Warriors

Warriors vs. Celtics watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

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Warriors vs. Celtics watch guide: Lineups, injury report, player usage

SAN FRANCISCO – It’s one challenge for the Warriors to snap a five-game losing streak, quite another to come out of such a tailspin against a team with an NBA-best nine-game win streak.

Those are the circumstances when they meet the Celtics Friday night. Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30 p.m. PT, with tip-off from Chase Center scheduled for 7:40 p.m.

[RELATED: How to watch Warriors-Celtics on MyTeams]

Greatly diminished by a rash of injuries, the Warriors (2-10) are off to a start that equals their worst since 1999, when they opened the season by winning only two of the first 18 games.

Following the league of free-agent signee Kemba Walker, Boston (9-1) is off to its best start since the 2007-08 season, when they punctuated a 66-16 season by winning the NBA Finals.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Celtics

F – Jaylen Brown
F – Jayson Tatum
C – Enes Kanter
G – Marcus Smart
G – Kemba Walker

Warriors

F – Glenn Robinson III
F – Draymond Green
C – Willie Cauley-Stein
G – Jordan Poole
G – D’Angelo Russell

INJURY REPORT

Celtics: F/C Daniel Theis (right small finger sprain) and C/F Robert Williams (right ankle soreness) are listed as probable. F Gordon Hayward (left hand fracture) is listed as out.

Warriors G Stephen Curry (left hand fracture), G Jacob Evans III (left adductor strain), G Damion Lee (right hand non-displaced fracture), F Kevon Looney (neuropathy), F Alen Smailagic and G Klay Thompson (right ACL rehab) are listed as out.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Celtics: Walker (25.0 ppg, 44.4 pct 3p) has been everything they could have hoped when signing him in July. He’s also playing best defense at the most effective level of his career ... Brown (20.1 ppg, 52.0 pct. FG) and Tatum (19.8 ppg, 3 pct. 3p) are bouncing back from disappointing seasons. Brown moved from shooting guard to small forward after the injury to Hayward, who also was having a terrific season ... Smart is the defensive rock and the grit of this team, essentially a smaller version of Draymond Green, and is playing the best offense of his career, shooting 38.8 pct from deep ... Rookie PG Carsen Edwards, who shot his way into the NBA with a superb NCAA Tournament last March, is averaging 11.9 mpg off the bench.

[RELATED: Robinson laughs at notion of tanking]

Warriors: For the first time this season, the Warriors are expected to have the same starting lineup for three consecutive games. They have utilized eight different starting lineups this season. Only Robinson has thus far started every game ... Russell is averaging 36.3 ppg over four games since returning to the lineup after recovering from a right ankle sprain ... Defensive woes continue to plague the team, but it has risen out of last place in the team defensive ratings. The Warriors are 29th in defensive rating (121.1), which is dreadful but superior to the last-place Pelicans (122.8) ... Since introducing himself to the NBA at large with a 34/13 game on Nov. 4, rookie power forward Eric Paschall is shooting 40 pct. (20-of-50) from the field, including 18.2 percent (2-of-11) from deep.

Officials: David Guthrie (crew chief), Michael Smith, JT Orr.

Warriors' Steve Kerr says trade rumors don't affect D'Angelo Russell

Warriors' Steve Kerr says trade rumors don't affect D'Angelo Russell

D'Angelo Russell is rapidly approaching a date some NBA observers have circled since the Warriors acquired him this summer.

Golden State can trade Russell as soon as Sunday, Dec. 15, and the 23-year-old has been the source of trade speculation during his time in the Bay Area. The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski reported Wednesday, citing sources that the Minnesota Timberwolves "remain interested in Russell" and that the guard "seems to be realistic in understanding that he may not be long for the Warriors once Steph Curry and Klay Thompson return to full health."

Russell is averaging a career-high 22.4 points per game this season to go with 6.1 assists and 3.1 rebounds, serving as the top offensive option in the absence of his All-Star teammates. He knew he wouldn't play much with Thompson this season as he recovers from a torn ACL, but Curry's broken hand threw a wrench into the Warriors' -- and thus Russell's -- prospects this season. Warriors coach Steve Kerr praised how Russell has handled the rumors surrounding him. 

"Money doesn't buy peace of mind," Kerr said Friday morning (H/T San Francisco Chronicle's Connor Letourneau). "It doesn't buy a sense of belonging, a sense of, 'Alright, this is my team.' If there's speculation that you're going to be traded all the time, I don't care how much money you make, I don't care who you are. That's tough. That's no fun to deal with, and this season has been nowhere close to what D'Angelo thought it would be when he first signed with us.

"There's no Steph. We're struggling to win games. He's had his own injuries, and we're throwing all kinds of different lineups out there based on the other injuries we've faced." 

Russell has played in just 15 of the Warriors' 27 games this season, playing on a team that looks far more like the Los Angeles Lakers of his first two seasons than the playoff-contending Brooklyn Nets a year ago -- let alone the reigning Western Conference champion Warriors. 

[RELATED: How Warriors' Chriss earning chance to start at center]

Kerr, who entered this season with the highest winning percentage in NBA history (.785), is as aware of Golden State's dramatically different reality as anyone. He said it has only brought out the best in Russell. 

"So given all that, he's played really well, and he's been a great teammate and he's doing everything he needs to do to solidify his position here," Kerr continued. "But this is the NBA here, and we never know what's coming, what's happening. So, it's a difficult position to be in in general, but for him in particular it's strange set of circumstances and he's handling it really well." 

Whether or not the Warriors trade Russell, it's clear Kerr holds him in high regard.

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Watch Warriors' Ky Bowman dominate for Santa Cruz in G League debut

Warriors two-way guard Ky Bowman made his G League debut Friday night in Santa Cruz.

He dominated the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario. 

The Boston College product could have scored 40 points if he really wanted to, but he picked his spots and made sure his teammates were getting good looks.

After shootaround in Utah on Friday, Warriors coach Steve Kerr was asked what Bowman can work on while he's with the Sea Dubs.

"He's got a really aggressive mindset -- which I like -- but there are still circumstances and situations where he needs to think more pass," Kerr said. "And more strategic, rather than just score, score, score."

Bowman clearly listened to the eight-time NBA champion.

[RELATEDWhy Dubs might be very active before, after trade deadline]

Also, "Sky Bowman" was on full display.

The 22-year-old will be back in action Sunday afternoon as Santa Cruz faces the Northern Arizona Suns. Watch the game at 2:00 p.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area.

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