It stinks what happened to Brandon Rush. He tore the ACL inhis left knee in Fridays game against the Memphis Grizzlies and will miss theremainder of the season.Rush, who averaged 9.8 points per game and shot 45 percentfrom 3-point range last year, was the teams best wing defender and an integralpart of the improved Warriors bench.Hes tough to replace. But the question is this: Can theWarriors try to replace him?The answer is yes, but there are challenges the Warriorswould face in terms of replacing Rush on the roster with another player. Itsdoable, but is it worth it?The first thing the Warriors would have to do is apply tothe league for a disabled player exception. That exception would likely begranted, which would mean the Warriors could use 50 percent of Rushs salary toacquire a player either by way of a free agent signing or a trade.Rush is earning 4 million in 2012-13, so the Warriors wouldhave 2 million to use.Warriors general manager Bob Myers said on Sunday the teamis looking at its options.But heres where it gets a little tricky. The money you useto sign a player or trade for a player counts toward your payroll. In theWarriors case, their payroll is slightly more than 70.3 million, which is theluxury tax threshold.At this point, the Warriors are considered a tax-payingteam, but they have several ways to get back under the tax by the end of theseason when the tax is actually computed.If you are a tax-paying team, you must pay one dollar forevery dollar over. In addition, the Warriors would be ineligible to receive anymoney generated from the penalty money that is redistributed to non-tax-paying teamsby the leagueIf the Warriors were to use 2 million to sign or trade fora player or a portion of that it would make it that much more difficult toget back under the luxury tax by the end of the season.Also important is that if the Warriors were to acquire aplayer with the exception, they would have to waive a player. Right now theWarriors roster is at the league-maximum 15 players.They have 14 guaranteed contracts. Kent Bazemore is on apartial guarantee.Going out and getting someone to replace Rush let alonesomeone you want to contribute comes at a price. The free agent names arisingare Mickael Pietrus, Maurice Evans, Josh Howard and Kenyon Martin.Also to consider is the Warriors have Richard Jefferson, an11-year veteran who has more playoff experience than anyone on the roster. Hecould fill in. Or perhaps there might be times when you could squeeze DraymondGreen into the small forward spot for Rush.Heck, what's the problem with giving rookie starter Harrison Barnes a little more wiggle room?You can certainly expect coach Mark Jackson to use more of alineup that includes Jarrett Jack at point guard, Stephen Curry at shootingguard and Klay Thompson at small forward.The Warriors certainly have enough bodies to cover for theabsence of Rush. Could they try to acquire a player? Yes, they could. But atthis point, theyre doesnt seem to be a great need to.
OAKLAND -- The Warriors-Clippers rivalry, dead for a couple years, was buried 50 points deep Thursday night.
But scoring 50 points in 12 minutes, as the Warriors did in the third quarter, is a rather emphatic statement that serves as its own embellishment. It sent the Clippers back home, unable to muster even a half-hearted comeback.
“That was incredible,” Kevin Durant said of third-quarter scoring frenzy.
“That’s a lot of points,” Klay Thompson said. “It’s that the most we’ve had all season?”
Well, yes, it is. The Warriors’ previous high for points in a quarter was 45, also against the Clippers, on Jan. 28.
So this was astonishing even to the Warriors, the highest-scoring team in the NBA for three seasons running. This is the Warriors’ fourth 50-point quarter in franchise history and their first since March 1989. They made nine 3-pointers, tying a franchise record for triples in a quarter.
Fifties are rare, period; the last one by any team in the NBA was on March 25, 2014, when the Lakers dropped 51 in a quarter against the Knicks.
“I had no idea we scored that much,” said Stephen Curry, who scored 20 in the quarter -- 17 in the final 3:37 before halftime. “Obviously, coming back from 12 down to having a double-digit lead, it all started with the defensive end and finding transition.”
The scoring breakdown: Curry scored 20, Durant 15, Thompson 5, Andre Iguodala and Zaza Pachulia 4 each and JaVale McGee 2. The Warriors shot 73.9 percent (17-of-23) in the quarter.
