Warriors

NBA Gameday: Red hot Bucks pose serious challenge to Warriors

NBA Gameday: Red hot Bucks pose serious challenge to Warriors

OAKLAND -- The Warriors continue their quest to right the ship Saturday night, when they face the Milwaukee Bucks at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors (54-14) entered the week having lost three consecutive games but have responded by coming home and winning two in a row to push their record to 4-4 in March.

The Bucks (34-34), however, pose a serious challenge. Despite a season-ending injury to Jabari Parker, Miwaukee has moved squarely into playoff position, winning eight of its last nine, including a Clippers-Lakers sweep this week in Los Angeles.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 11

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Draymond Green & Co. vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo: With Kevin Durant out and no other natural matchup for the 6-foot-11 Greek Freak, the Warriors will rely on defense by committee. They want to do everything possible to keep Antetokounmpo out of transition, where he is devastating, and force him to shoot jump shots. He is among a handful of young players capable of dominating the game at both ends. The Warriors will send, in no particular order, Green, Matt Barnes, Andre Iguodala and possibly James Michael McAdoo toward Antetokounmpo.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Kevin Durant (L knee sprain, bone bruise) is listed as out. C Damian Jones and F Kevon Looney are on assignment with Santa Cruz of the NBA Development League.

Bucks: F Michael Beasley (L knee hyperextension) and F Jabari Parker (L knee surgery) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 5-5. Bucks: 8-2.

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors have won six of the last seven meetings, including a 124-121 victory on Nov. 19 in Milwaukee.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

SPLASHING: While Klay Thompson and Green have returned to customary form, Stephen Curry continues to search for his 3-point-shooting groove. A career 43.6-percent shooter from deep, he has not reached that level in any of the past 10 games, a period during which he shot 26 percent.

SAVVY AND SCRAP VS. FRISKY LENGTH: While the Warriors like to play “small” as often as possible, the Bucks are among the tallest teams in the league; the starters average 6-foot-8. Knowing the defensive capability of that length has created problems for them in the past, the Warriors realize they must take care of the ball while also winning the hustle game.

THE MARKSMANSHIP: Formerly a team that couldn’t shoot straight, the Bucks have built a solid offense with capable shooters, most notably forward Khris Middleton, who returned from injury and has replaced Parker in the starting line. The Bucks are shooting 47.7 percent from the field, ranking behind only the Warriors (49.1). Milwaukee is 5-23 when outshot by opponents.

How Warriors fans can watch game this season with Larry O'Brien Trophy

steph-us.jpg
USATSI

How Warriors fans can watch game this season with Larry O'Brien Trophy

Once the NBA season starts, every player is out for the same thing -- a chance to raise the Larry O'Brien Trophy at the end of the year.

During the 2017-18 season, Warriors fans can watch a game at Oracle Arena with the prize possession right by their side. All you need is $2,000. 

If you can write the check, the trophy will pay you a visit in a premium suite, plus two bottle of champagne and a gift bag that includes a six-inch replica trophy and a replica championship ring. 

Fans are limited to four experiences with the trophy per game. 

Darren Rovell of ESPN was first to share the details. 

Damian Lillard: 'I'm not joining nobody' like Kevin Durant did, unless...

Damian Lillard: 'I'm not joining nobody' like Kevin Durant did, unless...

Kevin Durant. LeBron James. Chris Paul. Paul George. LaMarcus Aldridge. Kyrie Irving. Gordon Hayward.

Those just some of the superstars to change teams in the last few years in pursuit of a championship.

But don't expect Damian Lillard to add his name to that list.

While speaking on the latest episode of Complex's Everyday Struggle, the Blazers point guard was asked about the possibility of joining up with other stars to try to win a title.

"I mean, like I said about [former Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge], I wouldn't have done it. For me, I'm not joining nobody," Lillard said.

When it was brought up that he'd join LeBron if given the chance, Lillard responded by saying this: "I'm not joining nobody. I would not win a championship before I go and team up and do all that. Unless it was something I couldn't control."

A hypothetical scenario was posed to Lillard: Let's say you're 34 years old (Lillard is currently 27 years old) and you had the chance to join two of your superstar friends on another team. You still wouldn't do it?

"I’m saying this because this is how I feel, not how I feel at the moment. That’s just how I feel about it. I think if that’s what somebody wants to do, I’m not mad at them for doing it. I’m just telling you what I’m not going to do. That ain’t how we get down," Lillard responded.

To wrap up the topic, Lillard was asked if he holds it against any player that does decide to team up with other superstars.

"Nah, if it make them feel good, if they comfortable doing it, then do you," Lillard said.