Warriors-Blazers: What to watch for


Warriors-Blazers: What to watch for

Programming note: Warriors-Blazers tip off at 7:30 p.m., and Warriors Postgame Live follows after the final buzzer, only on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area!
The Warriors are coming off their most lopsided loss of theseason, a 123-84 defeat against the Denver Nuggets on Monday. If theres onething the Warriors have shown since trading Monta Ellis and Ekpe Udoh to theBucks, its that they have been able to follow up questionable performanceswith better ones.In other words, expect the Warriors to play better at theRose Garden on Wednesday night against the Blazers than they did Monday againstthe Nuggets.Here are some things to watch for during the game betweenthe Warriors and Blazers:Aldridges status: Portland power forwardLaMarcus Aldridge went to Vail, Colo., on Tuesday to meet with a specialistabout his hip. Aldridge is being called questionable for the game against theWarriors, but it seems like a longshot that hell play.There is talk in Portland that Aldridge could be shut downfor the rest of the season. If Aldridge doesnt play, it means that theWarriors David Lee has a significant advantage at that position.Thompson vs. Batum: Blazers shootingguard Nicolas Batum is considered one of the best perimeter defenders in theleague. But he is questionable with a left quadriceps injury. If Batum plays, it means that Warriors rookie Klay Thompsonwill be going up against a defender with quickness and length. If Batum doesntplay, it means that Jamal Crawford will likely defend Thompson for much of thegame. And Crawford is not the defender Batum is.Biedrins baby-steps: Its not likecenter Andris Biedrins has been dominant since returning from a groin injury.But hes been more effective lately than he has been for much of theyear. Biedrins has been playing about 15-20 minutes in recentgames, and when hes played hes chipped in with some rebounding and defense.This season, Biedrins lost his starting spot and then lost his backupspot.But if he can give them any consistency in terms ofrebounding and defense, hes worth playing limited minutes.

Potential free agent Durant on Chase Center: 'It'll be fun playing in there'

Potential free agent Durant on Chase Center: 'It'll be fun playing in there'

In July, Kevin Durant signed a two-year deal with the Warriors with a player-option for Year 2.

With the salary cap rising again, the 2013-14 MVP is expected to opt out and become a free agent.

Near the end of the Warriors' Chase Center ground breaking ceremony on Tuesday, emcee Kevin Frazier asked Durant the following question:

Frazier: "Before you go, do you want to tell the owners anything about re-signing or anything like that?"

Durant: "It'll be fun playing in there," and the crowd erupted in applause.

Earlier during the ceremony, Warriors owner and CEO Joe Lacob joked about Durant agreeing to re-sign with the Warriors this summer.

Curry bounces back in blowout, wins point guard battle with Irving

Curry bounces back in blowout, wins point guard battle with Irving

OAKLAND -- No one among the Warriors had a deeper desire to beat the Cavaliers than Stephen Curry, and his performance Monday gave every indication that he wanted it as badly as he needed it.

And after losing the point-guard battle to Cleveland’s Kyrie Irving in four successive games, all Warriors losses, it was past time for Curry as the back-to-back MVP to stand up and make a statement.

His response was impressive: 20 points (7-of-20 shooting), 11 assists, four steals and a 126-91 rout by the Warriors. He was plus-23 over 31 minutes.

“He was making shots, it’s as simple as that,” Irving said. “In transition, off pick-and-rolls, doing what he does and that makes him a great player.”

Irving’s response: 17 points (6-of-19 shooting), two assists and a game-high-tying (with teammate LeBron James) six turnovers. Irving was minus-12 over 29 minutes.

“Steph was great,” coach Steve Kerr said. “A phenomenal first half, I think he had 10 assists. His energy was great and he set the tone. He put a lot of pressure on the defense.”

Curry has been playing with renewed vigor lately, his mentality changing shortly after the Warriors on Christmas Day in Cleveland blew a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter, taking a 109-108 loss. Curry took only 11 shots, scoring 15 points.

He was particularly good in the first half, scoring 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, with 10 assists and three steals. Curry clearly came to destroy.

“It was a great way to start, just a foot on the gas pedal,” Curry said.

Curry’s game, along with the victory, may silence some of the narrative suggesting the Cavaliers have his number. Though he was displeased with one aspect of his game, Curry happily accepted the outcome. Or that Irving hadn't caught up to him.

“I obviously wanted to play well; I didn’t want to walk off the floor with anything more than what I think is a solid, aggressive game,” he said. “I didn’t shoot the ball as well as I wanted to. Some shots I normally make didn’t go down.

But I can live with that knowing I took care of the other stuff I was supposed to do on the floor. Really, what was all in my head was that I definitely wanted to leave this arena tonight with a solid performance and obviously get the win.”