“It all started from our defense, getting rebounds and getting out in transition,” Durant said.
The Warriors forced five LA turnovers in the quarter, off which they scored 11 points. Trailing by 12 at the half, they led by 12 entering the fourth quarter.
The Warriors have defeated the Clippers 10 consecutive times overall. They’ve beaten them 11 straight times at Oracle Arena. The average margin of victory in four games this season is 21.5 points.
This was a matter of how the Warriors responded to the threat posed by LA in the first half.
“I’m not sure what needed to happen,” Draymond Green said. “But I know we took that quarter over. And it was pretty spectacular.”
This will come as a sharp blow to Warrior fans who like things the way they are, but they probably can no longer use Scott Foster as an alibi for failure, or a stalking horse for rage.
Well, I mean they can, but let’s be honest here – the evidence just doesn’t support it any more.
Foster, who no matter what you say is one of the elite officials in the league, has also been cast as a bête noire by all things Golden State. Either he’s imperious, or he’s standoffish, or he makes himself too conspicuous – they’re all standard complaints made of all officials who aren’t otherwise branded as just plain terrible.
Only Foster isn’t terrible, given the fact that he has worked a series of NBA Finals, and that remains the gold standard for officiating.
But the Warriors bang their heads against the backboard when he works their games, and were on the verge of doing that again Thursday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Foster called third quarter technicals on Andre Iguodala and the Warrior bench, and J.T. Orr called one on Draymond Green, all in the space of 6:34. The Warriors were unhinged, the fans were unhinged, innocent bystanders were being hit with flying hinges throughout the arena.
And in that stretch, the Warriors outscored the Clippers, 26-15, en route to a 50-point quarter (the first in two seasons and the third since the turn of the millennium) and another harsh slapdown of what used to be known as the Warriors-Clippers Cavalcade Of Hate, this time 123-113.
It isn’t that any more, not close. Truth is, the Warriors have won 10 consecutive games against the Clips, but probably never quite at decisively as this. At the game’s most lopsided stretch, Golden State outscored Los Angeles, 72-33, in a shade over 17 minutes.
Because that’s what they do.
Only this time, the comeback was not fueled by the existence of the Clippers, who had outplayed them pretty convincingly for the first 22 minutes and change, but with the officials, who as we have said before irk the hell out of them when their number includes Foster.
Who, again, is one of the game’s best officials. I think it’s a personality clash, to be frank, in which both sides can take some blame.
Truth is, though, when a team can go for 50 in a quarter and still have time to engage in a feud with the officials, it is making a kinky little statement about what they can do when enraged, and how difficult it is to stop them when they have a serious mad-on.
Yes, it is probably stretching a point to make this case, especially when the Warriors make 17 of 23 shots (9 of 15 from three) and assist on 13 of the 17 field goals. It is probably minimizing Stephen Curry’s 20-point quarter and his four assists, or Kevin Durant’s 15 and five rebounds, or David West imposing his body between Green and the officials to keep him from getting T’d up again for the second successive game.
But we have already established that rivalries are dying at their feet left and right. In the last three years the Clippers have gone from the Warriors’ arch-enemies to a team that has finished an aggregate 44 games behind the Dubs in the standings, making whatever animosity they can still stir
Against the Clips a curio of a much earlier time. The Oklahoma City Thunder have come and gone, and even the Durant-Russell Westbrook has lost its last bit of elasticity.
Oh, there is still Cleveland, but that cannot be resumed for another 14 weeks at the earliest.
The Warriors, in short, have run out of opponents, and given that they will manufacture a foe when one does not otherwise exist, Scott Foster may have to serve for the time being, even if he is nothing but an intermittent prop to amuse the customers when the game cannot provide.
Though you’d have to think the third quarter Thursday makes that pretty thin oatmeal. The Warriors ate an entire game in 12 minutes, including the officials. They seemed like they got their fill.