Warriors vs. Suns: What to watch for

Warriors vs. Suns: What to watch for
October 31, 2012, 10:44 pm
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Programming note: Warriors-Suns coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. Stick around after the final buzzer for Warriors Postgame Live!

The Warriors enter the 2012-13 season full of optimism, hope and, yes, concern and worry. Their goal is to make the playoffs, though they havent been as vocal about that as a season ago when coach Mark Jackson and owner Joe Lacob promised as much.The reason for the hope is the return of Stephen Curry and the (late) arrival of center Andrew Bogut. Curry will be in the starting lineup Wednesday night when the Warriors open against the Suns in Phoenix. Bogut, who practiced the past few days, could join Curry.RELATED: Table set for Bogut
Here are some things to watch for during Wednesdays game:Currys conditioningeffectiveness: Fresh off signing a four-year, 44 million contract extension, Curry will start at point guard for the first time since last season.RELATED: Extension for Curry
Curry played only five of eight preseason games as the Warriors took great precaution in protecting his right ankle. Curry hasnt played since Oct. 19, when he sprained the ankle in a game against Portland.Hell match up with Phoenix point guard Goran Dragic on Wednesday night, and Dragic is a quick and athletic point guard. It should be a nice challenge for Curry in his first game back.Bogut or no Bogut: Bogut hasnt played since January, when he fractured his left ankle as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks. He is expected to give it a go tonight against Phoenix, but nothing is official at this point.If healthy, Bogut gives the Warriors a dimension they havent had in recent years -- a competent big man who is versatile and can help in different areas. They could really use Bogut on the defensive end. Suns center Marcin Gortat hurt the Warriors in a preseason game a week ago at Oracle Arena.Barnes gets nod: Lets see if there are any first-game jitters for rookie small forward Harrison Barnes, who is getting the start against Phoenix. What the Warriors need most from Barnes is energy and athleticism.Barnes has shown an ability to get to the rim in the preseason and also knock down 3-point shots. Question is: Can he do those things consistently during his rookie season?

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