Warriors-Jazz: What to watch for


Warriors-Jazz: What to watch for

Programming note: Catch all the action tonight on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live at 5:30 followed by Warriors-Jazz at 6. After the final buzz, Warriors Postgame Live will have all the highlights and analysis.

For the first time since Monta Ellis was traded, theWarriors looked despondent and dispassionate in their play. There were blownout by the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday, a game they were never reallyin.Afterwards, Warriors coach Mark Jackson called the Warriorsperformance embarrassing and insured the team would rebound Saturday nightagainst the Jazz in Utah.For Warriors players, it seems to be sinking in that withoutEllis and Ekpe Udoh also included in the trade and the injured Stephen Currythat wins are going to be difficult to come by. The bottom line is the Warriorshave 25 games remaining and they have to find something to play for.It seems apparent that making the playoffs is a farfetchednotion, and the players and coach appear to be realizing that. Here are somethings to watch for during Saturdays Warriors-Jazz game.Effort level: It was clear after theWarriors loss to Milwaukee that Jackson wasnt pleased at all with the teamsenergy and effort. But Friday was not the first time Jackson has called histeams effort embarrassing.In fact, its happened about a half-dozen times this season,which is getting to the point of too many.Its important that while the team waits for Andrew Bogutand Curry to return which might not be till next season that itcontinues to develop. Tough to see any advancement in that category againstMilwaukee.Klays play: Since been giving thestarting two-guard spot, rookie Klay Thompson has had a good game and a couplenot-so-good ones. Thompson has begun to get big minutes now that Ellis is gone,and its worth keeping an eye on how he handles it.Will he shoot the ball consistently well for the rest of theseason? Can he defend two guards and hold his own night in and night out? Is itrealistic to expect him to handle this heavy of a workload for the rest of the seasonand beyond?We should find out a lot of those answers in the final 25games of the season.Lees response: No player seemed moredisappointed with the Ellis trade than David Lee. Not only did it take away Leeshope to make his first postseason, but the loss of Udoh legitimately willaffect his game.Udoh was able to guard the opposing teams best interiorplayer much of the time and Udohs presence on defense was also beneficial toLee.Up until the trade, Lee had been having a nice season.Against the Bucks he had 22 points and nine rebounds, but it was lost becauseLuc Mbah a Moute and Drew Gooden still owned the interior.Lee is a professional, no doubt, but it will likely bedifficult for him to maintain the level of play he had established earlier thisseason now that the teams best player and starting point guard and center aregone.

Refocused McGee 'blessed' to earn Warriors' final roster spot

Refocused McGee 'blessed' to earn Warriors' final roster spot

OAKLAND – After eight years as one of the NBA’s most intriguing projects, JaVale McGee was extended an opportunity to join the Warriors, the league’s successful franchise over the past two seasons.

Informed early Friday that he had made the roster, the 7-foot center celebrated by never leaving the bench in the preseason finale Friday night at Oracle Arena.

Though he had recovered well enough from a left knee strain to play, coach Steve Kerr opted to keep McGee off the court against the Portland Trail Blazers.

Which was fine by McGee, who after the game sat in front of his locker with ice bags wrapped from just above his knee to the bottom of his calf.

“I’m just happy, blessed, to have this chance,” he told CSNBayArea.com.

McGee earned the 15th and final roster spot by doing what the Warriors had hoped. He ran the floor well, blocked a few shots and sent a few lob passes powering through the bottom of the net.

“He had a good camp and he gives us something that we don’t have with our other centers, with that length and that ability to catch a lob and finish,” Kerr said. “He has the potential to help us. We’ll see how it all goes.”

McGee, 28, will join 34-year-old Anderson Varejao in sharing spot minutes behind starter Zaza Pachulia and top backup David West.

“I'm starting to figure out what the coaches want from me, and I’m starting to execute it,” he said. “Everything is going well.”

Selected by the Washington Wizards in the first round (18th overall) of the 2008 draft, McGee is now on his fifth NBA team.

Noting that he has no control over his playing time but will do his part to influence the coaching staff, McGee said he is here primarily to achieve has one goal:

“Win an NBA championship,” he said. “That’s it.”

Kerr sees shades of Iguodala, Livingston in rookie McCaw

Kerr sees shades of Iguodala, Livingston in rookie McCaw

While Kevin Durant is understandably the talk of the Warriors after shaking up the NBA landscape in his free agency decision, the player garnering the closest amount of hype going in the regular season was bought with the No. 38 pick in this year's draft. 

"The young kid Patrick McCaw, who's a second-round pick from Vegas, he's picked up everything so easy," head coach Steve Kerr said on KNBR's Tolbert & Lund on Friday. "He reminds me a lot of Andre (Iguodala) and Shaun Livingston, and not only with his build, but with his feel for the game." 

The Warriors used $2.4 million to buy the Milwaukee Bucks' second-round pick and make McCaw their new diamond in the rough, just three picks later than Draymond Green in the 2012 draft.

For McCaw, there can't be a much higher compliment from Kerr with himeself being such a big fan of Livingston. 

"Definitely I watch a lot of Shaun Livingston too, a big point guard who can make plays with the ball, can defend, and that's just where I see my game going," McCaw said at his introductory press conference for the Warriors in June.

From summer league through the preseason, McCaw only continues to impress. 

Shining in the Las Vegas Summer League, the versatile McCaw averaged 15.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals over 33.8 minutes per game. Playing in all seven of the Warriors' preseason games, the 20-year-old guard poured in 8.4 points, 2.1 assists and 1.7 rebounds per game while averaging 20.1 minutes.