NBA Gameday: With Klay out, McCaw should have big opportunity

NBA Gameday: With Klay out, McCaw should have big opportunity

Programming note: Warriors-Heat coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND -- In the midst of trying to solve late-game issues, the Warriors next get an opponent rarely good enough this season to experience crunch time.

Indications are the Miami Heat, who visit Oracle Arena Tuesday night, are more committed to the future than the present. Long gone are the “Heatles,” as team architect Pat Riley attempts a rebuild.

The Warriors have chosen to rest shooting guard Klay Thompson, who has been battling an illness for the past few days.

Though the Warriors (32-6) are coming off a win at Sacramento on Sunday, they continue to study the lessons of their last two losses, both of which came after they gave up double-digit leads in the fourth quarter.

Miami (11-28), making its fifth stop during a six-game road trip, has lost eight of its last nine.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 15.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Zaza Pachulia vs. Hassan Whiteside: Whiteside last season came out of nowhere to claim star status, signing a four-year, $98.4-million contract in July. He’s responding with a solid season and has become a force with which to be reckoned. Pachulia is playing well of late. He’ll have to bring it to keep Whiteside from owning the paint.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: No injuries listed.

Heat: F Udonis Haslem (respiratory illness) is questionable. G Josh Richardson (L foot sprain) is doubtful. F Justise Winslow (R shoulder surgery) is not with the team.

LAST 10

Warriors: 8-2. Heat: 2-8.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won the last four meetings, sweeping the series in each of the past two seasons, and seven of the last nine overall.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

1) The Catalysts: Warriors PG Stephen Curry has boosted his offense recently, earning conference player of the week honors. His counterpart with the Heat, Goran Dragic, averaged 21.1 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.3 assists in December. Curry has averaged 35.0 points in his last six games vs. Miami. This matchup could get hot.

2) Unleash The O: The Heat struggle to score, surpassing 100 points only twice over the past eight games. Miami is dead last in true shooting percentage and 29th in offensive rating. If ever there were a game in which the Warriors could simply outscore an opponent, this is it.

3) Call for McCaw: With Thompson out, Warriors coach Steve Kerr will start rookie Pat McCaw. He’ll spend time defending Wayne Ellington, Tyler Johnson and Dragic. This promises to be a good learning experience for the UNLV product.

Kerr's message to Warriors fans who want more pick-and-roll for Curry

Kerr's message to Warriors fans who want more pick-and-roll for Curry

Are you one of the people who thinks the Warriors need to put Steph Curry in more pick-and-roll/ball screen situations? 

If you are, that's OK.

Steve Kerr -- when asked about Draymond Green's role this past season -- talked about how Golden State uses Curry.

"Before the season started, I told our staff that I thought Draymond was gonna have the biggest adjustment to make," Kerr said on the TK Show on Wednesday. "And he made it really easily. And I think a big part of that is the fact that he's a point-forward at his core offensively.

"He handles the ball and he's our leading assist guy. And all of a sudden he had another shooter and another weapon to work with. And I thought that was really important that we established early that Draymond was still gonna be an integral part of the offense.

"I was worried about that -- I thought because KD was gonna need the ball and Steph already had the ball -- I was worried that Draymond would be a little left out of the offense and that would affect his overall game and his defense.

"In fact, it's one of the things -- I think important for our fans to understand -- because one of the things I get all the time is, 'Why don't you just put Steph in a screen-and-roll every play? Why don't you give him the ball every play?' And I think what people who follow our team closely understand is that the number of playmakers we have on our team is what makes us who we are ... drive and kick and passing and moving -- it keeps everybody engaged."

For the third year in a row, the Warriors ranked nearly the bottom of the league in pick-and-rolls.

Yet, that didn't stop Golden State from posting the best offensive rating (113.2) in NBA history.

It's also important to remember that following the Warriors' loss to the Cavs on Christmas Day -- when Curry scored 15 points and took just 11 shots -- Kerr acknowledged that he needs to put Curry in a better position to succeed.

[REWIND: Steph Curry 'definitely' wants Warriors to run more pick-and-roll]

"But for the people who say, 'Just give it to Steph every time and let him go,' well now you're alienating Draymond, you're alienating Andre, you're alienating Shaun. You're basically telling them to be spotup 3-point shooters," Kerr continued. "And now I think you're losing a lot emotionally from what makes the team tick, and you're taking away the energy that Draymond gets from being a playmaker and getting 8 or 10 assists.

"So that's the balance we always try to find with our group -- get everybody involved and energized."

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller

Reports: Spurs shopping LaMarcus Aldridge

Reports: Spurs shopping LaMarcus Aldridge

It appears the LaMarcus Aldridge in San Antonio could be nearing its end.

The Spurs are reportedly talking to several teams about a potential trade, according to multiple reports.

In the summer of 2015, Aldridge signed a 4-year deal worth over $84 million.

He can opt out of his deal next summer.

The 5-time All-Star will turn 32 years old in July.

His 17.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game this season were his lowest totals since his rookie campaign.

In Games 2 through 4 of the Western Conference Finals against the Warriors, he averaged 11.3 points and 5.3 rebounds and shot less than 39 percent from the field.

Aldridge's former team -- the Portland Trail Blazers -- would be interested in acquiring Aldridge, according to Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News.

Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders and a Web Producer at NBC Sports Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller