Warriors

Will Steph, Klay be on minutes restriction upon return to Warriors?

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NBC Sports Bay Area

Will Steph, Klay be on minutes restriction upon return to Warriors?

Editor’s note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors reporter, will take you inside the Dubs as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #askKerith.

Tip-Off

The Warriors are still looking for their 10th win of the season, as their losing streak has grown to 10 consecutive games. The rest of the month is tough. If the playoffs began today, the next six opponents the Dubs play to wrap up January -- Orlando Magic, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Indiana Pacers, Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics -- would be in the postseason. 

The players and coaches are frustrated, and so are fans. I like hearing from you in the mailbag. The most popular questions this week were about when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson might return. 

Game On!

Via instagram, @thebryannolen, @_habizz.walden_pnw, and @renegadegabe all wondered about Steph and Klay and whether they’d have minutes restrictions when they come back. 

Last week’s mailbag contained the update that Steph will be re-evaluated on Feb. 1 and Klay will be re-evaluated during the All-Star break. 

It was encouraging to see Steph and Klay travel with the team during the last road trip, and video from practice shows Steph shooting with his teammates. He was moving side-to-side with the ball in his hands, putting up 3-pointers with ease.

Keep in mind Steph’s re-evaluation date is still two weeks away. He might need more time to recover. When, or if, Steph comes back (and I think it will be when ... late February/early March is my feeling), he’ll probably be eased in slowly, per usual after long-term injuries. A minutes restriction will keep things manageable as he gets his wind back, while he builds chemistry on the floor with his new teammates. 

Klay spoke to reporters on Tuesday. It was the first time we’ve heard from him since Media Day, months ago. 

“I don’t know what’s going to come this season. I would love to get out there,” Klay said.

I think he’s holding out hope he could possibly play late in the season, while understanding it might not happen -- and that could be for the best.

“I’m trying to make sure this type of injury never happens to me again. So, I’ll be very patient because I want to play at a high level until I’m in my late-30s,” Klay added.

The medical staff needs to clear Klay for contact first, and that’s not happening for several weeks -- more likely months.

[RELATED: Watch Klay shoot at Chase Center

@MrHeavyMetaI What are chances Steph, Klay, D Lo and Green play a game together this season?? #askKerith

Because it’s uncertain Klay will play at all this season, I’ll entertain this question by saying a 2 percent chance. There’s wiggle room, but I feel doubtful. Even if all four of them are available toward the end of the season, one of them a night could be load-managed.

@misha1031 Watching the game (on Tuesday), I worried that we are not grasping how weak this team is on the floor (I’m not underestimating the difficulty of what this team is trying to do) In your opinion, how many seasons will it take to find a real core? One seems optimistic.

The Warriors have a core -- it’s Steph, Klay, Draymond Green, and Kevon Looney. Three out of those four have been dealing with long-term injuries. And Draymond is physically and mentally tired. 

There’s a chance D’Angelo Russell will grow into part of the core, but his first year with the team wasn’t what he expected. He deserves space to acclimate to handling a great deal of the scouring output. He’s been slowed by thumb, ankle, and shoulder injuries this season. 

The core is there for next season. Steph and Klay were forced to rest via rehab. Draymond’s obvious frustration this season should ease when he’s alongside the Splash Brothers again. Kevon’s situation of managing his neuropathy is concerning, but until reporters get word that Kevon needs something more than day-to-day management, I choose to be optimistic. 

Barring another season of injuries, the Warriors have their core next year. They also have a collection of young core candidates who have been through the fire this season. Lead by perhaps the best coaching staff in the NBA and an organization with a healthy culture in place, next season should be much better.

@DavidGrisar What is Steve Kerr’s contract status? Did he sign a new deal?

Kerr signed a contract extension in the summer of 2018, and Warriors Insider Monte Poole learned Kerr is expected to coach at least the first two seasons at Chase Center. You can find more details here. 

@TheMattBoyle More likely Steph plays in the Olympics given this will be a less taxing regular season?

For sure. Going from the Finals to the Olympics, for example, would not give Steph a chance to rest and recover. Concerns about recovery kept him out of the 2016 games in Rio. But a deep Warriors playoff run is not the situation this season. Being an Olympian is one honor Steph doesn’t have yet in his career. This summer in Tokyo should change that.

@AnneHarr13 Does the team fly out of SFO now, rather than out of OAK?

Yes. The team practices and plays games in San Francisco, so they fly out of SFO too. 

Via instagram, @mr.blai asks, Where do those boxes of food the players bring to the plane come from? Are they just takeouts from their favorite restaurants? 

There is food everywhere, provided by the team. Those takeout boxes you see contain healthy, catered meals. There’s salad, lean meats, noodles, quinoa, cold cuts, cheeses, smoothies, juices, you name it.

Players will never go hungry. There’s food before take off, on the plane, at practice, and in the locker room pregame and postgame. One of the most popular snacks on hand is the old comfort food, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

High Five

This week’s high five goes to Klay Thompson, who will see his Washington State University number lifted into to the rafters in a jersey retirement ceremony Saturday in Pullman, WA. 

He led the Pac-12 in scoring his junior year before declaring for the draft, and he left the school with the single-season scoring record of 733 points. 

I’ll be in Pullman to cover the ceremony. Stay tuned for interviews, video, and pictures!

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area’s Warriors coverage all season.

Lakers at Warriors watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

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AP/USATSI

Lakers at Warriors watch guide: Lineups, injuries, player usage

SAN FRANCISCO – The Warriors haven’t won a home game in nearly six weeks, but the absence of LeBron James on Thursday leaves ajar the door to victory.

