Five issues Warriors need to solve by opening night


Five issues Warriors need to solve by opening night

The Warriors hold their annual media day on Monday afternoon at the teams downtown Oakland practice facility. The first day of practice is on Tuesday, when the Warriors will have double sessions.With a revamped roster and two important players coming off injuries, the Warriors have some questions as camp starts. Here are five issues to figure out by opening night Oct. 31st at Phoenix.How healthy is center Andrew Bogut and what will his status be on opening night?Andrew Bogut missed all but 12 games last season with a fractured left ankle. Hes been rehabbing all offseason, but has still not been cleared to play five-on-five. Bogut is targeting a few preseason games, and then playing in Game 1. In any event, it appears the Warriors will monitor Boguts minutes closely particularly early in the season.How does Stephen Currys ankle look?Stephan Curry is in the same boat with Bogut injury-wise, but looks to be further along. Curry missed most of last season with a troublesome right ankle, but he is healthy and is expected to start the season-opener. The Warriors have eight preseason games, and that should give Curry and the Warriors a good look at how everything is progressing.
Who will start at small forward?The Warriors have three viable candidates for the spot: Richard Jefferson, Brandon Rush and rookie Harrison Barnes. Yes, who finishes at the small forward spot is more important than who starts, but who starts might give you a feel for what coach Mark Jackson is thinking this year and what he values.Who will backup Andrew Bogut at center or start if Bogut isnt ready by Game 1?The battle for minutes at the backup center spot will be between Andris Biedrins and rookie Festus Ezeli. Biedrins career has plummeted in recent years, but he still can rebound and defend some. Ezeli is raw but relentless, weve been told.Boguts minutes are likely going to be limited particularly early in the season so there are minutes to be had at center.What style will emerge?It remains to be seen what kind of team the Warriors will be. Bogut helps them defensively, but theyre still not strong in that department overall. And they probably wont be the running team theyve been in the past.At the same time they have some terrific shooters, and a couple of big men in David Lee and Bogut, who can pass.It will take a while for this team to develop an identity, but the process should start on Day 1.

Draymond's strong reaction to his first technical foul of the season

Draymond's strong reaction to his first technical foul of the season

The Warriors trailed the Spurs 64-46 at the half on Tuesday night.

Draymond Green's breakaway dunk with 8:58 remaining in the third quarter pulled the Warriors to within 10 points.

But after yelling in the direction of LaMarcus Aldridge, Draymond was assessed a technical foul.

"Next time I dunk, I'm gonna yell again," Draymond declared after the loss. "I mean, it's kind of universal. I'm gonna continue to be me, and whatever happens, happens."

Kawhi Leonard made the ensuing free throw and the Spurs went on a subsequent 15-6 run to take a 20-point lead.

[REWIND: Forward-thinking Draymond sets money aside for technicals]

Draymond racked up 13 technical fouls last regular season -- the third most in the NBA.

Per NBA rules, a player receives a one-game suspension on his 16th technical.

Green was suspended for Game 5 of last year's NBA Finals after picking up his fourth flagrant foul point of the playoffs.

This offseason, Steve Kerr talked about Draymond keeping his edge without crossing over the line. 

"It's not really a focus of mine not being me," Draymond added. "I know how to be me way better than I know how to be anyone else. So I'll just continue to try and work on being me, which really don't take much work."

Antawn Jamison: Warriors really miss Andrew Bogut

Antawn Jamison: Warriors really miss Andrew Bogut

The Warriors were crushed by the Spurs on Tuesday night, 129-100.

According to former Warriors forward Antawn Jamison, the loss highlighted the void left behind with Andrew Bogut's departure. 

"They were such in a comfort zone when they had Bogut and they knew that he would pick up some of the deficiencies if guys got blown by -- he was always the rim protector," Jamison explained on KNBR 1050. "Anderson Varejao and Zaza (Pachulia) are great defenders but as far as protecting that rim, they are not Bogut.

[POOLE: Rewind: Opener brings painful reminder nothing's given for Warriors]

"And I think now they are kind of realizing how much they miss his dynamic as far as controlling that paint and being satisfied with just 'that's my job -- is to make sure I make it difficult for guys in the paint' ... it's the first game of the season, there's no need to push the panic button."

Back in early September, Steve Kerr shared his one concern for the upcoming season:

“The thing that’s different will be a lack of rim protection,” Kerr told “We had great rim protection from Bogut and Ezeli, and both those guys are gone. Zaza’s a very good defender, but he’s more of a positional guy than a shot blocker.

“So there’s definitely adjustments we’ll have to make, even schematically. We’ll have some growing pains, especially on defense, as we try to make sure we get everything right and comfortable.”

Pachulia registered just two points and three rebounds in 20 minutes, and turned the ball over three times.

Andre Iguodala scored just two points in 27 minutes off the bench. He committed three fouls and was a -28 for the game.

[RATTO: Spurs show early superiority over Warriors with sum of their parts]

Ian Clark missed all four of his 3-point attempts and was a team-worst -29, while Shaun Livingston was a -15.

"The Warriors' bench to me is going to be the biggest key this year because other than that Big Four offensively, nobody was bringing firepower off the bench," Jamison declared. "We know what Livingston and Iguodala can bring to the table, but somebody else off that bench really has to come in and step up and pick up the slack as well.

"I'm not worried at all. It just put in perspective that they really miss Bogut, and the bench needs to step up."

Could JaVale McGee ultimately be the answer at center?

"If he's able to focus and realize that he can contribute so much to this team with his length and his athletic ability, if he can be one of those guys that come off that bench and control that paint, I can see him eventually becoming a starter or getting starter minutes," Jamison answered.