Warriors

Warriors vs. Pelicans Watch Guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

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USATSI

Warriors vs. Pelicans Watch Guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

If any member of the Warriors wants even the slightest chance of increasing his postseason minutes, there are two opportunities and the first comes Tuesday night in New Orleans.

That’s where the Warriors, having affirmed their No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, face the Pelicans, who were eliminated from the playoff race three weeks ago.

Coverage begins at 4 o’clock with Warriors Pregame, with tipoff from Smoothie King Center scheduled for 5:10.

[RELATED: How to watch Warriors vs. Pelicans online and on MyTeams]

With the starters expected to play limited minutes at most, the Warriors (56-24) will rely heavily on their reserves. With Kevin Durant given the night off, Alfonzo McKinnie likely will start at small forward. Quinn Cook, Jonas Jerebko and Jordan Bell also will get their chances.

The Warriors, who didn’t bother to have a morning shootaround, are mostly concerned with staying healthy as they await their first-round playoff opponent.

For the Pelicans (33-48), whose season was derailed by controversies related to Anthony Davis’ desire to be traded, this is the final game of the season.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Warriors
F Alfonzo McKinnie
F Draymond Green
C DeMarcus Cousins
G Jacob Evans III
G Steph Curry

Pelicans
F Kenrich Williams
F Christian Wood
C Jahlil Okafor
G Ian Clark
G Elfrid Payton

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: SG Klay Thompson (right knee soreness), C Andrew Bogut (rest), F Kevin Durant (flu), G Andre Iguodala (L toe soreness) and C Damian Jones (L pectoral surgery) are listed as out.

Pelicans: F Anthony Davis (back spasms) is out. F/G Trevon Bluiett (R thumb surgery), G Jrue Holiday (core muscle strain), G Frank Jackson (concussion), F Stanley Johnson (L ankle contusion), F Darius Miller (L adductor strain) and G/F E’Twaun Moore (L quad contusion) are listed as out.

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Warriors: The key starters are not expected to play more than about 25 minutes. The goals for the four stars are to avoid injury. Cousins, making his first appearance against his former team, has to shake his recent tendency to commit fouls. The coaching staff will be monitoring several areas. Can McKinnie and Jerebko continue their solid rebounding while occasionally draining 3-pointers? Can Cook continue his hot shooting? Can Bell offset occasional mental lapses – if not shed them altogether – with consistent effort and focus?

Pelicans: With Davis out, Christian Wood will absorb most of the minutes at power forward.

Though C/PF Julius Randle is not on the injury list, he also has been in and out of the lineup based on the whims of the franchise. He was listed as DNP-CD on Sunday in Sacramento. Clark, a former Warrior, played 36 minutes in the win over the Kings, scoring a game-high 31 points and shooting 7-of-15 from beyond the arc.

Officials: Josh Tiven, Curtis Blair, CJ Washington

Attorney says deputy in alleged Masai Ujiri altercation has concussion

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Attorney says deputy in alleged Masai Ujiri altercation has concussion

The deputy who the Alameda County Sheriff's Office said Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri struck in the face is on medical leave after suffering a concussion, attorney David Mastagni told The Associated Press on Tuesday. 

Mastagni told KPIX on Monday that the deputy, whose name has not been released, also has "a serious jaw injury" as a result of the alleged altercation.

“The officer is off work, disabled and wants to go back to work,” Mastagni told the AP.

KPIX reported Monday that Mastagni is representing the officer. 

Officials say that Ujiri pushed and struck the deputy in the face during the waning moments of Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Thursday. With Ujiri's Raptors set to celebrate their first championship, the deputy prevented Ujiri from reaching the court because he didn't display the proper credentials, Sgt. Ray Kelly of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office told NBC Sports Washington on Friday morning.

KPIX reported Monday that Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern "personally reviewed" footage from Oracle Arena's security cameras and the deputy's body camera, and he said he will recommend the district attorney charge Ujiri with misdemeanor battery of a police officer. Mastagni told multiple outlets that the deputy is considering filing a lawsuit against Ujiri. 

The Raptors said in a statement to NBC Sports Washington last week that the encounter "is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation." Warriors season-ticket holder Greg Wiener said he saw the incident, and he told the AP on Friday that Ujiri shoved, but did not strike the deputy after he "put his hand on Ujiri's chest and pushed him."

Wiener initially told the AP that the deputy did not mention that Ujiri lacked proper credentials, but recounted Tuesday “after thinking about it all weekend" that the officer shouted, "No one gets on the court without credentials.”

The 48-year-old Ujiri has run the Raptors' front office since 2013. The Washington Wizards are preparing to offer Ujiri their top job, and NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported the offer could include an ownership stake in the team and be worth up to $10 million per year.

NBA rumors: Executives doubt DeMarcus Cousins will land contract he wants

NBA rumors: Executives doubt DeMarcus Cousins will land contract he wants

It's extremely difficult to get a read on what the Warriors' roster will look like next season, given all of the marquee players destined for free agency, some of whom will be recovering from serious injuries.

DeMarcus Cousins knows that existence all too well. He's set to become an unrestricted free agent on June 30, having spent a large portion of the past season working his way back from a torn Achilles and torn quadriceps.

The Achilles injury was a major factor in bringing Cousins to Golden State. As it turns out, the quadriceps injury, as well as the ruptured Achilles and torn ACL suffered by Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, respectively, could prove to be major factors in keeping him there for at least another season.

While Cousins flashed his pre-injury form sporadically throughout his first season with the Warriors, his consistency was severely lacking, and certain areas of his game were clearly diminished. His shortcomings were exposed in the Finals against the Raptors, and while there's a lot of money available to be spent in free agency, some believe that Cousins won't receive the kind of deal he's been hoping for.

"I doubt he gets what he wants," one anonymous NBA executive told Bleacher Report's Yaron Weitzman.

If that's the case, and Cousins doesn't get an offer that blows him away, could he return to the Warriors for the inaugural season at Chase Center?

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was asked about the potential of bringing Cousins back for another season last week, and was very open to the idea, but didn't expect it to be a realistic possibility.

"I would say the hope is, frankly, that he can do a lot better financially than what we could offer him. But who knows? Every year is different," Kerr said last Friday. "We have to figure out our own situation, particularly with Klay [Thompson] and Kevin [Durant] and how all that shakes out.

"But I could absolutely foresee a place for DeMarcus here if he wanted to come back," Kerr continued. "It's just a question of what are his goals? What's out there for him?"

If the anonymous executive is correct in their assumption, Cousins might not have a more appealing option than what the Warriors are able to offer. And, depending on what his goals are, a renewed partnership might be even more logical.

Let's say Cousins doesn't receive any offers in free agency to his liking. If he's then intent on proving his doubters wrong and putting himself in the best situation possible to showcase his resurgence, the Warriors would seem to make a ton of sense, just as they did a year ago.

With both Durant and Thompson expected to miss most or all of next season while recovering from their respective injuries, that's going to leave a massive void in the Warriors' scoring arsenal. Stephen Curry can't be expected to do it all on his own, and -- if healthy -- Cousins might be the perfect kind of complement to help carry the load.

[RELATED: Steph given fourth-best odds to win third MVP next year]

Of course, given how depleted Golden State's roster already is, the idea of placing a big bet on a big man still working his way back from a couple of major injuries is, well, a bit scary.

It's got to make sense for both sides. But it might work out that another year of Cousins in a Warriors uniform accomplishes exactly that.