

Kerr shared Yahoo Sports' retrospective video on Bird's career on Twitter, imploring "all you young NBA fans out there" to watch and get a sense of just how good Bird was. 

In his 13-year career, Bird was a 12-time All-Star, nine-time All-NBA first-team member, three-time champion and three-time MVP. The trash-talking forward shot 50.9 percent from inside the arc and 37.6 percent from 3-point range, emerging as one of the league's sharpest shooters in the nascent 3-point era. 

[RELATED: Why Hampton, Ball might interest Warriors]

Bird retired as the NBA's 11th-leading scorer all-time, averaging the 12th-most points per game in league history (24.3) through 1992. The "Hick From French Lick" made a clear impression on Kerr, and the Warriors coach recalled being starstruck when he played against Kerr during his second NBA season. 

“You know my name,” Kerr said to KNBR in a 2017 interview, recounting when Bird said hello to him before a game. "[I said,] 'Hey guys, Larry Bird knows my name!'"