Warriors

Warriors vs. 76ers watch guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

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USATSI

Warriors vs. 76ers watch guide: Lineups, injuries and player usage

OAKLAND – When DeMarcus Cousins is introduced Thursday night at Oracle Arena, he can expect the Kevin Durant treatment.

As an elite player making his first appearance as a member of the Warriors, it’s a given that Cousins will receive a standing ovation ahead of tipoff against the 76ers.

Coverage on NBC Sports begins at 6 o’clock with Warriors Outsiders, followed by Sports Net Central ahead of the TNT telecast. NBC Sports Bay Area will have postgame coverage immediately after the game.

Cousins made his Warriors debut on Jan. 18 in Los Angeles, at the start of a five-game road trip. He played in all five games, during which the team extended its winning streak to 11 games.

The Warriors (36-14), who are opening a three-game homestand, have won the last 10 meetings with Philadelphia.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Cousins said. “It’s always fun to play in front of the home crowd. I expect it to be super loud. We’ve got a pretty good opponent coming in. There’s a lot of energy in the building, so it should be a good night in all.”

Philadelphia (33-18) is coming off a 121-105 thumping of the Lakers on Tuesday in Los Angeles. The 76ers have won six of their last eight games and are 13-5 against Western Conference opponents this season, tops among Eastern Conference teams.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors

F – Kevin Durant

F – Draymond Green

C – DeMarcus Cousins

G – Klay Thompson

G – Stephen Curry

76ers

F – Jimmy Butler

F – Wilson Chandler

C – Joel Embiid

G – JJ Redick

G – Ben Simmons

 

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: C Damian Jones (L pectoral surgery) is listed as out.

76ers:: G Markelle Fultz (thoracic outlet syndrome), F Amir Johnson (personal reasons), C Justin Patton (R foot surgery) and G Zhaire Smith (L foot Jones fracture) are listed as out.

 

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: Coach Steve Kerr has remained committed to a nine-man rotation, with SF Andre Iguodala, PG Shaun Livingston, C/F Kevon Looney, and F Alfonzo McKinnie. All four have been playing well ... The return of PF Jonas Jerebko, who missed the last three games to be with his expectant wife, could lengthen the bench ... With Green given a rest night on Monday, Jordan Bell started at PF and played reasonably well. Whether it was enough to earn minutes off the bench remains to be seen ... Cousins played a season-high 25 minutes on Monday and, ideally, the Warriors would like to see it pushed to maybe 28.

76ers: Coach Brett Brown also utilizes nine players in his primary rotation, with PG TJ McConnell, G Landry Shamet, SF Corey Brewer and PF/C Mike Muscala coming off the bench ... No matter who is on the floor, it’s imperative they be willing to move the basketball. Brown was an assistant in San Antonio and lifted some of his strategies from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. The Sixers are second, behind the Warriors, with 27.6 assists per game ... Though Simmons doesn’t have much of a jump shot, he is an exceptionally smart offensive player. His field-goal percentage is an impressive 56.9 percent because he plays to his strengths in the paint ... Philadelphia’s 15.1 turnovers per game are fourth-worst in the league).

Officials: John Goble (chief), Brent Barnaky, Mousa Dagher

Dragan Bender compared himself to Draymond Green during draft interview

Dragan Bender compared himself to Draymond Green during draft interview

Warriors fans are going to enjoy this one.

So if you missed the news -- Dragan Bender reportedly plans to sign a 10-day contract with Golden State.

Shortly after the Phoenix Suns selected him with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Slam magazine posted a snippet of an interview with Bender.

Slam: "Are there any guys in the NBA right now that you play like or model your game after?"

Bender: "The last two years, I liked to watch a lot of Draymond Green. That style of game -- I really like it. I really want to enjoy that style of the game in the future for sure."

Spoiler alert -- the 7-footer did not turn into the next Draymond Green.

Over three seasons in Phoenix, the 22-year-old averaged 5.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 20.3 minutes per game. The Suns declined Bender's fourth-year option, and he signed with the Milwaukee Bucks last summer in free agency (he was waived Feb. 10).

The Warriors are hoping the Croatia native can resurrect his career in Golden State, much like Marquese Chriss has this season.

If the Dubs eventually give Bender a second 10-day contract (they did not with Jeremy Pargo and Zach Norvell Jr.) they would have to sign him for the remainder of the season once the second one expires, or let him walk.

[RELATED: What Dubs can learn from Cuban's draft advice on Doncic]

"I know we have a list of players who we'd like to take a look at," coach Steve Kerr told reporters Tuesday night. "We'll see how that all pans out.

"But there's a good chance that over the last couple months of the season we take a look at some different players. That's the idea."

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NBA rumors: Could Warriors trade Andrew Wiggins for Giannis Antetokounmpo

NBA rumors: Could Warriors trade Andrew Wiggins for Giannis Antetokounmpo

Get your tin foil hats on, Warriors fans. It's time to go down the rabbit hole and discuss the Dubs' prospects of bringing Giannis Antetokounmpo to the Bay Area.

The Warriors' desire to bring the Milwaukee Bucks star Northern California is well known, and fans have talked themselves into the idea of Antetokounmpo taking the baton from Steph Curry.

Antetokounmpo will be a free agent in the summer of 2021, and will be eligible to sign a super-max extension this summer. The Bucks currently are the favorites to come out of the Eastern Conference, and a trip to the NBA Finals likely would mean the reigning NBA MVP would make Milwaukee his long-term home. A playoffs flameout could open the door for other teams, though.

While teams like the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks hope to sign Antetokounmpo in 2021, the Warriors might be taking a different approach. After acquiring Andrew Wiggins and the Minnesota Timberwolves' first-round draft pick in 2021 for D'Angelo Russell, some around the NBA believe the Warriors plan to use both Wiggins and the pick as part of a package to acquire Antetokounmpo via trade, Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus noted in his column Thursday.

Wiggins' massive contract would be useful in a trade with the Bucks after Antetokounmpo inks the supermax extension, should he choose to do so.

Along with the T'Wolves' 2021 first-round pick, the Warriors also will have a highly-drafted lottery selection of their own, courtesy of their down season this year. That T'Wolves pick is top-three protected and would be unprotected in the 2022 "double draft." All in all, the Warriors have what amounts to six draft picks over the next three years. A war chest of assets with which to seduce the Bucks into a trade should Antetokounmpo want out.

[RELATED: Giannis' All-Star Game block on LeBron had Steph hyped]

The thought of pairing Giannis with Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green is a dream that sounds like something that only would happen while playing franchise mode on NBA2K. But ... so was the thought of the Warriors' signing Kevin Durant. Apples and oranges, though.

At this point in time, with the Bucks barreling toward a Finals berth, it seems unlikely Antetokounmpo would want to be anywhere other than Milwaukee in the near future. 

But things change. And if they do, the Warriors and a host of other teams will be waiting to snatch the Greek Freak from the Bucks.