Cavaliers vs. Warriors: What to watch for


Cavaliers vs. Warriors: What to watch for

Programming note: Cavaliers-Warriors coverage begins with Warriors Pregame Live at 7 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Stick around after the final buzzer for Warriors Postgame Live!

The Warriors will try to put Mondays disappointing loss tothe Kings behind them when they play the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday nightat Oracle Arena.The game will feature two young and improving backcourts.The Cavaliers are led by Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters, and the Warriors willcounter with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.Jarrett Jack and David Lee missed shootaround on Wednesdaymorning because of illness and are game-time decisions.Here are some things to watch for during Wednesdaysgame:Lee bounce-back: Warriors power forwardDavid Lee is off to a tough start this season, struggling to knock down shotsat the offensive end and also not distinguishing himself at the defensiveend.In the Warriors 94-92 loss to the Kings on Monday, Lee hadjust six rebounds in 41 minutes. On the season, Lee is averaging just 12.5points and 8.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 40 percent from thefloor.Lee should find himself with a favorable matchup and one heshould be able to take advantage of. Cavaliers power forward Tristan Thompsonis in just his second season and has plenty of room for growth. Thompson is anathletic player, no doubt, but the experience edge goes to Lee in a bigway.CurryThompson vs. IrvingWaiters:Stephen Curry is struggling from the field through four games butnobody really expects that to continue. Thompson has been solid in Year 2,though he missed a potential game-winning jumper from 16-feet against the Kingson Monday.Irving is considered perhaps the best young point guard inthe game, capable of hurting you with scoring or playmaking. Waiters, selectedwith the No. 4 pick in the draft, already has shown an ability to score at theNBA level. The backcourt thatplays better will go a long way toward whether that teams wins or not.The plan for Bogut: Warriors coach MarkJackson made it clear on Tuesday that Andrew Bogut will play against the Cavaliers,but likely not more than 20 minutes or so.When Jackson was asked whether it was possible to bringBogut off the bench, and therefore get him more second-half minutes, he didntseem crazy about the idea. Jackson said he is concerned that after Bogut warmsup, his ankle will get tight while he waits for playing time late in the firstquarter or early in the second.Jackson did say he liked that Bogut played the last sevenminutes of the game against the Kings, and the idea is to have Bogut availablein crunch time during those games that he does play.

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

Does Draymond still care about DPOY after another ring? 'At this point...'

OAKLAND -- Even though Draymond Green still would like to win the NBA Defensive Player of the Year award, winning a championship with the Warriors has quenched much of thirst for the honor.

“I don’t really care that much anymore,” Green said after participating in the JaVale McGee Celebrity softball game Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum benefitting the Jug Life Foundation, promoting a healthy lifestyle around water consumption.

“I cared before,” Green added. “But we won the NBA championship now. I don’t care about what happened in the regular season any more at this point. I think I would have cared if I found out in Round 1 or Round 2 (of the playoffs).

“But at this point . . . I don’t even care any more.”

This is in marked contrast to what Green expressed early in the regular season, when he acknowledged the DPOY award is the only individual award he actively cared to win.

As recently as two months ago, in discussing his defensive performance in a season during which he made numerous memorable plays, including some game-saving defensive stands, Green let his words speak on his behalf.

“It is the best defensive season I’ve had, because I’ve continued to grow,” he said at the end of the regular season. “When I look at the last couple years, I think each year I got better defensively. And I think this year I’ve gotten better. So I do think it’s my best season, defensively -- but just not numbers-wise. The numbers are up a little bit more. But I actually feel better about what I’ve done on the defensive end than I have in any other year.”

Winning a championship apparently has an impact on the significance of individual awards.

A finalist for the award for which he finished second in each of the past two seasons, Green said Saturday that his plan is to leave for New York on Sunday and be in attendance when the awards are presented Monday night.

The other finalists for the award are Jazz center Rudy Gobert and Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard, who won it the last two seasons.

All three players will be among those at Basketball City at Pier 36 in New York for the inaugural telecast of the NBA Awards on TNT.

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Durant fires back at salty Thunder fans with custom cupcake hat

Kevin Durant didn't forget about the taunts.

In February, when Durant returned to Oklahoma City for the first time as a member of the Warriors, Thunder fans heckled him with t-shirts featuring cupcakes, a reference to Durant being soft for joining the 73-win Warriors.

On Saturday, the cupcake graphic made a return with one slight change.

Durant, playing in JaVale McGee's JugLife Celebrity Softball game at the Oakland Coliseum on Saturday, showed up to the stadium wearing a cupcake hat. But instead of a cheery on top, a championship ring was superimposed on top of the cupcake.

So Durant, an NBA champion, got the last laugh.