Slightly ajar, we should say.

James will be on the sideline nursing a groin injury when the Western Conference-leading Lakers visit the last-place Warriors at Chase Center. Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6:30, with tipoff of the TNT telecast scheduled for 7:30.

The Warriors (12-46), in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, also have dropped their last seven at home, the last win being a 109-95 throttling of the Magic on Jan. 18. The return of Draymond Green after a two-game absence should provide leadership and a degree of stability.

The Lakers (44-12) have won six consecutive games and have stated the goal of securing the No. 1 seed in the conference. LA entered Thursday with a five-game lead over the second-place Nuggets.

The Lakers won the first two of four meetings this season, posting s 120-94 rout on Nov. 13 in LA and holding off the Warriors for a 125-120 victory on Feb. 8 at Chase.

 

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Lakers

F – Kyle Kuzma

F – Anthony Davis

C – JaVale McGee

G – Danny Green

G – Avery Bradley

Warriors

F – Andrew Wiggins

F – Draymond Green

C – Marquese Chriss

G – Damian Lee

G – Jordan Poole

 

INJURY REPORT

Lakers: F Anthony Davis (L elbow soreness) is listed as probable. F LeBron James (groin soreness) is listed as out.

Warriors: G Stephen Curry (L hand fracture) and G Klay Thompson (L ACL rehab) are listed as out. F/C Alen Smailagic is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the G League.

 

ROTATION OUTLOOK

Lakers: With James out, Kuzma likely will get his seventh start of the season. Another option available to coach Frank Vogel would be to insert G/F Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, three inches shorter than the 6-8 Kuzma, at SF because KCP is a better defensive option against Wiggins . . . Kuzma’s 12.5 ppg ranks third on the team and No. 1 in scoring among LA reserves. Backup C Dwight Howard is No. 2 at 7.7 ppg . . . James has missed only two previous games this season, with the Lakers splitting those games . . . The Lakers are undefeated (17-0) against Western Conference teams away from LA. Their lone loss came at Staples Center on opening night against the host Clippers . . . They average 7.0 blocks per game, with Davis at 2.5 pg, McGee at 1.5 pg and backup C Dwight Howard at 1.3 pg . . . If you’re looking for a vulnerable area, try these two: The Lakers are 14-9 when they shoot fewer FTs than opponents, and they are 3-4 when featured on TNT.

Warriors: The return of Green, who has missed 16 games this season, sends rookie Eric Paschall back to the bench after two starts at PF . . . On the bench and healthy: C Dragan Bender, PG Ky Bowman, C/F Kevon Looney, SG Mychal Mulder and SF Juan Toscano-Anderson. Mulder was added to the roster Wednesday after signing a 10-day contract. He averaged 17.0 ppg in 39 games (34 starts) with the Sioux Falls Skyforce of the G League . . . Poole averaged 15.7 pts. over his last seven games, shooting 44.6 pct. from the field, including 23.9 percent from distance . . . Chriss has scored in double figures in 11 of his last 13 games, averaging 14.2 pts. over that stretch on 63.9 pct. shooting from the field . . . The last Warriors rookie to post more than 40 games with at least 10 points was Klay Thompson in 2011-12. With 24 games remaining, Paschall has 36 such games . . . The Warriors have utilized 29 different starting lineups this season, their highest since 2009-10, when they tried 49 starting lineups.

Officials: Ken Mauer (crew chief), Tyler Ford, Marat Kogut.

Why Bob Myers questioned decision to trade Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson

Why Bob Myers questioned decision to trade Alec Burks, Glenn Robinson

Steve Kerr was hired as head coach of the Warriors in May 2014.

Since then, you have heard countless references to the incredible "culture" within the Golden State organization.

And despite the fact the Dubs have the worst record in the NBA right now, that culture remains strong. The foundation is rock solid.

Oh, you want an example? Glad you asked.

President of basketball operations/general manager Bob Myers provided the following anecdote during a podcast appearance on "The TK Show" with Tim Kawakami of The Athletic:

"The night we traded (Alec) Burks and (Glenn) Robinson -- that was a little bit of a gut-wrenching thing for the people on the team. Those guys were good players and good guys and did everything we asked of them.

"And I had a moment, too. I started questioning. We're really kind of ripping our fabric apart here. And (assistant general manager) Mike Dunleavy -- who played 15 years -- said, 'Here's the other side of that coin: The fact that guys are in tears -- and we've only won 10 games or 12 games and don't want to leave -- says something about what you guys have created.'

"So I'm proud of that part ... it sucks to lose. But what makes it good or bad are the people."

Strong stuff.

Neither Burks or Robinson III wanted to be traded. Even when they found out they were going to a contender in the Philadelphia 76ers, they still were upset.

"To play those consistent minutes a night and perform well ... that’s the most disappointing part about coming here is that -- both of us are coming off career years where we’re looking at hopefully big numbers after the season," Robinson recently told Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders. "I know I’ve got a family to feed. So you think about all those things.

"All those things play a role, and then when you come here and your role’s not really explained or you don’t know what’s going on with the trade -- it’s not like it was a trade where you come in and immediately have an impact. It’s a little different, so ...

"This team is full of wings, full of guys who can play. So really, I don’t really understand it. But it’s a business, you’ve got to make it happen and go out and try to do your best every night.”

[RELATED: Dubs GM Myers recalls 2011 NBA Draft dinner with 'shy' Klay]

It is a business, and Myers and the front office had an opportunity to acquire three second-round draft picks, so they jumped on it.

But the human element is very real, which caused Myers to second-guess the trade.

Follow @DrewShiller on Twitter and Instagram