Wednesday is going to be a nice little day for Warriors pointguard Charles Jenkins.See, Wednesday is Aug. 1, and thats the day Jenkinscontract worth 762,195 will become fully guaranteed for the 2012-13 season.Warriors general manager Bob Myers said Jenkins almost certainly will not bewaived today and that the second-year point guard is part of the teamsfuture.Myers said that barring something completely unforeseen,Jenkins will be on the roster on Wednesday. Only 200,000 of Jenkins contractis guaranteed at this point, but once Wednesday rolls around, hell earn anextra 562,195.The Warriors selected Jenkins, who played four years atHofstra, in the second round (No. 44 pick overall) of the 2011 NBA draft. Henot only wound up making the team last year, but he also played plenty in his rookieseason and even started almost half of the teams games.That playing time came in large part because of StephenCurrys ankle issues, but nevertheless Jenkins proved during his first seasonthat he could play in the NBA. Whether hes good enough to become a startingpoint guard, backup point guard or third point guard down the line remains tobe seen.Jenkins started in 28 of 51 games last year and averaged 5.8points and 3.3 assists in 17.5 minutes per game.Jenkins has acknowledged he is still learning the pointguard position, but his assist-to-turnover ratio is solid (almost 3-to-1) andhis decision-making has been sound.Hes also shown an ability to make open shots.Assuming the Warriors are healthy in 2012-13 or at leastare in their backcourt Jenkins might not play as much in his second year ashe did in his first.Curry is expected to be 100 percent by training camp, andthe Warriors also traded for Jarrett Jack, a quality backup at thepoint.
After conquering the third-place Rockets in Part I of the toughest two-night stint this season, the Warriors on Wednesday night will take aim on Part II of the challenge.
Which likely will be even more difficult, as the first-place Warriors are going into the historically imposing AT&T Center in San Antonio to face the Spurs, who reside in second place in the Western Conference.
A win by the Warriors (60-14) would reduce to five the magic number for clinching the No. 1 overall seed for the playoffs. A victory by the Spurs (57-16) would pull them within 1.5 games of the top-seeded Warriors.
The Warriors, buoyed by the best defense in the NBA this month, have won eight consecutive games. The win streak began immediately after their last trip to San Antonio, on March 11, when coach Steve Kerr rested Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson.
The Spurs have won five in a row and will be trying to complete a three-game season sweep of the Warriors, who have not been swept by any team since Kerr was hired in 2014.
Spurs by 4.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Klay Thompson & Co. vs. Kawhi Leonard: Arguably the league’s best two-way player, Leonard has intruded on what was a two-man MVP race. He has emerged as a team leader and the man who must be neutralized to beat Spurs. Thompson will among several Warriors -- Matt Barnes and Green also will get opportunities -- trying to keep Leonard in check.
Warriors: F/C James Michael McAdoo (L eyebrow laceration) is listed as probable. F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones is on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.
Spurs: G Dejounte Murray (L groin strain) is listed as out.
Warriors: 8-2. Spurs: 7-3.
The Spurs won both games earlier this season, one in Oakland and one in San Antonio. The Warriors won three of four last season but have lost nine of the last 13 meetings overall. They have lost 34 of the last 35 games in San Antonio.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
THE CHESS GAME: Though neither coach has announced intentions to rest anyone, both realize they could meet again in the postseason. Therefore, neither is likely to tip his full hand in terms of schemes and tactics. Yet it could be said the Warriors, without Durant, have an ace in the hole.
THE FOURS: San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge and the Warriors’ Green have been battling for several years. Despite height and physique that pale in comparison to Aldridge, Green’s aggressive nature and knowledge of angles and tendencies have allowed him to contain the bigger man. On the other end, Green hopes his tender ankle won’t prevent him from outrunning the bigger power forward.
THE BENCHES: San Antonio’s bench is deep and frisky; its 10.2 net rating is tops in the NBA. The Warriors, however, have gotten strong play from their reserves and now own the No. 2 net rating (7.4). Both teams have impact players here. Patty Mills is as much of a factor for the Spurs as Iguodala is for the Warriors.
Though Kevin Durant will miss at least five more games, there remains a possibility he could return to the Warriors lineup before the end of the regular season, according to an update provided by the team on Wednesday.
The team’s leading scorer, Durant has missed the last 15 games after sustaining a sprained medial collateral ligament and bone bruise to his left knee on Feb. 28 at Washington. After several days with the knee immobilized, he has spent the past two weeks participating in individual workouts.
“Kevin has made very good progress since suffering the injury four weeks ago in Washington,” began a statement issued by the team. “He has not experienced any setbacks to date and has progressed as well as could be expected. At this point, he is being incorporated into non-contact basketball drills – shooting, running and jumping – and the plan is to intensify his level of movement over the next several days, which will include more explosive cutting and lateral maneuvers.”
Durant has been engaging in shooting and dribbling drills, full-sprint activity and is dunking with ease. The 6-foot-9 forward traveled with the Warriors last week to Oklahoma City and Dallas and is with the team on its current trip to Houston and San Antonio.
“His eventual return to contact drills and practice will be predicated upon his progress to the increased intensity of his workouts, and a return to game action prior to the end of the regular season remains a possibility,” according to the statement. “He will be re-evaluated again in the next 7-10 days.”
The Warriors have eight games remaining on their regular-season schedule, with the last three at home, beginning with the New Orleans Pelicans on April 8.
The playoffs begin on April 15.