10 college players likely on Warriors' radar

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10 college players likely on Warriors' radar

By now, most Warriors fans realize that if they wind up withthe No. 1 pick through the No. 7 pick in this summers NBA draft, theyll getto keep the selection.But if the Warriors end up with the No. 8 pick or worse,theyll lose the pick to Utah.All of this, of course, wont be determined until the NBAdraft lottery on May 30. Still, its not too early to take a look at whichplayers are likely to be the highest picks in the late June draft.
In other words, the Warriors will either have one of theseplayers on their roster next year or they wont. Here are 10 playersprojected go high in the draft, with a quick thumbnail about each:Harrison Barnes, SF, 6-foot-8, 223 pounds, NorthCarolina: Hes a good catch-and-shoot player and can put it on thefloor a little bit. Hes not overly athletic and may never be an all-star. Buthe is said to be a great kid and hard worker.Anthony Davis, PF, 6-foot-10, 220 pounds, Kentucky:Hes the player most likely to be selected first overall. A very goodshot-blocker and rebounder. More of a face-up shooter than back-to-the-basketplayer. Hes got to get stronger.Andre Drummond, C, 6-foot-10, 250 pounds,Connecticut: Not a sure bet to be in the draft, but hes a phenomenalathlete. The question is: Why wasnt he more dominant? Drummonds skill levelneeds work and hes at least two years away from contributing.Michael Kidd-Gilchrist: SF, 6-foot-7, 228 pounds,Kentucky: Plays extremely hard. Not a great shooter, but he alwaysdefends the oppositions best player. Should be able to guard three differentpositions in. Also said to have very good leadership skills.John Henson, PF, 6-foot-11, 220 pounds, NorthCarolina: Very long and athletic, but needs to get stronger. Runsfloor well is probably more of a center than a power forward.Jeremy Lamb, SG, 6-foot-5, 185 pounds, Connecticut:Could be the most skilled player in the draft. He can handle theball, pass and rebounds well for his size. Questions about his toughnesspersist and there are also concerns about how competitive he is.Perry Jones, PF, 6-foot-11, 220 pounds, Baylor: Hesgot a pro body and is impressive physically. Hes 6-11, but may have the skillsto play small forward. Should be a better rebounder and the issue is whether heplays hard enough.Thomas Robinson, PF, 6-foot-9, 240 pounds, Kansas: Hesa little undersized, but hes improved every year. His skill level has gotten alot better, he hits the face-up jumper and can finish in the lane with bothhands. Hes got huge hands, so its tough to take the ball from him. Plays veryhard.Jared Sullinger, C, 6-foot-9, 280 pounds, OhioState: Hes got great hands and great feet, but hes not a greatrunner and not a great leaper. Plays below the rim. Will have difficultyguarding power forwards who can stretch the floor.Tyler Zeller, C, 7-foot, 250 pounds, NorthCarolina: Runs the floor great for a 7-footer. Hell make the17-footer and has a right-handed hook and left-handed hook. He probably wont ever be an All-Star, but helllikely play in the league for 10 years.

NBA Gameday: Round 2 of Durant vs Westbrook

NBA Gameday: Round 2 of Durant vs Westbrook

Programming note: Warriors-Thunder coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND -- The Warriors close out their midseason 24-day Northern California residency Wednesday night with yet another game accompanied by drama.

Two days after thumping LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers completely out of Oracle Arena, the Warriors will face MVP candidate Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder -- AKA Kevin Durant’s former team.

The Warriors (35-6) may have to do it without shooting guard Klay Thompson, who went to Portland to visit a gravely ill family member but hopes to return in time for the game.

The Warriors are playing their ninth game out of 10 at home; the other one was up the road in Sacramento. They’re 8-1 since returning from Cleveland on Dec. 26.

Oklahoma City (25-18) is on the fourth leg of a seven-city road trip that spans 13 days, though the Thunder will return home for three days of workouts before going to Utah next Monday.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 13.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Stephen Curry vs. Westbrook: Though the point guards won’t often be in direct matchup -- Thompson, if available, will spend the majority of time defending Westbrook -- each is crucial to his team’s performance. Regardless of who gets the primary assignment on Westbrook, the Warriors will have to rely on team defense and make him a volume shooter. If Curry outplays Westbrook, OKC has no chance.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: No injuries listed; G Klay Thompson (family issue) listed as questionable.

Thunder: C Steven Adams (concussion) is listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Thunder: 5-5.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors won the first meeting this season, 122-96, on Nov. 3 at Oracle and have won seven of the last eight meetings. The teams met last postseason in the Western Conference Finals, which the Warriors won in seven games.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

KD: Durant has made it clear that facing his former team is different than any other opponent. There is evidence behind this. Playing with visible intensity, he torched OKC for a season-high 39 points in the Nov. 3 game in Oakland. Don’t be surprised if he delivers another impressive performance.

THE PAINT: With Adams out, the Thunder’s interior defense is appreciably weaker. OKC could start backup big man Enes Kanter, who is vulnerable, but more likely will go with a smaller lineup, with Jerami Grant at center. In either case, expect the Warriors to attack at every opportunity.

OKC O: The Thunder offense is weakest in two specific areas: turnovers and 3-point shooting. Westbrook’s ball domination contributes to both. He averages 5.4 giveaways a game and the Thunder, as a team, ranks 29th in 3-point shooting percentage (32.6). The Warriors lead the league in steals and in 3-point defense.

Tyronn Lue: Draymond 'wanted to send a message' to LeBron, Cavs

Tyronn Lue: Draymond 'wanted to send a message' to LeBron, Cavs

Programming note: Warriors-Thunder coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

With 6:55 remaining in the second quarter on Monday night, Draymond Green was assessed a Flagrant-1 for his foul against LeBron James.

"He wanted to send a message," Cavs head coach Tyronn Lue said on Wednesday.

Lue also told ESPN's Dave McMenamin that he didn't think Draymond's foul was a dirty play.

[POOLE: New chapter unfolds in Draymond-LeBron saga]

Immediately after the game, Steve Kerr acknowledged that he hadn't seen a replay yet but that in real time, "It just looked like a normal foul where a guy is in transition -- you want to foul him and take away the fastbreak and obviously he went down hard and sold it pretty well."

Klay Thompson said that the foul "probably warranted a Flagrant-1."