Programming note: Grizzlies-Warriors coverage begins on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area with Warriors Pregame Live at 7 p.m. Stick around after the final buzzer for Warriors Postgame Live!
The Warriors take on the Memphis Grizzlies in theirregular-season home opener at Oracle Arena on Friday. This is not the bestopponent for Golden State to open up with, however. At least if you look at thepast.Memphis swept the season series -- 4-0 -- last year againstthe Warriors and have won the last six games overall against them. What has given theWarriors the most difficulty in that time has been the size of the Grizzlies,specifically Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and Marreese Speights. This year, theWarriors are hoping that dynamic changes in large part because of theacquisition of center Andrew Bogut.Here are some things to watch for during Fridaysgame:Bogut vs. Gasol: Grizzlies center MarcGasol has consistently been the most dominant interior player when these teamshave met in the recent past.And thats one of the reasons the Warriors went out andtraded for Bogut last March -- to neutralize players such as Gasol. No doubt,Bogut will be on a minutes-limit against the Grizzlies, but even if Bogut plays20 to 25 minutes, his presence in the lane should make a difference.RELATED: No back-to-backs for Bogut
It also helps that the Warriors now have a big body off thebench to bring in: rookie Festus Ezeli.Depth advantage: The Warriors toutedtheir improved depth during the preseason, and sure enough it helped them wintheir opener against the Suns in Phoenix on Wednesday.RECAP: Warriors edge Suns in opener
Brandon Rush came up big for the Warriors in the first halfof that game, and Carl Landry hit a couple of big buckets late that helpedGolden State win the game.The Grizzlies, on the other hand, lost their most productiveplayer off the bench from a season ago: O.J. Mayo. In other words, the Warriorsmay be able to do some damage in the second quarter and some of the fourthquarter when the Grizzlies subs are in the game.Bounce-back games: Stephen Curry andDavid Lee are coming off poor shooting performances against the Suns. Currywent 2-for-14 from the field and Lee went 2-for-16. Still, the Warriors knockedoff the Suns 87-85 on the road. Its difficult to imagine those two playersstruggling like that from the field again -- or even close to that -- and beatinga quality team like the Grizzlies.
Trade talks for Kyrie Irving have reached a new high.
Acccording to ESPN, six teams have made offers to the Cavaliers for the point guard.
Those teams are: The LA Clippers, San Antonio Spurs, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks and Miami Heat.
According to the same report, as many as 20 teams have inquired about Irving's availability.
The report comes a day after The Athletic reported the Cavaliers have tried to communicate with Irving but he isn't speaking to anyone in the organization.
On July 7, Irving requested a trade.
The point guard -- who won an NBA title with the Cavs two seasons ago -- is under contract for two more seasons -- $18,868,625 in 2017-18 and $20,099,188 in 2018-19 -- plus a $21,329,750 player option in 2019-20.
NEW DELHI – NBA Champion and Finals MVP Kevin Durant of the Golden State Warriors and 3,459 Indian children from the Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program set a new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS achievement for the world’s largest basketball lesson (multiple venues) ever held.
During his first-ever trip to India, Durant conducted the record-breaking feat at The NBA Academy India, the league’s elite basketball training center in the Delhi National Capital Region for the top male and female prospects from throughout India which opened in May.
A group of youth were onsite at The NBA Academy India, while the other boys and girls participated via satellite from Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.
“Sharing my love of basketball with thousands of boys and girls across India was an unbelievable experience,” said Durant. “It was an honor to coach these amazing kids and to be a part of this special day.”
Durant is in India to support the continued growth of basketball in the country. While in Delhi, he coached the country’s top prospects at The NBA Academy India and built two new basketball courts to the Ramjas School as part of the Kevin Durant Charity Foundation’s BUILD IT AND THEY WILL BALL Courts Renovation Initiative.
“Sports has the ability to unite people, and this record-setting NBA clinic led by Finals MVP Kevin Durant helped us connect young basketball players throughout the country in a single event,” said NBA India Managing Director Yannick Colaco. “We are growing the game of basketball in India, and having Kevin here, one of the world’s greatest players, will no doubt inspire countless young boys and girls to stay healthy and active and believe that they can do anything.”
The NBA Academy India builds on the NBA’s existing basketball and youth development initiatives in India. The Reliance Foundation Jr. NBA program has reached more than 6 million youth and trained more than 5,000 physical education instructors nationwide since its launch in 2013.
NBA media services provided this report